Cats and Teeth Cleaning: March 2008 Archives
Senior cats need their teeth cared for too – they are at higher risk for gum disease and liver damage, heart disease and the list goes on! It maybe stressful for you and your senior cat to get into a tooth brushing routine, but it is really necessary. And unlike old dogs, you can teach an old cat new tricks!
There are products on the market that help keep their teeth and gums clean and to strengthen their jaw muscles.
I hear of so many senior cats that can’t eat properly because they don’t have the strength to chew. Not good. Get your cat a chew toy and brush his teeth.
Kittens have baby teeth when they are born. As soon as you get your kitten, it is a good idea to introduce him to toothpaste and brushing right away. It helps establish a routine and it helps massage sore little gums when they start teething.
At about 4-6 months they go through a stage where they are chewing on everything. Your fingers, toys, shoes, strings, anything and everything regardless of the dangers! This is a sign that your kitten is teething. They loose their baby teeth and their full-grown adult teeth start coming in.
All this chewing can be a problem, it may be cute to let your kitten chew on your fingers with his baby teeth, but if you let him chew as a kitten, he’ll want to chew as an adult – its not as much fun when he’s leaving holes in your skin!
Watch your kitten closely… you might even see a baby tooth fall out!
Something like Petstages chew toys are perfect for your kitten while he is teething.
You've spent some time getting your cat used to the toothpaste and you are relaxed and your cat's happy, so now it is time to go in with the brush!
Hold on....not so fast. Introduce the brush slowly, put some toothpaste on the brush and let your cat chew on the brush - it'll floss and clean the teeth at the same time.
If kitty is getting suspicious, stop for the day but if you think you can get the brush right on his teeth, go for it.
Sometimes, all I have to do is just hold Neo's mouth open with one hand and brush with the other, but other days... it's not so easy...
On those days, here's how I can brush his teeth. I have to hold Neo's whole body, otherwise he pushes me away with his powerful legs. So I sit on the floor with my knees up to my chest. I hold Neo's body on my lap (so he is facing to the right) and press my legs against my chest just enough to retrain him but not to hurt him of course.
Then that leaves both of my hands free - my left hand holds his mouth open and I brush his teeth with my right hand.
I work quickly and often he gets toothpaste all over his cheeks, but when I release him, I pet him and tell him what a good boy he is.
He is very forgiving.
Products you can use for brushing are outlined here