It may seem strange to brush a cat’s teeth. They don’t have dental care in the wild. So why would they need good dental hygiene as pets?
A pet cat’s diet is vastly different from a cat who hunts for his food. Eating dry kibble and moist canned food is not the same as crunching little mice bones. While cats do not get cavities, they do develop gingivitis and gum disease on a frequent basis. Your veterinarian can clean the tarter off of your cat’s teeth, but this usually requires that the cat be sedated which has some risks and is expensive.
Not all cats will take to a toothbrush with grace. Most likely, he will wonder why you’ve gone mad and will run away, swat and/or bite. I’ve had good luck with my three, but they are generally good about letting me brush them and trim their claws.
There are special toothbrushes for cats and special toothpaste that they actually like. It is usually flavored with chicken or fish, not minty-fresh like ours. While you can use a child’s toothbrush, never use human toothpaste.
There are some great videos online that will help you get started. Patience, a sense of humor and lots of treats are a must.
This video shows a veterinarian giving instructions on how to brush a cat’s teeth. We use the same cat toothbrush. It works very well.
Cornell Cat Health Videos
Cornell University has a series of videos showing you how to ease you cat into brushing.