Do you brush your cat's teeth?

natalMarch 4, 2012

I've never tried. Hanna had her teeth cleaned when she was younger. She's now almost 14 and no tartar issues.

Charlie still has his baby teeth, but I'm thinking ahead to when they're replaced with adult teeth.

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I don't have cats but I do brush my dogs teeth. If I had cats I would brush their teeth also.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 6:47PM
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I would lose an arm. Or at least a hand. I have a 13-year-old, mean as a snake, Maine Coon cat. We're pretty sure she keeps the coyotes at bay.

Beth P.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 8:44PM
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No - and I used to be a dental hygienist (for humans) so I'm pretty obsessive about dental hygiene. I'm also a bit obsessed with my cats but not enough to brush their teeth. I've had six cats in my adult life and somehow they seem to have done fine without having their teeth brushed.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 9:34PM
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Yes! We do! Every night!! How neurotic does that make us??

Seriously, we started when she was first ours as a kitten (she's now 5), and she loves the toothpaste & tolerates the brushing.

We use a brand called's malt flavored.

Our cat is sort of like a dog, though....she even loves riding in the car & comes to greet company when people come over. Her name is Mazie!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 10:25PM
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Like bethpen we'd lose some bodily part if we tried that. Our cats are unsociable little things and only want one thing from us and that is food.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 1:27PM
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One of our cats recently had to have 5 teeth extracted because of dental disease, so I started cleaning both cats' teeth after that. I use Nolvaset sprayed on a piece of gauze, along with a dab of feline toothpaste, and rub it over the cats' teeth and gums as best I can.

The cat who had teeth extracted is tougher to catch, but is much better about allowing me to clean her teeth once she is caught (and she loves the taste of the toothpaste which is an added bonus!). Our other cat is easy to get--comes right up to me for pets, but clenches her mouth closed as tightly as she can, and squirms terribly while I try to clean her teeth with the gauze, even while she is "scruffed." I find a piece of gauze wrapped around my finger tip is easier to use than the cat toothbrush or finger brush.

I'm sure I'm not doing a thorough job, but I certainly hope it's better than doing nothing (after all the effort I go through every morning!).

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 5:48PM
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    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 5:50PM
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Never had a cat mellow enough to give it a try.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 6:38PM
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i HAVE brushed my cat's and dogs' teeth because our vet gives a little pet toothbrush and a sample of 'chicken flavored' toothpaste :( in the new puppy/kitty pack they give when you bring in a new pet... but, i haven't brushed any of our animal's teeth more than a 1/2 dozen times!
i try my best to keep up with their ears and nails! (and sometimes struggle keeping up with that!)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 9:40AM
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I need to try to get back into this with the pup. She doesn't like it much, but I used to brush her teeth when she was younger. She's 6 and had her teeth cleaned for the first time this past year.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 9:50AM
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Lizzie, Petrodex is the one I bought. I'm impressed that you do it every day!

Found a video and may give it a try while he still has his baby teeth.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brushing your cat's teeth

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 4:16PM
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No cats here, Natal, as both my kids are allergic to them, but I do brush our 11-lb Tibetan Spaniel's teeth . . . as best I can, anyway! If you start young, as you're thinking about doing with Charlie, you can probably get him accustomed to it fairly quickly. Don't most cats eat a soft food or soft kibble? Our vet told me that soft pet food causes more tooth decay in pets than hard kibble. Until we got Chloe, all our dogs have been large dobies that ate dry kibble and chewed on hard, teeth-cleaning toys like Nylabones. They never needed their teeth cleaned, at least our vet never suggested it. Then along comes our little Chloe who eats semi-softened dry kibble and has no interest in chewing on anything remotely good for her teeth. After she had to have her first tooth pulled for decay, I started to brush her teeth. By this time, at 4 years old, it was like trying to brush the teeth of a whirling, teeth-snapping wildcat! I wish I'd started when she was a puppy. It's taken years to get her to stop snapping at me while I try and brush them . . . and it's still no picnic for either of us. My advice would be to start with Charlie now. We papoose Chloe ( a kind-of medical term for wrapping her snugly in a bath towel or small blanket, so that her legs are held tightly against her body). That way we can better control her head. I know very well (unfortunately) how badly a tooth can hurt. I was told that cats and dogs are internally programmed not to show pain until it gets pretty bad. It breaks my heart to think about them trying to live with a painful, decaying tooth.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 7:01PM
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Lynn, so far he's been receptive to claw clipping without a big fight, so I have my fingers crossed that the brushing might go well. We'll see. He eats dry food with only the very occasional soft treat like tuna or shrimp. I know there's controversy regarding hard vs. soft food being the culprit in tartar issues. To my way of thinking food is food. If it sits on the teeth tartar develops. Charlie also has a few kitty chew toys. No idea if they'll help later on or if he'll even be interested in them later, but he's teething now and at least they help with that.

What breed is Chloe? The papoose sounds like a good idea. I'll keep that in mind.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 7:18PM
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Natal, she's a Tibetan Spaniel. Up until the 1970's, they were pretty much only found in Tibetan monasteries, raised by the monks. Sweet natured, very quiet, calm and no groomer needed. Just wash them in the sink and pat dry. They supposedly have the softest fur/coat of any canine.
Here's my sweet Chloe:

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 12:47AM
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She's precious, Lynn! My older sister lost her little dog a few months ago. She's undecided at this stage of life whether she should get another. Chloe sounds like the perfect little dog. I might ask if she's familiar with the breed.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 10:22AM
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According to our vet some dogs are more prone to tartar. It sounds like smaller breeds? I have no idea about cats. Abby eats both hard and soft foods (at our vet's advice) and she also has all kinds of hard (bones, etc.) treats that are supposed to help with tartar. I think the plus for hard food is that it might help scrape (?) the tartar from the teeth. Our vets do check her teeth at every visit. From what I gather, good dental health can relate to their overall health.

I have a friend recently who has a german shepard who had a root canal a few weeks ago! There is a wonderful "doggie dentist" here in the big city along with some at our veterinary teaching hospital. $$$$ of course. The poor dog had an infection and several hundred dollars were spent to diagnose/treat that. $3,000 for the root canal and she hasn't had a crown put on yet.

Cute pup Lynn!


    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 10:27AM
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Natal, they are pretty near perfect. They aren't prone to any congenital problems. They haven't been over-bred. They're not nervous, hyper, prone to barking or nipping. Just affectionate, calm, even-tempered little sweethearts. And, not having to take them to a groomers is a definite plus!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 1:08PM
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