Best Tips on How to Clean Your Cat’s Teeth Properly

Cleaning your cat’s teeth can become a breeze if you use the right tools and apply our pet-approved tips.

Jun 5, 2024By Monika Dimitrovska
best tips to clean your cats teeth properly

Like humans, cats can develop dental issues like gum disease and tooth loss. Luckily, you can prevent this by brushing your cat’s teeth at home properly.

Wondering how to clean your cat’s teeth properly? That’s where this article kicks in with helpful tips and tricks. So, grab your supplies, and let’s get started.

How to Clean Your Cat’s Teeth: Best Tips

cat teeth cleaning
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Cleaning your cat’s teeth is just as important as cleaning your own, and it’s one of the most important dental habits for a healthier and happier cat.

While cats bite their claws to keep them sharp and clean, domestic ones can’t take care of their teeth because of their lifestyle.

Wild cats clean their own teeth by chewing and tearing their prey in the wild, but since indoor cats don’t have that same privilege, owners must include teeth cleaning in their regular grooming routine.

Now, let’s learn how to clean your cat’s teeth properly.

Note: We suggest starting early when they’re still young, if possible. This helps your cat get used to the process and makes it easier as they grow older.

1. Gear up!

Never use a human toothpaste and toothbrush, as they can harm your cat’s teeth. Get a toothbrush and toothpaste specially designed for cats.

2. Introduce gradually

Don’t just grab your cat’s mouth and start brushing their teeth. Try to make the brushing experience as stress-free as possible for your furry companion.

Start by choosing a quiet, comfortable environment and use gentle, reassuring words. Moreover, if your feline has never smelled toothpaste before, let them sniff and lick it. This will help them get familiar with the taste and texture and realize it’s not dangerous.

Additionally, take it slow when introducing the toothbrush. Start by gently touching your cat’s teeth and gums with your finger to get them used to the sensation.

cat teeth
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3. Apply the right brushing technique

Your brushing technique can make or break the whole experience; make sure you hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth and brush in gentle circular motions.

Focus on the outer surfaces of the teeth where plaque usually builds up.

4. Patience and consistency!

You must stay patient and consistent throughout the whole process because brushing the teeth of a cat that has never experienced it could be frustrating.

However, if you make brushing a part of your daily routine, your feline will get used to it and even look forward to it.

If you don’t see success after a while, consider adopting a rewarding system.

cat eating meat
Image credit: Piotr Musioł from Unsplash

5. Reward your cat’s good behavior

If your cat’s visibly upset before and after brushing, praise and reward them with their favorite treat after each session. That way, they’ll associate this event with positivity.

6. Gradually increase frequency

For starters, you can brush your cat’s teeth a few times a week. Once they get used to it, you can turn brushing their teeth into a daily routine.

7. Watch for signs of dental problems

Inspect your cat’s teeth regularly and watch for signs of dental issues, such as swollen gums, bad breath, or difficulty eating.

If you notice any of these changes in your cat’s behavior or appearance accompanied by signs of disease in cats, schedule a vet appointment immediately.

cat chewing toys
Image credit: Anton Darius from Unsplash

8. Consider dental wipes and sprays

Some cats won’t like the brushing process and will refuse it regardless of your efforts. In this case, you can consider other options like dental wipes or sprays.

9. Use dental treats

Regardless of whether your cat accepts or refuses teeth brushing, you should give them dental treats or toys. These products will help reduce plaque and tartar buildup between brushings and keep your cat’s teeth in optimal condition without brushing.

10. Regular vet checkups

Regular dental checkups can help keep your cat’s oral health in check and address any issues early on.

Moreover, if your feline really hates brushing their teeth at home, your vet can have their teeth cleaned without anesthesia.

How Often Should I Clean My Cat’s Teeth?

cat showing teeth
Image credit: Juraj Varga from Pixabay

While most cats don’t need frequent bathing, they could benefit from regular teeth cleaning. For starters, you can brush your cat’s teeth at least 2-3 times per week, then gradually increase the frequency as your feline becomes used to the routine.

Once your cat gets more comfortable with brushing their teeth, you can start doing it daily. We also suggest incorporating dental treats that will keep your cat’s teeth clean between brushings.

How Can I Clean My Cat’s Teeth Naturally?

cat chewing slippers
Image credit: Jon Pauling from Pixabay

You can clean your cat’s teeth naturally by feeding them a balanced diet that includes raw bones or dental treats; they can help scrape away plaque and tartar. You can also add supplements like fish oil or coconut oil to their food to keep their gums healthy and reduce inflammation.

Additionally, you can introduce dental toys or chews as well as safe and edible plants for cats that will clean your cat’s teeth and massage their gums.

Finally, regularly wipe your cat’s teeth with a clean, damp cloth or gauze to remove food particles and bacteria.

How Do Cats Clean Their Teeth in the Wild?

cat eating grass
Image credit: Suemy Yam from Pixabay

Wild cats have a prey-based diet consisting of raw meat and bones, which keeps their teeth clean and healthy. When wild cats consume prey, they naturally chew and tear at the flesh and bones, which helps remove plaque and tartar buildup from their teeth.

Additionally, the abrasive texture of bones acts as a natural toothbrush, scraping away debris and promoting gum health. Wild cats may also chew on twigs, grasses, or rough surfaces, which also helps them clean and sharpen their teeth.

Closing Thoughts

cat playing toys
Image credit: Dorothe Wouters from Unsplash

Taking care of your cat’s teeth doesn’t have to be hard.

With the right tools, brushing technique, and a little patience, you can keep your feline’s teeth clean and healthy for years to come.

Monika Dimitrovska
By Monika Dimitrovska

Monika is a pet enthusiast and seasoned copywriter with a tech degree. She loves writing, but her heart belongs to her two mixed dogs, Buba and Bono, a mother-son duo. Bono’s siblings found loving homes, sparking Monika’s advocacy for neutering and deepening her curiosity about animal care.

But Monika’s pet family doesn’t end there. She also has two cockatiels and two rescue cats, proving her home is a haven for creatures big and small.