Hey! Brushing a cat’s teeth! This may sound ridiculous to a feline-ignorant person. But, as a concerned owner of a pet cat, you know well, how important it is for your cat. As a basic feline need, the teeth of your cat must be harp and clean and its gums, healthy. If the gums, teeth or palate meet any damage, your cat might be exposed to the risk of indigestion of cat’s food. But, don’t be worried.
You can prevent it with regular veterinary examinations and painstaking ‘tooth-brushing
You need nothing very spectacular or outstanding. Buy a toothbrush used by human kids of a size befitting to your cat’s mouth. In case you find your cat not tolerating to a brush, take a piece of clean cloth or a piece of gauze, wrap it around your finger and use a brush.
Remember to use only pet toothpaste. Don’t use baking soda or human toothpaste as that may upset the stomach of your cat. To make your cat responsive to ‘brushing,’ pick out any of the ‘cat toothpaste’ that come in a variety of flavors such as beef or poultry. To suit your cat’s liking, try a couple of flavors. You can then brush your cat’s teeth easily, without any repulsion or aversion.
How to Do it?
Just as a human child, your cat is amenable to rewards in the kind of its favorite food like fish and stroking and patting on its body. Of course, there will be nothing illegal, unethical or wrong in bribing your affectionate pet. Rather, this is a psychological approach to a seemingly difficult task to deal with a full growth cat.
Since your cat is not acclimatized to brushing, initially, it may be hesitant, repulsive or even aggressive. Don’t lose your patience. Remember, patience, persistence, and perseverance always pays. Reward your cat immediately after brushing. And make it enjoyable for it. You will find that after few successful sessions, your cat will volunteer for brushing.
Initially, don’t try to brush or clean the whole mouth. If you force upon it, it may develop a permanent aversion for brushing and may not yield to your efforts. Start with brushing only the external portion of your cat’s teeth. Take care to see that you do it only as long as it allows you. If you find your cat biting or becoming uncomfortable or aggressive, then immediately consult your vet who can advise you better.
Acclimatization to a new environment is a slow but steady process which is associated with the psyche of your cat which again is dependent upon its gender, breed, and parentage. A civilized parentage may ease your job. But this may not be possible in all the cases. So, first of all, let your cat getting habituated to the brushing procedure.
Keeping them on a clean surface and allow your cat to sniff them. If you find a pleasing appearance on its face after sniffing, you can be sure that it likes it. You can then carry it on.
The mouth is the most sensitive area; your cat may not allow you to touch its mouth initially. Here, you may apply the concept of ‘motherly affection’ to her child that is associated with tenderness, gentleness, and delicacy. That will drive away the obstinacy, stubbornness, and hesitancy of your cat. Lift its lips and rub your cat’s teeth and gums gently and slowly with your finger. To make it more alluring, you may put your finger into a bottle of tuna juice which your cat may find tasty and delicious.
After some time, your touch of its mouth won’t irritate your cat. Moreover, it gets used to and familiar with the paste and brush. Then, start putting the paste on your finger and then on to the brush. Allow it is licking the paste from the brush. It will allow you to put the brush into its mouth. In case you find it not tolerating the brush, take a little toothpaste on a washcloth or gauge and gently rub it on the external surface of its teeth.
Instead of scrubbing, brush its teeth along the gum line. Brush each side of its mouth for 30 seconds, at least every alternate day. If you find any problems such as bleeding gums, then consult your vet. Proper intervention at the right time will act as “a stitch in time will save nine.” You are doing all these brushing affairs for the sustained good health of your cat. It should not create any adverse situation for it.
Do not take your cat’s brushing as a chore for you or your cat. Rather, make it an enjoyable experience for both of you. Remember; “Slow and steady wins the race” and haste, and impatience spoils the consequence. So, take things slowly at the beginning and shower your feline friend with rewards and praises after each brushing session. Your cat will be ‘dentally civilized.’