Cats are masters at hiding their pain, and being proactive about your cats' dental health can help to prevent them from developing a painful mouth and needing to have their teeth checked out.
According to Banfield, cats' teeth should be brushed as often as possible, ideally every day. You can help your cats acclimate to teeth-brushing by following these steps:
- Find a comfortable place, like your lap or a favourite resting spot for your cats to sit.
- Use a cat toothbrush or a recommended alternative.
- Use cat-safe toothpaste with a favourable flavour. Never use human toothpaste.
- Give your cats a pea-sized amount of the toothpaste to introduce the taste.
- Gently lift the lip and clean the outside of the teeth and the gumline. Make the circular motions quick and smooth, and talk to your cats in honeyed tones throughout.
- Brush the outside surfaces and be sure to reach the back upper molars and canines, as these teeth tend to quickly build up tartar. PetMD advises, cats probably won't tolerate cleaning their entire mouth at once so clean the teeth in short intervals and stop every 5-10 seconds.
Last but not least, give your cats some positive reinforcement, like petting or cheerful talking.
Drinking helps wash away any food debris left in a cat's mouth after a meal, so make sure your cats always have lots of fresh water to drink, adds PetMD.