Cleaning cat teeth – using blood as toothpaste

Pets are a lot like small children when it comes to little tasks that you *should* do that are really easy to run out of time to prioritise – like checking for nits/fleas, meticulously check all their toys for damage on a regular basis and so on.

Then periodically you will hear or read something that makes you feel guilty for not prioritising this task more, complete with worrying statistics!

cat teeth

(Photo from CatSit)

For the cats my main problem task is cleaning their teeth. Giving them treats that claim to be good for teeth is easy and sometimes they even eat them when I am watching to give some measure of comfort that F isn’t scoffing the lot.

I am aware of the principle of how getting a cat used to teeth cleaning SHOULD work

  •  First get the cat used to the idea of having their mouth poked – stroke the face near the mouth or even massage the gums with fingers/cotton bud. Get the cat used to this stage!
  • After a few sessions, put a little bit of cat toothpaste on your finger and encourage the cat to taste it. Get the cat used to this stage!
  • The introduce a toothbrush designed for a cat – this can be a traditional style brush or a finger toothbrush. Get the cat used to this stage!
  • Eventually you will be able to apply the toothpaste to the toothbrush and into the cat’s mouth!

cat bite

(Photo from some WordPress site)

Like all things in principle it sounds oh-so easy! The reality was more like this:

  •  Discover that cats hate being poked near the mouth – get bitten
  • Buy overpriced toothpaste in fish flavour, cats sniff it and look grumpy – cats do not bite as that would mean getting near the toothpaste
  • Put finger toothbrush on finger, discover that cat teeth go through the toothbrush and straight into the finger, this hurts, the toothbrush has holes in and slight blood stains.
  • Decide that feeding the cats dental treats is probably nearly as good as tooth brushing!

I have booked a vet appointment soon, I will see what they have to say – although given they have seen the bite-radius caused by an angry G I do think they may agree that dental treats are the future.

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