With a little time and patience you can brush your cat’s teeth at home. “Cats have the same dental issues as dogs, although they can also develop cavity-like gum erosions, which are extremely painful and practically dissolve the teeth,” says Tiffany Margolin, DVM, an integrative veterinarian in Westlake Village, California. Training your cat to tolerate having his teeth brushed is similar to teaching a dog–but be careful. Even minor cat bites can easily become infected, causing fever and severe illness. If your cat resists having your finger in his mouth, talk to your vet about using brushless dental care products instead.
To brush a cat’s teeth:
• Entice your cat to come to you by offering a food treat.
• Dip your finger in a liquid your cat likes, such as chicken broth or tuna water, and let him lick your finger, getting him used to having your finger in his mouth.
• Once he’s used to that, dip your finger in the same liquid and slowly rub his gums and teeth.
• When that seems agreeable, substitute a small piece of gauze or a pet toothbrush for your finger.
• Finally, brush the exteriors of a few teeth, adding a few more each time you brush.
Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living. Click here for a free sample issue.