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How to Clean Your Cats Teeth Effectively

If you’re a pet parent to a feline, you know that sometimes your kitty’s breath can be less than fresh. But bad breath isn’t the only thing that can be lurking in your pet’s mouth. Maintaining good oral health with cat teeth cleaning is essential to support your cat’s overall health and help them avoid dental problems that can lead to plaque, tooth decay, discomfort, gum infection, and more.

When it comes to the pros and cons of cat teeth cleaning, the pros definitely win out!

cat teeth cleaning

Why Cat Teeth Cleaning is Essential

Knowing if something is wrong with your cat’s teeth can be challenging. After all, they’re not able to tell you if they’re having dental issues. That’s why it’s essential to monitor your cat’s routine and general habits for signs that something may be wrong and to maintain annual wellness visits with your veterinarian.

Signs of Dental Issues in Cats

Below are some common signs that your cat may have a dental issue.

Loss of Interest in Dry Food

If your cat starts showing a loss of interest in their regular dry food diet, it may be a sign of discomfort. Chewing hard food can cause pain if they’re experiencing dental problems like tooth decay, tooth loss, and cavities.

Chewing Slowly

If your normally ravenous feline is suddenly taking time to chew every bite carefully, it may be a sign of a problem. Oral health issues often cause pain, so your cat may try to chew differently to avoid that discomfort.

Dropping Food While Chewing

Cats who start dropping food while chewing may struggle to eat normally due to periodontitis, a gum infection. Dropping food can also occur when there is significant tartar buildup or missing teeth.


Drooling is another sign that it is time for a dental checkup. Drooling can occur due to changes in your pet’s mouth, often indicating a potentially dangerous or painful issue with your cat’s teeth.

Pawing at Mouth

Is your cat or kitten pawing at their mouth? If so, they may be experiencing pain from oral issues. Check on your cat’s oral health if you notice this common sign of trouble.

Resistance to Having Face Touched

If your normally friendly feline is suddenly opposed to being pet around their face or mouth, it may be due to health problems. Take a proactive approach to this sign and schedule a vet check for your cat.

Bad Breath

cat yawn

Most pet owners will agree cats don’t always have the best-smelling breath. But if your feline friend goes from smelling slightly like tuna to emitting a strong odor, it is likely due to decay or infection. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to check your cat’s oral health and investigate what may be wrong.

How To Care For Your Cat’s Oral Health

vet cat teeth cleaning

A proactive approach is best to maintain your cat’s dental health from youth through adulthood. Below are some ways to support your cat’s teeth and overall well-being.

Diet Matters for Your Cat’s Teeth

A healthy diet is one of the best ways to support dental health. Check with your vet for recommendations on teeth-healthy meals. Your vet may also suggest a prescription food ideal for your pet if they have any dental concerns. Ask your veterinarian for advice on how to best care for your cat.

Toothpaste Options for Cats

Believe it or not, there are toothpaste options for your cat’s teeth. While it may be easier to start with a kitten and get them used to a daily dental care routine, you can use treats and tasty toothpaste options to support your adult cat’s health too. Never use human toothpaste, as it is dangerous for your pet.

Toys and Treats that Help Keep Teeth Clean

cat treat

Dental treats and toys exist that support your cat’s oral health. Their design helps fight plaque buildup that leads to periodontal disease and can be an excellent option for cats that won’t allow routine brushing.

Brush Regularly with the Right Tools

cat toothbrush

If you’re able, brushing your cat’s teeth is an ideal way to protect your cat from dental issues. Start slowly using just your finger or a small finger brush. The goal is not to brush all the teeth at one time when you get started but rather to develop good habits that will allow you to maintain good brushing habits for your cat throughout their lifetime.

Alternatives to Brushing

Dental diets, toys, treats, water additives, and dental gel are all alternatives to brushing. Talk with your vet about how to best keep your cat healthy and happy.

Cleaning Solutions for Cats of All Ages

If you have an older cat that won’t allow you to brush their teeth or becomes stressed, don’t worry. There are cleaning solutions for cats of any age, including some options mentioned above, like special diets, toys, and gels. Routine dental cleanings by your veterinarian will help your cat avoid dental disease, too, so it’s a good idea to schedule an oral exam annually.

Don’t Neglect Your Cat’s Dental Health

Your cat’s teeth significantly impact their well-being, from enjoying everyday activities to avoiding pain and infection caused by dental disease. By staying on top of your cat and their dental needs, you’ll be helping them have a long, happy life.

Prevention is Key to Healthy Teeth

Severe cases of dental disease can lead to infection, teeth extraction, and even death if the infection spreads to vital organs. Prevention is the key to healthy teeth and to happy, healthy kitties!

Take Your Cat for Annual Checkups

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Annual checkups are essential for your cat’s overall health. During a yearly visit, your veterinarian will examine your pet’s mouth, identify any signs of trouble and address those concerns proactively.

Process of a Cat Dental Exam

A cat dental exam or cleaning is completed while your pet is under general anesthesia. Your veterinarian will clean your pet’s teeth and address any areas of concern, including unhealthy gums, teeth, periodontal pockets, signs of infection, etc. Your vet may also utilize x-rays to assess your cat’s teeth and complete extractions or corrective action.

Schedule A Cat Dental Care Appointment

kitten metrovet

If it’s time for your pet to get a dental checkup or cleaning, click here to contact the team at Metrovet.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to clean cats’ teeth?

The cost of a dental exam depends on your cat’s situation. Routine cleanings are typically less than a severe case that may require x-rays, extractions, and more. Contact Metrovet to discuss your pet’s health and request a quote.

Do cats really need dental cleaning?

Yes. Your cat’s oral health impacts their daily life and overall well-being. Quality dental care is essential for helping them stay happy and healthy.

Is using anesthesia for teeth cleaning safe?

General anesthesia is safe for most patients. Our veterinarian will assess your pet and their health history before surgery. We may also recommend pre-operative tests (such as bloodwork) to minimize risks associated with general anesthesia.

Can I use human toothpaste for my cat?

No. Human toothpaste can poison your cat and should never be used on animals. Use toothpaste design specifically for cats. 

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