Cats are sensitive buggers, full of claws and teeth and the amazing ability to stretch out their entire bodies and having you locked in their dagger grasp when they feel like they are being attacked. So kudos to you if you can actually get to your cat to brush its teeth in the first place, and bonus points if you can walk away with minimal bloodshed. I’ve managed to brush my cat’s teeth ONCE, and it required a box of band aids and my fiance guffawing in the background in order to do it. But I did it. Here are some homemade toothpaste tips for cats, and further tips on how to successfully brush your cat’s teeth with minimal trauma to the both of you.
Cats are sensitive, so they need simple brushing materials. You can place catnip in water and just brush your cat’s teeth that way, or add a tiny bit of baking soda and salmon oil to make a very watery paste so you don’t overload your sensitive cat. I opted for baking soda, catnip, and mixed it in with tuna fish oil and water to make it really smelly, and it worked to coax my cat to me, while I eerily called, “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty…”
The baking soda is an odor and bacteria killer and abrasive enough to clean the teeth, everything else is just a filler to hopefully coax your cat to you with “goodies.” If you’re lucky, your cat is curious enough to check out what’s on your finger, like mine is, and if you’re not, you may have to tease your cat with a treat before you snag them for a brushing.
With cats, the best toothbrush is that baby toothbrush you slip over your finger, because with those tiny mouths you need to get up in there. The toothbrushes are also durable enough to withstand your cat chowing down on your hand while you attempt to brush. Simply put a tiny amount on the toothbrush, say a little prayer that you make it out alive, and go for your cat with the bravery of battle.
The way I brush my cat’s teeth is to allow her to come to me and taste the toothpaste, and then I gently pick her up and hold her in a firm grip with her on her back, like I’m cradling her. I squeeze open her mouth by gently pushing in on her cheeks, and when she opens her mouth immediately I start ferociously scrubbing until she starts kicking out of her grip in my arms. At that point I just let her go and hope I did my best, but hey, even if you brush your cat’s teeth just ONE time, it’s an accomplishment. Afterward, she sits by my feet cleaning herself and rubbing on my legs like I just did her a favor. I walk away with a bunch of rabbit punches to my arms and face (and the massive laughter of my fiance, who has to bandage me up), but otherwise, no real trauma to the cat or to me.
Give it a try, if you dare!