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How Do I Choose the Best Cat Toothbrush?

By Carol Kindle
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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The best cat toothbrush is the one that your cat will allow you to use. These small toothbrushes come in a variety of styles and shapes. They can be similar to a human toothbrush with bristles on a handle that can be straight or angled. Brushes also come in a fingertip style that allows the owner to gently brush with a finger. The style of the cat toothbrush will be determined by the size of the cat's mouth and the cat's willingness to participate.

Brushing a cat's teeth is an important part of maintaining its overall health. Plaque can build up on a cat's teeth, which may lead to gum disease or gingivitis. If ignored, severe gingivitis can lead to kidney disease and other health issues.

Many cats are unwilling to allow anyone to brush their teeth. It is recommended that a brushing routine be established while the cat is still a kitten, because adult cats may be much more resistant to the process of brushing. To get the cat used to the idea of brushing, the owner should sit with the cat and begin gently massaging the cat's mouth area over several days. The owner can then move on to brushing with the cat toothbrush.

One style of cat toothbrush has a long angled handle and a small section of bristles. This type of brush is small enough that the cat may tolerate it. The owner would need to gently pry one side of the cat's mouth open to brush the teeth from side to side. Then the owner would then switch sides and brush the teeth on the opposite side.

Another style of cat toothbrush has a short handle and a small section of bristles. Having a long handle or a short handle may be determined by how easily the brush is maneuvered by the owner. Brushes with handles are easiest to use on a cat that is resistant or has a small mouth. Toothpaste in meat and fish flavors may make the cat more interested in brushing.

The fingertip cat toothbrush looks like a large rubber thimble that fits over the owner's finger. This toothbrush has small bristles molded into it. It may give the owner more control over which areas are brushed and the force used in brushing. Many cats cannot tolerate having something the size of a finger inserted into the mouth, however. Brushing should become a daily routine and it may require trying a variety of brushes to determine which one will work best.

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Discussion Comments
By fBoyle — On Aug 05, 2013

My vet commented during our last visit that my cat's gums and teeth are not looking too good. That's bad news because she's only three! I asked him about cat toothbrushes and he said I can try any type as they all work quite well. He also said that I can use a gauze pad wrapped around my finger until I get a cat toothbrush. I'm going to try it today!

By donasmrs — On Aug 04, 2013

@turquoise-- I've tried a finger toothbrush with my cat. He didn't bite my finger but the brush was too big and didn't fit his mouth.

Then I got a classic looking cat toothbrush. It's similar to a human toothbrush but is slimmer and the tip is very small. This works perfect, it fits in my cat's mouth and since it's long, there is no way he could bite me.

It is a challenge to brush a cat's teeth regularly though. It requires a lot of patience. Thankfully, the toothpaste is malt flavored and he likes that.

By turquoise — On Aug 03, 2013

I've seen the toothbrushes that go on the tip of the finger for cats. They look cool but knowing my cat, she would probably bite my finger off.

Does anyone use one of these toothbrushes? How do you do it?

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