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How do I brush my cat's teeth?

How do I brush my cat's teeth?
by Dr Grant Hampson

Read time: 2 min

Brushing your cat’s teeth is just as important as brushing your own, but brushing your cat’s can prove challenging. It’s going to take a little while before your cat will let you brush their teeth without resistance, and we are here to help!

First of all though, a question we hear a lot is: should I brush my cat’s teeth? The truth is, regular brushing of your cat’s teeth from a young age can prevent the need for veterinary dental intervention. If you can do it, even if it takes time to get your cat comfortable with the idea, then your cat’s health will be better for it.

So how do you go about brushing your cat’s teeth? Well, as with all training, start nice and young, if you can, and go nice and slow. It’s best to go through various steps before going straight in with a toothbrush.

What you’ll need:

  • Cat toothpaste (your vet will stock something) Never use human toothpaste

  • Finger brush

  • Pet toothbrush or a baby toothbrush

Step 1) Start by gently opening your cat’s mouth to allow them to get used to it. Do this a good few times before moving on to step 2.

Step 2) Gently start moving your finger along their teeth, adding a small amount of cat toothpaste after the first few times.

Step 3) Then slowly start introducing the toothbrush, working your way up over time.

Just like your own dental routine, this should be done every day, but we know that can be hard. A minimum of 3 days a week can really help make a difference.

Sometimes, a cat won’t like you brushing their teeth, and if that happens, don’t panic - there are a few other options.

  1. If the toothbrush doesn’t work out, you can rub the cat toothpaste onto the teeth with your finger.

  2. PlaqueOff is a natural feed supplement you can sprinkle on your cat's food, which reduces bad breath, plaque and tartar. Sadly you can’t use this if your cat has thyroid disease.

  3. Talk to your vet: they’ll be able to recommend other options, and the nursing team might be able to help you with getting your cat used to brushing.

Get in touch if you have any questions about brushing your cat's teeth: our In-House Vets and Cat Experts are here to help with any question, even if it’s not KatKin related. Just drop us a line at

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