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How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth

How do I brush my cat's teeth?

Brushing your cat's teeth can seem like a daunting task, but it’s one of the most important things you can do to keep your feline friend healthy. In this Vet Minute, Dr. Amy Hanson, contributing veterinarian at, shares tips on how to brush your cat’s teeth, what kind of toothbrush and toothpaste to use, and alternatives for cleaning your cat’s teeth if they won’t let you brush.

How to Brush a Cat's Teeth at Home

When brushing a cat’s teeth, whether you are working with a kitten or an adult cat, you want to work slowly and consistently. Make cat tooth brushing a positive experience.

  1. Get your cat used to you feeling around their mouth area. With gentle strokes, feel around the outside of the mouth. Find a yummy cat treat they may like.

  2. Once they are comfortable with you feeling around the outside of the mouth, move inside. Use your finger to rub the surface of the cat’s teeth and along the gum line so they get used to that sensation.

  3. After about a week of step 2, start using a toothbrush. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and pet-safe toothpaste. Human toothpastes are toxic to cats, so ensure you’re using a pet-safe product. Put a little bit of toothpaste on the toothbrush.

  4. Brush the outside surfaces of the teeth. Don’t worry about getting inside near the tongue. Use gentle strokes. Your cat will probably chew on the toothbrush a bit, and that’s perfectly fine.

How Often Should I Brush My Cat’s Teeth?

Brushing your cat’s teeth is best, even if you can only do it once or twice a week. Consistent feline dental care will help keep your cat’s teeth in great shape.

For more information and resources, visit

How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth
How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth


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