If you've had cats in the past, then you know that they are often prone to teeth and gum problems. If you now have a new kitten, you may have decided to try to clean its teeth regularly to avoid dental problems in the future.
If this is going well, then you may be at the stage where you can start to use a toothbrush and toothpaste in your cat's mouth. Is it okay to use your toothpaste on your cat?
How Human Toothpaste Affects Cats
Your toothpaste is likely to contain a range of ingredients that may not be good for your pet. They don't do you any harm, but they may affect your pet's health.
For example, the fluoride in your toothpaste is an issue. If you brush your cat's teeth with your toothpaste, then your pet will end up swallowing some of the toothpaste and the fluoride it contains.
Too much fluoride can be toxic to small animals. It's not actually great for humans either, but humans know to spit out toothpaste after brushing. This reduces the amount of fluoride that goes into the body.
However, cats don't know to spit, and there's no way you can teach your cat to do this after you brush its teeth. It will swallow any toothpaste residue left in its mouth and the fluoride it contains. So human toothpaste is not a safe or sensible option for your cat.
How Cat Toothpaste Works
You can buy specially formulated cat toothpastes. These don't contain fluoride but are usually enzyme based. These enzymes help keep your cat's teeth free from bacteria; they also break down quickly and safely in your cat's system.
As an added bonus, cat toothpastes come in animal-friendly flavours. They taste of meat or fish. While you may find the thought of brushing your teeth with a meaty toothpaste a bit off-putting, your cat will like these flavours.
If your cat likes the taste of its toothpaste and views it as a treat, then you will probably find it easier to brush your cat's teeth when you want to. Your cat will associate brushing with a pleasant taste that they can swallow without problems.
If you aren't sure which toothpaste to use to clean your cat's teeth, then ask your pet dentistry professional for advice. They can also talk to you about other ways to keep your cat's teeth and gums in good condition.Share
2 January 2019
My son is a bit nervous. I thought a pet would be a good solution for him but I knew that we needed to find a pet with the right temperament so that it didn't stress him out anymore. Originally I didn't know much about how to assess animal temperaments so I spent some time looking at different ways of assessing animal 'personalities' and talking to some animal experts about the most calm options for pets. This blog has some of the information that I have picked up over my search as well as pictures of our beautiful new pet cat!