Brushing kittens teeth

Ravynn

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Hi guys,

Binx is finally starting to lose his bigger teeth at 6 months old and I noticed on some of his baby teeth he has plaque buildup so i'm going to start brushing them earlier (I was going to wait until after he had all of his adult teeth in). Can I just use a toothbrush without toothpaste or is toothpaste necessary? A lot of the local products i'm seeing are not enzymatic so i'm wondering what you guys use/recommend however I can't afford $20-30 toothpaste right now and those are the prices i'm seeing on Amazon.
 

Maurey

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Virbac CET should be in the 15CAD range where you are, and is one of the best kitty toothpastes. IMO, brushing without toothpaste is going to have minimal benefit due to how soft bristles have to be (I'd suggest a toothbrush intended for human infants, personally) , especially as cats generally won't tolerate brushing for overly-long.

As an alternative, you can try giving Binx raw chicken neck -- tends to be extremely cheap, as there's not much to eat on them. Just be sure to supervise and start with very small amounts, as bone can make cats unused to it constipated.
 
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Ravynn

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Virbac CET should be in the 15CAD range where you are, and is one of the best kitty toothpastes. IMO, brushing without toothpaste is going to have minimal benefit due to how soft bristles have to be (I'd suggest a toothbrush intended for human infants, personally) , especially as cats generally won't tolerate brushing for overly-long.

As an alternative, you can try giving Binx raw chicken neck -- tends to be extremely cheap, as there's not much to eat on them. Just be sure to supervise and start with very small amounts, as bone can make cats unused to it constipated.
Crazy that you mention chicken neck, I saw bags of it at the pet store for $3.99 and I wanted to try him with it but I was just nervous because I don't want him to choke on any bones. Is that common?

Thanks for mentioning the infant toothbrushes, i'll pick them up first to get him used to it and get that toothpaste.. do you recommend poultry flavor? It's still $20 but i'll just get it in another few weeks!
 

Maurey

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Crazy that you mention chicken neck, I saw bags of it at the pet store for $3.99 and I wanted to try him with it but I was just nervous because I don't want him to choke on any bones. Is that common?
I can't speak for others, but my girl's been on raw food with chicken neck (separated into sections of 2-3 vertabrae) in since she was weaned. She's never had issues with that, or entire chicken necks. I'd definitely start out by giving neck to him while he's very closely supervised, and probably start with smaller segments of a few vertebrae in length. Would be best to give small sections till he gets more used to bone in his diet, as well :> Just make sure you don't give him anything that's small enough that he'd consider swallowing it whole without breaking down the bone. Essentially what you expect to see is him spending a bit of time crushing the bone through the muscle meat using his back teeth before swallowing it, since cats don't really chew, per se.

Chicken necks keep really well in the freezer. I buy a kilo of chicken necks for pretty much pennies every so often, divide them up into freezer bags (about 3 a bag, but Jum can safely eat a neck a day on top of what's in her raw, so YMMV), and defrost as needed.

Thanks for mentioning the infant toothbrushes, i'll pick them up first to get him used to it and get that toothpaste.. do you recommend poultry flavor? It's still $20 but i'll just get it in another few weeks!
No problem! There are pet toothbrushes, and those silicone ones that go on your finger, but infant brushes tend to be cheaper and better made, at least where I am! Was never able to get much done with a silicone finger brush either, personally.

Honestly, flavour depends on the cat, and what they tend to like in terms of treat or even food. I go for Beaphar Liver toothpaste, as I have to import CET where I live, so it costs a good chunk more than Beaphar.

Jum is used to brushing, and takes it well, so what i tend to do is put an appropriate amount on the back of my hand, pick some up with the toothbrush as needed, and Jum licks up the small amount remaining as a treat, as she really likes the flavour. Might slightly help with cleaning the inside of her mouth, as well, as she doesn't always have the patience to let me brush inside her mouth, though we're both getting better at it haha.
 
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Ravynn

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I can't speak for others, but my girl's been on raw food with chicken neck (separated into sections of 2-3 vertabrae) in since she was weaned. She's never had issues with that, or entire chicken necks. I'd definitely start out by giving neck to him while he's very closely supervised, and probably start with smaller segments of a few vertebrae in length. Would be best to give small sections till he gets more used to bone in his diet, as well :> Just make sure you don't give him anything that's small enough that he'd consider swallowing it whole without breaking down the bone. Essentially what you expect to see is him spending a bit of time crushing the bone through the muscle meat using his back teeth before swallowing it, since cats don't really chew, per se.

Chicken necks keep really well in the freezer. I buy a kilo of chicken necks for pretty much pennies every so often, divide them up into freezer bags (about 3 a bag, but Jum can safely eat a neck a day on top of what's in her raw, so YMMV), and defrost as needed.


No problem! There are pet toothbrushes, and those silicone ones that go on your finger, but infant brushes tend to be cheaper and better made, at least where I am! Was never able to get much done with a silicone finger brush either, personally.

Honestly, flavour depends on the cat, and what they tend to like in terms of treat or even food. I go for Beaphar Liver toothpaste, as I have to import CET where I live, so it costs a good chunk more than Beaphar.

Jum is used to brushing, and takes it well, so what i tend to do is put an appropriate amount on the back of my hand, pick some up with the toothbrush as needed, and Jum licks up the small amount remaining as a treat, as she really likes the flavour. Might slightly help with cleaning the inside of her mouth, as well, as she doesn't always have the patience to let me brush inside her mouth, though we're both getting better at it haha.
Thanks for the heads up on the chicken neck - i've always wondered how much to give/what he would actually do with it. :lol: Binx lets me do whatever I want to his mouth when he's lazy/sleeping, hence why I was able to see he had plaque on a premolar. Lol! Hopefully the brushing goes just as well!!
 

Jolly Treacle

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My Tabby had extremely weak teeth due to gingivitis and I had to get her teeth scaled recently. She is much better now.
 

lavishsqualor

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My vet is REALLY big on brushing teeth. That being, I've brushed my cats' teeth daily from the time they were kittens. I agree with Maurey about the Vibrac. Using it with a child's toothbrush is ideal because of the enzymatic effects. My cats don't relish having their teeth brushed but they are much healthier because of it. Plus, I love the "Oooos" and "Ahhhs" I get when my vet sees what good shape their teeth are in, so brushing is a win-win as far as I'm concerned.
 

Juniper_Junebug

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One thing to note re: toothpaste is that you don't need a lot and so a tube lasts a long time (especially if, like me, you're not brushing every single day). So if you can afford the initial outlay, it's not like you'd need to replenish anytime soon (at least that's my experience).
 

lavishsqualor

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I've used Petrodex before and found it to be perfectly acceptable. It's cheaper too and you get a toothbrush! My vet has told me for years that brushing your cat's teeth is on the same level as diet when it comes to preventative healthcare. Shelling out a few bucks a few times a year for toothpaste is a lot better than shelling out thousands in vet bills.

SENTRY Petrodex Veterinary Strength Malt Toothpaste Dental Care Kit for Cats - Chewy.com
 

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Ravynn

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Thanks for all the replies! He lost his top canines the other day so i'm going to get the toothbrush/paste a little sooner.

Any pet toothpaste will work. You don't need much, just a little pea sized amount. And yes, the manual action of the toothbrush without any toothpaste at all will help some and is better than not brushing at all.

Amazon Canada has this CET poultry flavored toothpaste for under $25: Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste, Poultry Flavor, 2.5 oz: Amazon.ca: Pet Supplies
That's the one I found! I'll be getting this toothpaste and infant toothbrushes soon :)
 

meowpassion

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I agree with previous posters, you won't need much toothpaste, and it will long last. More than that, treating any dental-related issues will cost you more money and your time. You can also try dental treats, e.g. Feline Greenies Dental treats and then discuss your kitty's dental health with your vet.
 
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