Oral health is as important to humans as it is to cats. Unfortunately cats' dental care is often overlooked or ignored. About 2/3 of pet owners do not practice dental care at home for their pets. 70% of cats start showing a range of teeth and gum problems by the time they reach 3 years of age (HealthPet.com).
Gum disease can be detrimental to a cat's health. It is linked to many heart, lung, kidney health problems. When your cat's breath starts to smell like tuna or fish, it could underline an oral health problem that needs to be checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
How often should we brush cats' teeth?
It is the best if your cat's teeth can be brushed once a day. However, you can choose to brush it every other day or twice a week, but in between the days, feed your cat some oral hygene chews which fight plague and tartar buildup, to keep their gum and teeth healthy and clean.
What kind of tools do I need to brush my cat's teeth?
There are many teeth cleaning supplies available at the pet store or pet clinics. Generally what you need is a flavorful toothpaste that may taste like tuna or salmon. If brushing teeth is new to your cat, you can start with your finger. Add a dot of toothpaste to your finger tip, rub it gently on your cat's teeth and gum in a circular motion. By the time your cat is used to the flavor of the toothpaste and your finger, you can wrap your finger with a gauze to provide better cleaning results. Finally, when your cat is completely comfortable with teeth brushing, you can introduce a cat specialized toothbrush which can be found at the pet store to help you achieve optimal results.
The below video has instructions about how to properly brush a cat's teeth. It also provides some good tips that will help you make the teeth brushing experience a lot more enjoyable for you and your cat.