You Should Be Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth Daily — Here’s How

You Should Be Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth Daily — Here’s How
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Do I find the thought of someone attempting to brush their cat’s little teeth hilarious? Yes, absolutely — I’m only human after all! But that doesn’t mean your cat’s oral hygiene shouldn’t be taken seriously. It’s important that you brush your cat’s teeth, so much so that you can even buy cat toothpaste and toothbrushes specifically formulated and designed for them (more on that later).

Do you really need to brush your cat’s teeth?

As responsible parents to our pets, we should be brushing their teeth regularly. According to experts, brushing your cat’s teeth with toothpaste specifically designed for cats helps prevent things like plaque build-up and dental disease. Just like humans!

How often should you brush your cat’s teeth?

You should be brushing your cat’s teeth daily for optimum dental health. Experts recommend introducing them to this process when they’re a kitten so that they become used to you touching their teeth and mouth because as they get older, it may become more difficult to familiarise them with the process. That said, if you already have a mature aged cat, you can still get them used to the process over time, you just really have to pick your moment — aka when they’re in a good mood, not a scratchy one.

How to brush your cat’s teeth

1. Use a pet toothbrush

First things first, you have to arm yourself with the right toothbrush. Cats have tiny mouths and teeth, so you’ll need to purchase a toothbrush that’s been designed explicitly with your feline friend in mind. A quick search on Amazon, and I found a few affordable options and finger pads that are said to give you more flexibility and control while brushing your cat’s teeth. However, to me, that just sounds like you’re asking to get your finger bitten, so choose that option at your own risk.

2. Buy pet toothpaste

According to Pet Barn, “human toothpaste contains chemicals that are harmful to pets so make sure to use a toothpaste designed for cats and dogs”. These come in pet-friendly flavours such as chicken and beef (no mint) to encourage your pets to keep their mouths open for you while you brush, and they can also be safely swallowed. You can shop cat toothbrushes and cat toothpaste at the bottom of this article.

3. Slowly start introducing the process. 

Before you even begin putting a toothbrush near your cat’s mouth, get them used to you handling their mouth, teeth and gums without them trying to bite to attack you. Once they seem comfortable with your holding their mouth open and touching their teeth, you can introduce the toothbrush. Introduce it by letting them interact with it, sniff it, bite it, pop a little toothpaste on it and let them taste it. This helps to familiarise them with both the toothbrush and toothpaste, just try to avoid making too much of a game out of it or you’ll make the whole process a little harder for yourself down the track.

4. The actual brushing 

When you feel like your cat might be comfortable and ready for your to brush their teeth, brush in gentle, circular motions along  both the teeth and gums. Don’t be too disheartened if you can’t get your cat to sit still long enough for you to brush all its teeth – it’ll take some time for them to get used to it. Just let them go do their thing and see if you can circle back to it later when they’re settled and seem like they’re in a better mood.  You don’t want to force it and make it a traumatic experience for both of you.

6. Positive reinforcement 

Whenever you do manage to make progress, reward your cat’s good behaviour with positive reinforcement, give them treats, toys to play with and pats—anything to show your cat that this can be a positive experience.

Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best cat toothpaste and toothbrushes you can buy online.

Shop the best cat toothbrushes

Mind Up Toothbrush for Cats, $20.35

cat toothbrush

This Mind Up toothbrush was explicitly developed for cats. Designed with a brush head that will fit in a cats mouth, it’s an easy and gentle way to clean your cat’s teeth. The brush body inclines to around 15 degrees so that you can safely maneuver the brush head around the cat’s mouth for a deep clean.

You can buy the Mind Up Toothbrush for Cats ($20.35) from Amazon here.

Emours 360-Degree Pet Toothbrush, $12.99

cat toothbrush

This particular cat toothbrush comes with a 360-degree soft bristles brush design so that you can brush your cat’s teeth from any angle. This means that even if your cat hates having its teeth brushed, you’re still likely to partially clean its teeth even if they’re moving around a little or chewing on the brush head.

You can buy the Emours 360-Degree Pet Toothbrush ($12.99) from Amazon here.

Beaphar Double Ended Toothbrush, $7.04

cat toothbrushes

If you’re looking to start brushing your cat’s teeth while they’re a kitten, this toothbrush actually comes with two different sized brush heads, so you can use the smaller one while they’re young and progress to the bigger one as they grow.

You can buy the Beaphar Double Ended Toothbrush ($7.04) from Amazon here.

Shop the best cat toothpaste

Intelligent Enzymatic Teeth Whitening Toothpaste for Dogs and Cats, 24.50

cat toothpaste

According to the brand, all ingredients are dog and cat-friendly and are great for helping to reduce plaque, control tartar and fight bad breath.

You can buy the Intelligent Enzymatic Teeth Whitening Toothpaste for Dogs and Cats (24.50) from Amazon here.

Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Ultra Clean Dental Kit for Cats, $24.12

Nylabone toothpaste is specially formulated for cats to help aid in tartar control. The kit comes with a dual-action toothbrush that has rubber gum massagers to clean the gums and help prevent periodontal disease. The toothbrush also features an angled neck for better reach and high-quality nylon bristles to clean in-between teeth.

You can buy the Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Ultra Clean Dental Kit for Cats ($24.12) from Amazon here.

TropiClean Fresh Breath Cat Clean Teeth Gel, $19.95

If your cat hates having its teeth brushed, this teeth cleaning gel might be the perfect solution. It’s formulated with a blend of powerful, natural ingredients that work to remove and defend against plaque and tartar, while also providing fresh breath. It’s also much easier to use than actually brushing your cat’s teeth. Simply apply two drops of gel directly onto your cat’s teeth and gums on each side, and voila, you’re done.

You can buy the TropiClean Fresh Breath Cat Clean Teeth Gel ($19.95) from Amazon here.


  • How do cats in the wild do this? I’ve owned 3 cats in my life. One is here with me, now. I’ve never brushed their teeth. They previous two died of old age. The current one is going fine with no dental issues. Saying we have to brush cats’ teeth is medicalising a problem that doesn’t exist. Next we’ll have special toilet paper for cats because someone has decided there are good reasons to wipe their backsides – and the paper will come in a cat grade and a dog size for dogs. What about cat eye drops? Throat lozenges for barking dogs? Whisker shampoo? Tail protectors? Nose moisturiser?

    Who are the “experts” who say we should do this? What are their affiliations? Where can I find the research that shows this is a good idea?

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