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What’s the best cat toothbrush?
It’s encouraging to see the number of cat toothbrushes on the market – it’s evidence that people are taking the time out of their day to clean their cats’ teeth. Remember that just a few decades ago, people were more inclined to feed their cat dry kibble than brush their teeth. Thank Bastet those days are over.
And yes, it can be a little bit overwhelming to look at the different toothbrush options out there.
Remember that choosing the best cat toothbrush doesn’t have to be any more complicated than selecting a brush for yourself. Choose one that’s comfortable for your cat, easy to hold, and which is gentle on your kitty’s teeth and gums.
Above all else, it’s important that you get started as soon as possible. Brushing your cat’s teeth regularly is the best thing you can do to ensure their long-term dental health. The sooner you start, the better.
If you don’t have a good cat toothbrush yet, get started by wrapping a piece of gauze around your finger or even using a q-tip. If you don’t have a toothbrush, but do have an enzymatic cat toothpaste, you can gently rub it on your cat’s teeth.
And as always, raw meaty bones are a delicious treat and gently your cat’s teeth naturally.
Types of Cat Toothbrushes
Cat Finger Toothbrush
This is a type of toothbrush that slips over your finger. In essence, this cat toothbrush gives your fingers bristles, allowing you to use your own hand to clean your cat’s teeth. If your cat is accustomed to your hands inside or near their mouth, they’ll likely adapt to this type of toothbrush. Compared to traditional toothbrushes, these are less likely to gag or poke your cat in uncomfortable ways.
On the negative side, finger toothbrushes have shorter bristles and aren’t as good at scraping off plaque. It’s harder to cover the entire tooth with a finger brush and you might find that you can’t get a complete cleaning with one of these. Because they’re so thick, it can be difficult to access the inside surfaces of your cat’s teeth with a finger toothbrush.
This video shows you how to use a cat finger toothbrush. Notice that the person can’t access the inside surfaces and instead scrubs only the front and sides of the cats’ teeth.
You might also notice that she had to line the toothbrush with some padding – remember that standard cat finger toothbrushes are too large for most women and anyone with small hands. Make sure to read the product description and choose a toothbrush that fits comfortably over your finger. You don’t want to worry about the brush slipping off of your finger and into your cat’s mouth. Likewise, people with large fingers should make sure that the “thimble” is big enough to slip over their index finger.
Best cat finger toothbrush: Baby Finger Toothbrush by BabyBaus
These finger toothbrushes aren’t designed for cats but are intended for brushing babies’ teeth. What makes them better than other cat finger toothbrushes is that you can get a pack of three for under $4, they come with a protective and hygienic case, and they appear to have longer bristles than most cat finger toothbrushes.
Small Cat Toothbrush
There is an abundance of small cat-specific toothbrushes on the market in 2018. They look similar to human toothbrushes, but they’re more svelte and have smaller bristle heads. The best cat toothbrushes have slightly bent handles that give you easier and more comfortable access to all surfaces of your cat’s teeth.
Best small cat toothbrush: KissAble Pet Toothbrush
This is the toothbrush that Wessie currently uses. Although it doesn’t have a curved handle, I like that it can clean all surfaces of your cat’s teeth at once – scrubbing the bottom and sides simultaneously. This allows you to clean your cat’s teeth more quickly and with much less maneuvering. It’s marketed for dogs and is slightly larger than other toothbrushes sold for cats, so if your cat has a very small mouth or is quite sensitive, opt for a smaller brush like this one.
Child or Baby Toothbrush for Cats
You might choose to use a children’s toothbrush for your cat. These have extra-soft bristles and small cleaning heads, making them a gentle choice for your cat’s little mouth. What’s not so great about these toothbrushes is that they have straight handles. Straight handles can be difficult to maneuver. Brushes designed specifically for cats have angled handles that make it easier to access all surfaces of your cat’s teeth.
Best child toothbrush for cats: Brilliant Baby Toothbrush by Baby Buddy
This toothbrush has a 365-degree super-fine bristle head, which is perfect for people who find it difficult to maneuver a brush in their cat’s mouth. It allows you to brush with your hand and wrist in any comfortable position – eliminating the need to twist your wrist and struggle to get the right position.
I found three reviews on Amazon talking about using this as a cat toothbrush. Connie said that “I actually purchased this to brush my cat’s teeth. Works better than any pet toothbrush out on the market.” Amazon reviewer Jennifer had a different experience – “Got this for my cat and really thought it would work. It’s too wide for me to get towards the back of his mouth which is where he needs brushing.”
Gauze as a Cat Toothbrush
Some people suggest wrapping gauze around your finger as an alternative to a finger toothbrush. It’s a good start and can help to clean your cat’s teeth and massage their gums, but it’s not as good as a real toothbrush. Also, it’s nice to have a special tool designated for brushing your cat’s teeth. It can be hard to stay motivated about brushing your cat’s teeth and having a specially-made kit of supplies can improve morale.
Best cat toothbrush and toothpaste kit: Virbac C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Kit
The angle of the standard brush gives you easy and comfortable access to your cat’s teeth and has two size options. You’ll probably prefer to use the smaller end, but the large side can cover more space in less time. Try both and see how you feel. The finger toothbrush is perfect for those who prefer that hands-on experience.
It’s good to have options, and this handy kit gives you several.
What’s the best type of cat toothbrush?
Overall, I’ve seen the best success with small toothbrushes designed specifically for cats or small dogs. I’m a particular fan of the split design that allows you to access all tooth surfaces at once.
Once you have the best cat toothbrush, it’s time to start cleaning your cat’s teeth.
Even the best cat toothbrush is powerless if you don’t take the time to use it. Here’s a video demonstrating how to brush your cat’s teeth.
Regularity and consistency are the most important parts of your feline dental care regimen.
The best way to ensure that you’ll brush your cat’s teeth on a regular basis is by training yourself. Make doing the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult.
Dr. Greenway makes an important point near the end of the video. He says that it’s important to make brushing your cat’s teeth as easy as possible. If it’s not easy, you won’t do it.
Ways to Train Yourself to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth
- Don’t make your cat hate having their teeth brushed. Gently and gradually allow them to become accustomed to having their teeth brushed. Don’t try to go beyond their comfort zone. Once your cat is comfortable with having their mouth touched, brush for a few seconds and stop. You don’t want to create a situation in which your cat is angry, you’re frustrated, and you and your cat both don’t want to do it ever again.
- If you never get around to brushing your cat’s teeth in the evening, try doing it in the morning before breakfast. If you never get around to doing it in the morning, try doing it in the evening.
- Brushing your cat’s teeth doesn’t take a lot of time. Remind yourself that it will be over in 30 seconds and that it’s the least you can do for your cat’s health.
- Remember that poor dental hygiene leads to more than “just” bad breath. It could lead to costly and painful tooth extractions later in life and, eventually, organ failure and heart muscle disease.
- Reward yourself for your good work! You’ve just given your cat an incredible gift – the gift of health. You’re one of the very few people who actually take care of their cats’ teeth. Put a sticker on the calendar, eat a piece of dark chocolate, or give yourself a hug. You can even do all three if you like – you deserve it!
You’ll want to pair your cat toothbrush with the right toothpaste – click here for our guide to the best cat toothpaste.