A daily – or at least twice-weekly – cleaning at home can help your cat avoid painful dental diseases. You'll need sterile gauze strips or a soft rubber cat toothbrush, as well as toothpaste created especially for cats. Dip the toothbrush or a strip of gauze wrapped around your index finger into the cat’s toothpaste. Gently rub your finger or toothbrush in a circular motion on a tooth. Start with one or two teeth for the first session and increase the number of teeth cleaned per session as your cat gets used to the routine.
Dry, crunchy foods can also be helpful in keeping teeth clean. As the cat chews, particles from the dry food scrape against the teeth, acting like a toothbrush to help remove plaque.
If your cat refuses to allow you to clean his teeth, it’s okay to leave it to the professionals. Talk over a specific cleaning schedule with your veterinarian —and expect to at least take your cat in for an annual cleaning.