Items you will need
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon water
Spoon or spatula
Small mixing bowl
Sprinkle of stevia sweetener (optional)
Seventy percent of American pet cats suffer from dental diseases which can lead to pain, infection, tooth loss and heart disease, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society. One way to prevent this is to regularly brush the cat’s teeth. Ideally, this should be done every day, but cats need to be trained to get used to the procedure. This can take days, weeks or months, depending on the individual cat’s character. Cats will accept tooth brushing if they like the toothpaste. Making your own can save money and your cat’s health.
Add 1 tsp. of baking soda to small mixing bowl.
Add 1/2 tsp. water slowly, stirring all the while. Add a sprinkle of stevia sweetener while stirring if desired. Stevia is a sweetener used in commercial pet toothpastes. Some cats are fond of sweet items and may take to homemade toothpaste more readily if it is sweet. However, cat toothpaste does not need stevia in order to help clean feline teeth.
Stop stirring when it has the consistency of white paste. Apply as soon as possible to the cat’s teeth with a clean cotton swab, gauze pad or a commercially made cat toothbrush. Throw out any leftover toothpaste as it will harden. Mix a fresh batch every time. If there is a lot of leftover toothpaste, try using only 1/2 tsp. baking soda and 1/4 tsp. water.
Kittens take to getting their teeth brushed much more readily than older cats set in their ways, according to “ASPCA Complete Guide to Cats.” Keep any toothbrush training sessions to only a couple of minutes long so as not to upset the kitten or cat. It is possible that no matter what is added to the homemade toothpaste, the cat will violently refuse to have its teeth brushed. Other ways to help preserve healthy cat teeth is to offer dry cat food and tartar-cleaning cat treats. Cats should have their teeth checked by a veterinarian once a year. Any professional cleaning or tooth removal needs to be done under anesthetic.
Never use toothpaste made for humans because it will make the cat vomit and may be toxic. Never force a cat to get its teeth brushed or the cat will defend itself through scratching and biting, warns “ASPCA Complete Guide to Cats.”
- American Animal Hospital Association: AAHA Dental Care Guidelines
- Pet Education: Brushing Your Cat's Teeth & Home Dental Care
- Vet Info: Natural Cat Toothpaste
- “ASPCA Complete Guide to Cats”; James R.Richards DVM; 1999
- teeth and tongue detail of a domestic cat image by Steve Mann from Fotolia.com