The best cat toothbrush is the one that your cat will allow you to use. These small toothbrushes come in a variety of styles and shapes. They can be similar to a human toothbrush with bristles on a handle that can be straight or angled. Brushes also come in a fingertip style that allows the owner to gently brush with a finger. The style of the cat toothbrush will be determined by the size of the cat's mouth and the cat's willingness to participate.
Brushing a cat's teeth is an important part of maintaining its overall health. Plaque can build up on a cat's teeth, which may lead to gum disease or gingivitis. If ignored, severe gingivitis can lead to kidney disease and other health issues.
Many cats are unwilling to allow anyone to brush their teeth. It is recommended that a brushing routine be established while the cat is still a kitten, because adult cats may be much more resistant to the process of brushing. To get the cat used to the idea of brushing, the owner should sit with the cat and begin gently massaging the cat's mouth area over several days. The owner can then move on to brushing with the cat toothbrush.
One style of cat toothbrush has a long angled handle and a small section of bristles. This type of brush is small enough that the cat may tolerate it. The owner would need to gently pry one side of the cat's mouth open to brush the teeth from side to side. Then the owner would then switch sides and brush the teeth on the opposite side.
Another style of cat toothbrush has a short handle and a small section of bristles. Having a long handle or a short handle may be determined by how easily the brush is maneuvered by the owner. Brushes with handles are easiest to use on a cat that is resistant or has a small mouth. Toothpaste in meat and fish flavors may make the cat more interested in brushing.
The fingertip cat toothbrush looks like a large rubber thimble that fits over the owner's finger. This toothbrush has small bristles molded into it. It may give the owner more control over which areas are brushed and the force used in brushing. Many cats cannot tolerate having something the size of a finger inserted into the mouth, however. Brushing should become a daily routine and it may require trying a variety of brushes to determine which one will work best.