Cat Health

How to Keep Cats Teeth Clean Without Brushing? A 4-week Guide to Success

How to keep cats teeth clean without brushing? This is a guide on how to train your cat to tolerate the toothbrush if your cat hates the toothbrush. Getting a cat that doesn’t want its teeth brushed can be difficult. So, how to keep cats teeth clean without brushing?

how to keep cats teeth clean without brushing? Routine, you need to slowly but steadily introduce your cat to brushing it’s teeth. If your cat never gets you brush it’s teeth, adding additives to it’s drinking water and using turkey necks will make your cats breath fresh without brushing it’s teeth.

Brushing your cat‘s teeth is non-negotiable! Cats are susceptible to Periodontitis; a gum infection that damages the gum and, over time leads to the destruction of the jawbone. Poor dental hygiene gives more room for the development of this disease and the possible build-up of plaques.

Getting our furry friend to rush their teeth is such a task if they are not up for it, or if you haven’t trained them to get their teeth brushed. In this article, we will share with you why cats don’t like you brushing their teeth, and how you can train your cat to get comfortable with the toothbrush.

Table of Contents

Why Doesn’t My Cat Let Me Brush Their Teeth?

A cat will hate to brush its teeth if he hates handling or if he is not sure of what you’re about to do, like when you’re introducing brushing of the teeth at a late age or you introduced the brush from nowhere. Below are the reasons in detail:

Sudden foreign object

This is the most common reason why cats hate to brush their teeth, introducing a foreign object they have not seen before will make them walk away or attack you if you try to force your way, their thoughts being: “why is he approaching me with that brush and paste?”

Lack of early socialization

If your cat hates the tooth brush lack of early socialization is the culprit most times. You shouldn’t start brushing a kitten’s teeth till it’s 3 weeks old, it is, however, important to start showing them the toothpaste and brush as early as possible. This will make the cat get used to his toothpaste and brush.

Introducing the toothpaste and brush to a kitten, the kitten will like to lick the paste for a start, then there are other steps you need to follow which we will discuss in further subheadings.

They hate being handled

A cat that hates being handled will not like you to hold and brush him. You need to get the cat used to you touching him as early as possible.

How Often Should You Brush Your Cats Teeth?

When I was young, I recall my dad making sure a 5-year-old me had my bath properly, and we’ll always brush our teeth in his room morning and night, together. This, however, kick-started a great habit in me. I got used to brushing willingly at that age.

I am human, and I may understand the need for doing this, but your cat doesn’t, you must brush and help your cat. brushing his teeth regularly will help prevent tartar build-up and the development of any gum and jaw destruction disease.

even if your cat hates the tooth brush you should brush your cat’s teeth every day, the minimum is 3 times a week, this will help prevent rancid breath.

How to Train Your Cat to Tolerate Teeth Brushing

The objective of this training is to be able to get into your cat’s mouth whenever you need to, this will enable you to discover issues before they develop into bigger problems. if your cat hates the tooth brush,  these training methods will help him get used to brushing

Things you need to brush your cat’s teeth

  • CET toothpaste (or any other VOHC-accepted toothpaste.)
  • Cat toothbrush CET mini finger brush, or small gauze square


  • Cats love routine, train your cat around the same time every day (first thing when you wake)
  • To get your cat ready for this new phase of life, you need to make the cat comfortable with things, getting close to its mouth, massaging his face, while trying to touch his lips and under the lip.
  • Train your cat with a treat he enjoys, or play they enjoy having with you, you can do this before or after the brushing session.
  • Call it a day, if the cat resists any step of the training session, continue the next day.
  • When you’re in the cat’s mouth, brush the front teeth of the cat and not the sides close to the tongue.
  • Your cat will likely back up if you approach him from the front with a toothbrush, approach then from the back of their head or their sides.

First week

Any one of these positions is suitable; having the cat on your lap, having the cat sitting next to you, or having the cat on your couch.

  • You want to kick off the first week by introducing toothpaste to your cat. Get little toothpaste on your finger and let your cat lick the paste off your finger.
  • Repeat this process for the seven days of the first week.

Week 2

While the cat has assumed any of the positions we mentioned in the first week:

  • Place toothpaste on your finger and let the cat lick it off.
  • Place some amount of paste on the toothbrush and let your cat lick off the paste from the toothbrush.

Week 3

You need to take the training up a notch

  • Place some toothpaste on your fingers, and allow the cat to lick it off as in week 1, and week 2.
  • Place some CET toothpaste on your cat’s brush, then allow the cat to lick it off.
  • After you’re done with the above steps, rub your fingers on the top and downside of the cat’s gum.
  • Do this step for each day in the third week.

Week 4

This is the final stage where the brushing kicks in. The other stages would have prepared your cat for this interesting stage.

  •  Like we did in other weeks, place a little amount of CET toothpaste or other pet-approved toothpaste on your finger, and let the cat lick it off.
  • Place CET toothpaste on the brush and let the cat lick it off.
  • Massage the cat’s face and rub both the topside and downside of his gum.
  • Finally! Brush the cat’s teeth (remember, only the front side of the cat’s teeth) and do this in a back-and-forth motion.

This is how I easily get my cats to start enjoying a daily brushing of teeth, which is arguably the best way to maintain great oral hygiene for your cat.

How to Keep Cats Teeth Clean Without Brushing?

Over 70% of cat owners don’t brush or avoid brushing their cat’s teeth, we all know how our feline friends could act when they don’t want something, you could end up having a messy injury, a scratch, and hissing.

Cats are rebels when it comes to mouth-cleaning sessions. So, how to keep cats teeth clean without brushing? To keep your cat’s breath fresh without a brushing session, you need to feed them meaty bones or add fresh breath additives to your cat’s water bowl.

Give him a cat-chew bone

The bones on the neck of a turkey and the tail of a duck can go a long way in cleaning up your cat’s teeth, preventing tartar and plaque build-up in the cat’s mouth.

Don’t give the cat cooked bones,  what they need is raw meaty bones that are brittle, and their fragments will clean the cat’s mouth. Cats love to chew these bones because of how it massages their gum and the meaty flavor it produces. Turkey and duck meaty bones are the best treats to clean your cat’s mouth without using a toothbrush.

Using dental care water additives and foods

Most cat food producers have kibbles produced mainly to clean up plaque-laden teeth or help the cat maintain a fresh breath. These kibbles are bigger sized,  making the cat chew more,  as it chews more, the kibbles clean up its teeth. These products also contain fresh breath agents.

When introducing this new kibble to the cat,  don’t go all in,  start small in a ratio of 30-70% then gradually move up to 100% over 10 days.

Water additives on the other hand are very effective in repelling plaques from building up in your cat’s teeth. They build a thin coat around your cat’s teeth which makes it hard for plaques to stick. They are also without flavor or color,  your cat won’t even notice you’re making any effort to keep off fishy,  and disturbing smell from his mouth.

Final Thoughts: how to keep cats teeth clean without brushing

Keeping the cat’s breath fresh is necessary for both the cat and you: the cat gets to have plaque-free teeth and healthy gum,  while you’ll enjoy your cat’s fresh breath when they closely interact with you.

If your cat hates the tooth brush, learning how to train your cat to accept brushing its teeth everyday,  using dental care foods and water additive ,  using dental toys are the best way to keep your cats teeth clean even if they hate the tooth brush.

Joshua Kaynard

I am Joshua kaynard, an avid cat lover. Our pets provide an excellent way of connecting with nature; I am committed to helping you understand all the aspects of your feline friend's life. Enjoy!

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