Vet Tutorial | How to Brush a Cat’s Teeth

I’m Dr. Clayton Greenway with and what we’re going to show you today is how to brush your cat’s teeth. I really encourage you to watch our other videos about dental care and about how to introduce toothbrushing to a pet. So you’re going to want to start off very slowly. The first thing is is you really just want your cat to get used to you feeling around its mouth. Always keep in mind that you want to be as safe as possible. Even though your cat is friendly to you in most circumstances when you start doing this it could stress them out and you don’t want to get bitten. If there’s fear of that then I don’t want you to incorporate this into your routine with your pet. So first we just want to massage the lips a little bit. When you do this, you’ll figure out how your cat reacts. The way I’m holding Kiwi is very important. When you come at them face-first it tends to scare them so I actually come over top of the head and as she just did there she’s trying to backup. So if I stand behind her then she’s only backing up into me and I have a little better control over. First you want to start just by placing some toothpaste on your finger and putting it in front of her just to see if she has an interest in the taste of the toothpaste and whether she’ll lick it or eat it and you can try this many times before you actually advance to the next stage. Next you’ll want to actually try rubbing her teeth with your finger. Now It’s important to know that the Tartar accumulates on the outside of the teeth so you have to take your pet and try to open its mouth. When you do that they do get quite frustrated so what we’re going to do is we’re just gonna rub the outside of the teeth by keeping the mouth closed. So if we actually hold her head like this we can hold her lower jaw and the top of her head we have a pretty good control over her and also her mouth is properly positioned for this for me to slip my finger past her lips and just rub along the side of her teeth like this. So this is the first time I’m trying this with Kiwi and you can see she’s already fairly accepting of it. Once you’ve spent many days doing that and getting to the point that your cat is accepting of that you can then move onto a tooth brush. You can put the toothpaste on the toothbrush and you can do the same motion. This is the first time again that I’m doing this with Kiwi and she’s already accepting of it but the more you do it and the slower you go she’ll accept it better and you’ll get better at it. I recommend that clients brush their pet’s teeth every day and I know that we all have busy schedules so what’s most important to me is that I make it easy because I know if it’s difficult, clients won’t be consistent with it. So make it as easy as possible and then you’ll do it more consistently. If you can’t brush your pet’s teeth as much as four or five times a week really the value of it goes way down. If you’re going to a groomer once a month and they’re actually brushing the teeth I don’t see a lot of value to that. We have to think of it in terms of our teeth. We brush our teeth everyday, two or three times a day and it’s no different for pets. We want to try to do the same thing but doing it once a day is going to be fantastic and it’s really going to improve their dental healthcare overtime and limit your need for dental cleanings or getting into tooth decay and expensive tooth extractions. So try to put it into your routine on a daily basis, try to get them to accept it by going very very slowly and rewarding them with lots of love and treats all the way along. If you’re able to do this you’re going to be providing fantastic care for your pet and cutting down on your veterinary bills so good luck and you can read more and watch our videos here at

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52 Responses

  1. La to the Bay says:

    My cats breath smells like death 💀

  2. gemme mclaughlin says:

    why do some cats need their teeth brushed because of bad breath and others don't

  3. Oana Checiu says:

    My cat is 5 years old and today I found out she had a nasty plaque built up and now she will lose 3 teeth :(. So yeah, indoor cats need brushing. And also don't give wet food daily as I did, but once a week. This was my biggest mistake and now she has to pay for it ;(

  4. The Intuitive Body Foodie Network says:

    Just noticed my cat's gums are very red. In spite of paying close attention to their diet and keeping them uber healthy in other ways, sadly I've not thought to practice daily gum & tooth care. Have just placed an order for toothbrush & toothpaste for cats, which arrives tomorrow. Will start the finger application for several days before attempting the toothbrush. Thank you for this video. I now have the confidence to start her treatments asap.

  5. derrick barber says:

    Shid idk about all that lol

  6. Quackimaduck Quack says:

    Tooth paste is poisoness to cats and dogs. Xylotol is VERY VERY TOXIC to animals, you didn't even specify the type of tooth paste. DO NOT BRUSH YOUR PETS TEETH WITH TOOTHPASTE. USE a rag with luke warm water and just rub it. It will get the tarter off of your pets teeth.

  7. Holly Taylor says:

    I love that look on the cats face. It was def plotting revenge. 😛

  8. Holly Taylor says:

    I laughed and laughed and laughed. My cat laughed and laughed with me. I enjoy having ten fingers and two hands, he enjoys me not putting my hands in his mouth. I tried giving him his meds once. ONCE. The next seven days the vet did it. 😉

  9. atheer aljaber says:

    Okay if I brushed his teeth with a cat toothpaste do I leave it and the cat just eat it or should i wet my finger and try to clean the toothpaste with water? Plzz anyone help 😟💔

  10. Ritean Dan says:

    I have a Maine Coon kitten (18-weeks old), and he did just “ok” with his teeth brushing. He’s teething, so his gums are very swollen and look sore (he can be very bitey!), which is why we got appropriate toys. What’s your opinion on Tempatations Dental Oral Care treats (and the furr ball control treats – since it’s a Maine Coon!). Anyway, I try to massage his gums when I can. Sometimes he’s okay with it, sometimes he’s not in the mood. Do you think 18-weeks is too old to start? Maine Coons can only go to their Forever Home after 12-weeks old as you know). How often should I brush his teeth? I used a human toothbrush (Extra Sensitive), applying very little pressure (if any at all! Not many teeth to speak of just yet!). How do I get to and brush the inside the top and inside the bottom teeth? Btw, I’m NOT using toothpaste! What type and brand should I use? I’ve never seen any at the Per Store.

  11. Zaeen Camil says:

    my cat's mouth smells like damned tuna

  12. akimbo5u says:

    Question; how effective are dental snacks? can they replace brushing? should I brush my cat's teeth and use snacks once a day? maybe alternate? I am curious if there is a benefit of combining them or just using one or the other and thats it, thanks for the video ! :))

  13. joylynntm says:

    Thank you for this video!! I just successfully rubbed cat toothpaste and begin to brush my 16 year old cats for the first time on the first try!! Didn't get to brush his molars very much but I rubbed them with the toothpaste super well!! Thank you Dr. Greenway!

  14. Sarah Marciano says:

    My cat’s already 2 human yrs old and i haven’t ever brushed his teeth before… is that bad?

  15. Fatima zafar says:

    My cat is like an angry bird .

  16. nscappa says:

    This is an excellent tutorial. I try to brush my cat Lola's teeth (I use only special cat toothpaste) but I should have started slower just like Dr. Greenway suggested. I understand that the position matters as far as his being behind the cat and gently getting the cat to get accustomed to you rubbing gently and gradually getting to the brush. This cat is unbelievable in that he/she lets him use the brush the same day. I got a lot out of this and I hope others will too. Good luck to all you loving cat owners!

  17. ArvinHervePabis Channel says:

    Thank for tutorial vidoes. Keep doing your best

  18. Roseanna Leigh says:

    What should I do if he really just will not let me brush his teeth? He's 5 now and unfortunately we didn't realise how important dental care for cats was until he unfortunately got orofacial pain syndrome and needed some teeth taken out. We had him when I was 16 so back then I also just didn't really know the importance. Due to him being 5 its even more difficult to brush his teeth. If I'm lucky I can get his 2 fangs but I can't get anywhere near all the rest such as his back teeth and rest of his top and bottom row. I'm really at a loss at what to do now and I'm scared he'll get more dental issues 🙁

  19. lol -.- says:


  20. XenoXvi says:

    Where can I get cat toothpaste…can I buy random brand online?

  21. سلطنة الفلبين طنة الفلبين says:

    Thanks for this Tutorial on how to brush our Baby's teeth 😘

  22. Captain Kirk says:

    Great video. I just started and am getting my cat used to it. She is 2, and she doesn't eat wet food anymore. Her sister lives with her, and seems to have strong teeth and eat wet food. I should have started this years ago when she had an ear infection, and the vet told me she was getting tarter. She has the "sweeter" personality (the one with bad teeth) of the two. The other one is nice, but I would lose a finger tip.

  23. Irvin Rivera says:

    How did i ended up watching this video

  24. Gabrielle says:

    Damn that cats teeth dirty asf lol

  25. kiM NAMjOon iS hoT! says:

    Is there toothpaste that taste like meat? So my cat will be attracted to it??

  26. Miss K. says:

    I'm researching for an ENZYMATIC toothpaste, mostly finding, "Nutri-Vet Enzymatic Toothpaste", but only for dogs. Whats the enzymatic for our FELINES? And is there any homemade/home remedy/diy recipe that is safe? All the dental treats are fish flavored, we get enuff of that smell when pussycat yawns in our face, eh? Then again, is mint safe? (Bonus: found a little BrushBuddy Baby-Care finger toothbrush at $store, purr-fect for my kitten)

  27. Squanchy FapFap says:

    Good now I want to eat that cat!

  28. oldgiapetto says:

    My cat, a strong male, said that if i EVER do that again, just the fingertip on the lips, he'll put me in the hospital. But, seriously, we had another cat with bad breath. Took him to the vet, who cleaned his teeth, pulled his canines and complications killed our pet in two weeks. It was bloody hell….

  29. Reem H says:

    What kind of toothpaste?

  30. Mr. Mopar says:

    My cat would shave me into ribbons if I tried this.

  31. Randy Oden says:

    should you start as kittens

  32. bella2019 says:

    Give me a break – just kneel down with cat in between your legs and brush teeth and talk nicely and they will be fine – they will get used to it

  33. bella2019 says:

    Up and down not sideways

  34. kram nancy says:

    If your cat has bad breath your cats teeth are rotten and have decay and the needs to go to a vet and have the decayed teeth removed, you can open his mouth and take a look at his back teeth if they are yellow / brown they to have there teeth cleaned and some teeth may need to come out

  35. A J says:

    Just tried this and my cat did resist, however, I did manage to get a few teeth. Overtime she'll probably let me get the back teeth!

  36. KNDR says:

    This is bullshit, Kiwi was drugged.

  37. benjovi55 says:

    My cat would just look slightly annoyed and then, "chomp-scratch!"

  38. Sister T e a says:

    Can I use water?

  39. Kitty Kalavera says:

    I never knew i was supposed to do this i feel like a terrible owner but ill make it right by starting

  40. Cherry Belle Casino says:

    Now I wanna have a cat

  41. Jessica da brat says:

    Can I just use water? 😭😂

  42. Anthony Mak says:

    4:23 cutting down on veterinary bills? One of our cats lived to 21 and the most expensive bill we had was when he had to be put down…he was an outdoor cat who ate a mixture of wet and dry foods.

  43. Ryan Bentz says:

    Instructions Unclear; The toothpaste ate my cat😭

  44. Nancy Bryson says:

    Thank you for the great video.

  45. D o k t o n g says:

    So you just let your cat swallow the toothpaste after applying it?

  46. Hanoo a says:

    always vets show us how to do with our cats but there is a huge problem . THAT CAT IS TRAINED AND CALM . please show us real first time on a kitten who even wouldn't seat only a second.

  47. Jeffrey Glebe says:

    Does anybody suggest dental treats to supplement tooth brushing? Or are dental treats just a waste of money and they don't really do anything to help with dental care?

  48. Blessed Beyond measures says:

    My cats teeth is clean he is a year old ,I haven’t brushed his teeth before

  49. Ricardo Valencia says:

    My cats breath smells like Pussy. And I’m gay. So eww.

  50. Janae P says:

    Kiwi is planning his demise

  51. La Lorraine says:

    My cats WILL NOT ALLOW this, under any circumstances. They hate me when I try it and run away and avoid me. I have just about given up. Am looking for mouse-flavoured toothpaste…

  52. Seth Kinstle says:


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