What Your Cat’s Toothbrushing Regimen Says About You


Many of us know that proper dental hygiene is essential to the well-being of our pets, and we take our responsibility seriously, embracing a thoughtful care and preventative dental program, the cornerstone of which is a spirited, vigorous brushing of our cats’ teeth, top to bottom, front to back — daily.

Er, maybe not daily. Maybe not … ever? Maybe in our minds! How often do you brush your cat’s teeth, anyway?

Never, but you once read an article about it

Good for you! Reading is an important thing to do. So is brushing your cat’s teeth. Did you not pick up on that in the article? How is your reading comprehension? And you read that article, what, five years ago while you were killing time at the vet? Have you even been back to the vet? Do you still have your cat? Do you not have the cat anymore because of some thoughtless and irresponsible thing you did, like letting the cat roam the wild hillside behind your house because you felt she was cooped up indoors? Maybe if you brushed your cat’s teeth you would still have a cat.

Never, but you once bought a toothbrush

Congratulations! Buying the brush is a necessary link in the brushing-your-cat’s-teeth chain, just above reading an article about brushing your cat’s teeth but FATHOMS BELOW actually brushing your cat’s teeth. Stop moving the thing from drawer to drawer and room to room for the rest of your life, like it’s a broken Swatch or commemorative bottle opener or something, and start using it.

Once (really?)

But she’s just a kitten, right? And you did it just last week, correct? And you’re planning on doing it at the same time this week, is that so? What’s that? It was eight years ago? You brushed your cat’s teeth one time eight years ago? Let me get you a cookie and put you to bed.

Every year or so — it’s hard to remember

Er, good for you? Let me see if I have the mechanics down: Every year, out of the blue, you grab hold of your cat and thrust a brush into her mouth and across her teeth, her most prized possessions, while whispering “it’s for your own good” as her claws sink repeatedly and painfully into your arm. Such a regimen! Do you mark the date on your calendar? Your cat must have PERFECT TEETH.

Next year, save your cat the discomfort and just stick your arm in a beehive.

Every week

Wow. I have nothing to say. You seem to be perfect, but answer me this: Is your cat stuffed or otherwise not real? Points off, if so. Either way, hell of a regimen. Keep it up.

Every day

Tell me you didn’t declaw your cat! Soft Paws? Sedatives? A little whiskey in the water bowl? WHAT ARE YOU? Brushing your cat’s teeth every day would take some kind of deal with the devil — or rather some sort of sustained, determined training process, carefully nurtured over a period of weeks with appropriate rewards and motivators by a thoughtful and patient cat owner. Either way: NOT HAPPENING AT MY HOUSE!

You’re amazing. Do you want my cat? Really! (Not really.)

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