My vet recommended getting a kitty toothbrush, but when I went to the kitty specific pet store to get one, they said to give them freeze dried turkey neck. The idea is it's more natural, less invasive, and the cat will salivate and the chewing will clean their teeth.

One of my cats will eat the turkey neck, but the other will not. I am able to brush their teeth using my finger to get them used to the feel (as recommended by vet). I'm torn between the two suggestions, as both seem reasonable. Suggestions?

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    i am not sure if you realy need to brush a cats teeth,over the 51 years i have had cats i have never brushed their teeth.my vet have cleaned the teeths of my cat from time to time and never found any problems.i have no problems in understanding the trouble a cat can get from tooth problems but for my cats this have not been a problem. Feb 6 '19 at 15:32
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    @trondhansen I disagree, most cat will have dental disease during their life and prevention is very important. Feline dental disease
    – user14107
    Feb 6 '19 at 17:10
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    We've had one cat that needed it's teeth brushed. Chicken flavored toothpaste worked reasonably well. First, we let him get used to the taste, later we started on the front teeth, and still later the ones in the back.
    – Berend
    Feb 7 '19 at 20:31
  • thanks for the suggestions. much appreciated. I'll try them out. @trondHansen my vet also cleaned their teeth once, using her fingernail, which was effective.
    – CodingCat
    Feb 7 '19 at 23:35

Turkey neck isn't the only non-brushing method - there are various dental care treats available so you could see if another is more to the second cat's liking.

To be honest I'm not really convinced on the use of toothbrushes - cat's mouths are small, have lots of delicate soft tissue and they aren't the most reliable creatures at staying still. Unless you have a particularly compliant cat there's going to be a non-trivial risk of hurting them.

If they are cooperative with the finger-brushing you could try using one of the microfibre brushes that you fit to your finger (it's like a sheath) and brush them that way - this way you significantly reduce the chances of hurting them - although your finger is of course in the line of fire so to speak (cats' teeth are sharp!)


It's not surprising that your second cat refuse to eat turkey neck are the turkey bones are far too big for a cat. A good sized bones would be for example chicken neck. Moreover dried and cooked bones are not recommended as they easily splinter. Raw chicken neck would be better for teeth cleaning.

It's also possible to "brush" your cat teeth with an adapted cat toothbrush. My tips is too find a cat toothpaste that taste very good to them and let them bite the brush with the toothpaste. This way the cat will be happy to have a treat and it will clean its teeth.


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