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Brush Your Cat's Teeth in 5 "Easy" Steps

Brushing your cat's teeth should not be a chore for you or your cat. Instead, it should be an enjoyable time for both of you. If you take things slowly at the beginning and give lots of praise, you and your cat will start looking forward to your brushing sessions.

Number one, this should be fun for you and your cat. Be upbeat and take things slowly. Do not overly restrain your cat. Keep sessions short and positive. Be sure to praise your cat throughout the process. Give yourself a pat on the back, too! You are doing a great thing for your cat!
First, have your cat get used to you putting things in her mouth. Dip your finger in tuna water, chicken broth, or other liquid your cat may like. Call your cat with a voice that means "treat" and let your cat lick the liquid off your finger. Then rub your soaked finger gently over your cat's gums and teeth. After a few sessions, your cat should actually look forward to this and you can move on.

Now, place a gauze around your finger. (You can again dip it in the tuna water or other liquid.) Gently rub the teeth in a circular motion with your gauzed finger. Repeat this for the number of sessions it takes your cat to feel comfortable with this procedure. Remember to praise her and keep an upbeat attitude.

After your cat is used to having the flavored gauze in her mouth, you are ready to start with a toothbrush, dental sponge, or pad. We need to get your cat used to the consistency of these items, especially the bristles on a brush. So, let your cat lick something tasty off of the brush or pad so she gets used to the texture.

Once your cat is used to the cleaning item you are going to use, you can add the toothpaste (or rinse). Pet toothpastes either have a poultry, malt, or other flavor so your cat will like the taste. Get your cat used to the flavor and consistency of the toothpaste. Let your cat lick some off your finger and then apply some to your cat's gumline with your finger. Praise your pet.

Now your cat is used to the toothbrush and toothpaste and you are ready to start brushing. Talk to your cat in a happy voice during the process and praise your cat at the end. At first, you may just want to brush one or both upper canine teeth (the large ones in the front of the mouth). These are the easiest teeth for you to get at and will give you some easier practice. As before, when your cat accepts having several teeth brushed, slowly increase the number of teeth you are brushing. Again, by making it appear to be a game, you both will have fun doing.


Calming Products

Excerpted from Pet Product News, May 2012

Calming products for pets are being used for everything from introducing a new pet into the household to traveling, trips to the vet or reducing separation anxiety.  Central Garden and Pet in Walnut Creek, CA offers two species-specific calming aids, one for cats called Comfort Zone with Feliway and one for dogs called Comfort Zone with D.A.P.  HomeoPet LLC in Westhampton Beach, NY markets Anxiety products which are homeopathic and which specifically target fear in pets.  Nelsons in North Andover, MA markets Rescue Remedy Pet which was originally a human product.    Also on the market for dogs who suffer from anxiety during thunderstorms, fireworks, separation and travel is Thundershirt (trademark) which applies a constant, gentle pressure that produces a dramatic calming effect in excited dogs.  The ‘shirt’ wraps around the dog’s midsection and secures with adjustable Velcro fasteners.   These products are alternatives for owners who have been unsuccessful in managing their pets’ anxieties using other techniques.

Embrace Pet Insurance Launches Poison Resource Center

 Excerpted from Pet Health News, May 2012

Embrace Pet Insurance of Beachwood, Ohio, has launched a pet poison resource center on its website http://www.embracepetinsurance.com.  The center is in response to the many claims relating to pet poisoning that Embrace receives each year.   The website offers suggestions on ways pet owners can prevent poisonings and identify symptoms of poisoning as well as what they should do if they suspect their pet has been poisoned.  The site breaks down poisonous substances into nine categories: human food, household chemicals, human medication, pet medication, animal toxins, common poisonous plants, outdoors, malicious poisoning and other.


Thundershirt Testimonial

Yussa is a three year old German Shepherd who loves cats but hates thunderstorms. She changes her behavior from watchful and nearby to being constantly at my knee during a storm with thunder and lightning. During a storm last week, she was constantly underfoot while I was trying to prepare dinner. In desperation I got out a Thundershirt that I had recently purchased for her. I wrapped her in it and she did not seem to mind having it on. I noticed about ten minutes later that she was laying on her normal spot on the window seat in the living room, sound asleep, even though the thunderstorm was still in full force. I would recommend them based on my experience with Yussa.

Carole Jarvis

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