Ask Lyle - Should I brush my teeth?

Ask Lyle - Should I brush my teeth?

Ask Lyle is our weekly cat-to-cat advice column from Modern Cat (and ridiculously outspoken gentleman), Lyle. Submit your questions to, and he will be happy to answer them. Don't forget to include a photo of the questioning cat so that we can post it with the advice!

You can also follow Lyle's adventures on Twitter and Instagram, @lylestagram. 

Dear Lyle,

I'm a 5 year old kitten and I recently had my annual visit to the vet.  
I'm proud to report that after I made sure the vet knew who's boss with some menacing hisses and growls he gave me a clean bill of health. Except for one thing. He said I had bad teeth! I don't know about this toothpaste business though, even if it is chicken-flavoured. Have you ever brushed your teeth?
Dear Robust Rocket,
Thanks for writing in! Great job on taking your mom to the vet. I know it can be stressful for our humans, and you were brave to take her. The good news with your teeth situation is that you are not alone. Many, many, cats experience problems with their teeth, and if these problems are untreated, the result can be very serious. Your vet will be the person to talk to about any treatments (teeth-ments, if you will indulge me) for a serious problem. As for some preventative brushing at home, I am firmly on the side of "give it a whirl".
You know very well that all cats are different, and all cats have different things they are comfortable with. For me, I have a particular need to chew on anything I see (my Momma claims that is extremely odd cat behaviour, but it makes total sense to me). When I get in a chewy mood (pretty much everyday at 5:00pm!), she sometimes puts a wet toothbrush in my path and I just go to town on it. I don't like the toothpastes she has tried, so she gave up on that with me. My brother, on the other hand, really, really likes the chicken flavoured toothpaste and will tolerate a little bit of brushing if that is on offer. Other cats I know love a malt flavour that my Aunt got for them. So old timey!
The take-home here is to tell your mom to try different types of toothpaste, different techniques for inviting a teeth brushing session, and to always provide lots and lots of pets, hugs, and "good boys" along with the process. I bet you will both learn to love it!
Keep in touch!

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