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The Best Way to Use the Dental Wand

Tips When Introducing the Dental Wand

Try to figure out what your cat’s routine is like:

  • When do they like to sleep?

  • When do they like to play?

Consider how your cat likes to play:

  • Do they like to hide & wait for the toy to come into sight?

  • Do they like to chase?

  • Do they like to observe for a while and choose their moments?

Knowing these two things will help you choose the best time to play with your cat and allow you to modify the play sessions to their liking.

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Before you start using the Dental Wand

Understand your cat’s routine and how they like to play.

Cat Routine Example:

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Cats have daily routines. Understanding what your cat does during the day and when they do it means, you know the best times to play with your cat i.e., the best time to use the Dental Wand. 

Most responsive to play.

Most responsive to play.

If you are unsure when your cat is responsive to play, look for those moments when your cat goes crazy for 30 minutes running round the house. The times when they try climbing the cat tree, furniture or curtains shows moments of activity where your cat is likely to be more receptive to play.

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The play sessions

Keep the play sessions fast, positive, full of praise and most importantly have fun.

The objective is to have your cat bite the toy several times.

The length and number of play sessions will vary according to your schedule & how long your cat usually likes to play.

You may achieve the cleaning objective in one short play session; or maybe in a longer session; you may need a few short sessions to ‘build up’ your cat to biting the toy.

The more you play, the more you will understand how often you will need to play to achieve the objective. If you are starting off, a good guideline is 2 or 3, 5–10-minute play sessions per day. 1 This guideline is flexible and can change over time as you understand your cat's needs; balancing them to your own needs & commitments.

The goal is to spread the enzymatic cat toothpaste across your cat's mouth at least once a day.

If your cat suffers from any health conditions, it is important to speak to your vet so they can advise the best way to play with your cat. They’ll likely change the intensity and the style of play to suit your cat’s needs.

 

  1. Katie Grzyb, DVM. (2018). How Long Should You Play With Your Cats Each Day?. In Pet MD. Retrieved from https://www.petmd.com/cat/care/how-long-should-you-play-your-cats-each-day.

The Dental Wand uses playtime as an opportunity for your cat to express their ‘hard-wired’ behaviour to hunt in order to clean their teeth.

The cat will instinctively try to shred the Dental Wand, their predatory sequence means that they will grab, kill and then shred the item they are hunting.

You only need your cat to bite the Dental Wand 1-2 times before pulling it away from their mouth.

The 1 to 2 bites is enough to spread the enzymatic cat toothpaste you put inside. The pulling away allows the bristles to bend and snap, disrupting the daily build up of plaque.

Once you pull away you bring the Dental Wand back, allowing them to bite it again, 1-2 times. This cycle will repeat throughout the brushing session 4-6 times, until the play session finishes or all the toothpaste is expelled.

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1-2 bites at a time

You only need your cat to bite the Dental Wand 1 - 2 times before you pull away and begin the process again.

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How to use the Dental Wand - Part 1

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In this part we are establishing the Dental Wand as a treat.

 

Fill one side of the Dental Wand with

enzymatic cat toothpaste. If your cat

does not like the toothpaste

then Lic-e-Lix and gradually

start introducing the

toothpaste.

Hold it to your cat and

let them bite it 1-2 times

then pull away. Immediately

bring it back to their mouth, allowing them to bite it again 1-2 times. 

Keep repeating this process 4-6 times or until all the toothpaste is expelled.

When you are introducing it to your cat for the first time, be excited, cats react positively to your excitement. Also make sure to hold it so the point of the Dental Wand is facing your cat, this would replicate how a cat would digest prey in the wild.

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How to use the Dental Wand - Part 2

In this part we attaching the Dental Wand to the telescopic rod and playing with our cat.

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Start moving the Dental Wand in long, slow arches across the floor.

The goal is to get your cat's attention by pretending the Dental Wand is prey.

Move the Dental Wand in short erratic movements to generate a chase.

If your cat doesn't chase it, repeat the previous step or hide it behind furniture then slowly start to bring it out.

Your cat should hunt the Dental Wand, therefore avoid just dangling it in front of their face as this won't spark their hunting instincts.

Once they catch it, let them bite it a couple of times, pull away and begin the chase again.

Praise your cat while ending playtime. Make it a fun experience. Before storing, clean the Dental Wand by running it under warm water to remove any remaining toothpaste, dry it and put it away.

How to end the game if your cat still wants to play:

Gradually reduce the movements of the toy, slowing the tempo of the game down.

Eventually stop moving the toy altogether.

If the cat doesn’t lose interest, distract them onto another activity e.g., throw a few tasty treats onto the ground a short distance away from the toy.

While the cat is searching for the food treats, remove the toy while they are looking away from it.

Make sure to pick up both the wand and the toy together. If you pick up only the wand and your cat sees the toy move, it is likely to trigger further play activity.

Put the toy away in a place that your cat can’t reach e.g., a drawer or cupboard. Never leave your cat with the toy unattended.*

* In the wild, cats brush their teeth by scraping them on the carcass of their prey. Since the toy is mimicking prey, and the cat toothpaste tastes nice to cats, there is a chance that the cat would want to eat the toy after a few bites. The Dental Wand is non-toxic to cats and designed to resist a cat’s bite.

 

However, without your supervision, your cat may be at risk of ingesting the toy which would cause harm, hence why you only need a few bites during each play session and why you should always be present when your cat is playing with the Dental Wand or any other toy. 

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Ending the game

Follow these instructions so your cat can still be happy when the game is over.

Never Leave toy unattended

Don’t worry this is easily avoided by following the steps above to ending the game.

Note: If you can tell that they are still very motivated to play, it wouldn’t hurt to play for an extra minute before carrying out the steps above.

Make sure they catch the toy at least once before ending the game.

Be aware, cats will often appear to stop playing and walk away from the toy to watch it from a short distance away.

Removing the toy or stopping the game at this point may trigger frustration, as this ‘observatory break’ is part of their normal predatory sequence; it doesn’t mean that they’re no longer interested in playing.

After watching for short time, the cat will usually go back to playing.

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Don't end the games too soon!

If the game ends too soon, the cat may become frustrated and redirect its predatory behaviour towards nearby people of animals.

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