Toothbrushes are used as a transitional tool in socializing kittens, because often for shy, under-socialized kittens a human hand can be very scary. The toothbrush provides a comforting grooming sensation similar to what a kitten would experience from its mother, while keeping the person at a distance. As the kitten becomes more relaxed and trusting of people, they can start being petted and held using our hands.
Toothbrush Therapy for Cats
The toothbrushes not only help to reduce stress, but also increase the chances of a cat being adopted. Both adult cats and kittens can become stressed very quickly in the shelter. It can be a very loud and busy place. With adult cats, shelter life can come from many different situations, ie: as a stray, owner surrender (moving, etc), owner passing away. Some cats show stress by hiding, growling and hissing to name a few. The same goes for kittens. Especially ones that come in with illnesses such as upper respiratory infections, eye infections, diarrhea and weight loss. Toothbrush therapy is a means of getting close to a feline without actually touching them, which can stress them out even more. Toothbrushes are a small, non-invasive way to reassure them that they aren’t going to be hurt. Also, in kittens it feels like momma’s rough tongue. That helps teach kittens not only to trust people, but to learn to groom themselves. It helps to socialize them so they can eventually find their forever homes.
Plain Toothbrush Company is proud to provide the toothbrushes used at Dakin Humane Society in Springfield, MA for the above purpose. Thank you to Carla Cooper and to Molly Biechele for bringing this to our attention.
“Toothbrushes play a key role in helping these sick, under-socialized kittens feel comfort and learn to trust people as they grow, gain strength and get ready for adoption. Thank you for your generosity and making a gift that strengthens the bond between humans and animals.”
Associate Director of Development
Dakin Humane Society
“Most of the tiny spirits that come to us are simply frightened. The toothbrushes help us get closer and teach them about grooming and trust. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support.”
Dakin Humane Society