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Tips for cat’s dental care
Home oral hygiene can make a tremendous difference in your cat’s comfort and health. A program of dental hygiene will help prolong the health and life of your pet. This includes the following:
- Brushing your cat’s teeth is the single most effective means to maintain dental health between professional dental cleanings. Although it is only necessary to brush the cat’s permanent teeth, it may be worthwhile to start a regimen of tooth brushing while your cat is still a kitten, just to get her used to the procedure. For brushing to be effective, daily brushing is best. Most cats will allow their teeth to be brushed, but you need to take a very gradual and gentle approach. Start by letting your cat lick the dentifrice from your finger, then off the small feline toothbrush, then gradually place the brush in your cat’s mouth and add the brushing motions. Introduction of this process may require daily activity over 1-2 months. Avoid human toothpastes and make sure to use pet-specific dentifrice for cats.
- Some cats will not tolerate tooth brushing, however hard you try. Rather than continue to cause them stress, talk to your vet about other products you can use, such as oral hygiene gels containing enzymes that inhibit the bacteria responsible for plaque formation
- Feed your cat at least some dry kibble as part of her diet. Dry foods are abrasive and help keep the teeth clean and sharp.
- Regularly feed chunky pieces of raw beef which the cat really has to gnaw on.
- Other options for in-home between cleaning dental care include crunchy dental treats and special dental diets designed to combat plaque and tartar and water additives and oral gels (available from your veterinarian) designed to reduce the number of bacteria in your cat’s mouth.
- Irritated or inflamed gums can cause tooth decay. Don’t forget to massage his gums when you can. This will strengthen the gums so your cat will be less likely to suffer from gum problems.
- That mild fishy scent known as “kitty breath” is considered normal. But if your cat has foul breath, this is a strong indicator he’s having oral problems. If left untreated, your cat’s breath is only going to get worse. Like people, when an animal has bad breath and is drooling, the cause is often related to gum disease and/or tooth decay. In this case, you have to take your cat for a dental checkup.