Oral health issues are as painful for cats as they are for people. Teeth and mouth pain could even prevent your feline friend from eating. Today, our Grants Pass vets share some of the best ways to keep your kitty's teeth clean and healthy.
Caring For Your Cat's Oral Health
Cats are excellent at concealing physical pain. Your cat could be suffering from painful oral health problems without displaying any visible symptoms. That is why owners must be mindful of their kitty's oral health and keep their furry companion's teeth clean. Any oral health issues that develop can be detected early by regularly cleaning and monitoring the health of your cat's teeth, allowing you to avoid pain and expensive treatments.
Annual Dental Checkups For Your Feline Friend
To ensure that your cat's mouth stays healthy and pain-free our vets recommend making annual dental checkups part of your kitty's preventive care routine. When your cat has a dental checkup it's like a trip to the dentist. Your vet will evaluate your pet’s oral health in addition to its overall physical health and let you know if your Kitty needs a professional veterinary dental cleaning or surgery to help restore your cat's good health.
Routine Dental Care For Cats
A daily dental hygiene routine, similar to brushing and flossing your teeth, can help to keep your cat's teeth as clean and healthy as possible. It's a good idea to establish a routine while your cat is young to make cleaning their teeth at home as simple and stress-free as possible. This way, your pet will become accustomed to having its teeth brushed.
Your goal is to make brushing your cat's teeth a stress-free and easy part of your kitty's daily routine. Begin by waiting until your cat is calm and relaxed, then follow these steps:
- Gently lift your cat's lips, then use your finger to massage the kitty's teeth and gums for just a few seconds.
- Don't expect too much at first. You might only reach one or two teeth the first few times you try this, but that's ok. Be sure to stop before your cat gets too agitated.
- Remain calm and be sure to give lots of praise and a yummy treat after your teeth-and-gum massage. You're trying to build your cat’s tolerance to the experience, gradually increasing the length of time you spend on the task each day.
- Once your kitty is used to having you massage her teeth and gums each day, you can gradually begin introducing a soft-bristled toothbrush from the vet and maybe even some cat-specific toothpaste! Cat toothpaste comes in a range of feline-friendly flavors, such as chicken or beef.
- Begin using the toothbrush as gradually as you did the teeth-and-gum massage; your cat may begin by licking just a small dab of toothpaste from your finger.
The ease with which you can brush your cat's teeth is heavily dependent on your cat's temperament. Be adaptable and tailor your brushing technique to your cat's tolerance level. Some cat owners prefer to clean their cat's teeth with a small piece of soft gauze, others prefer a finger brush, and still, others apply the dental gel with a toothbrush or a finger and let the gel do the work.
When you finally begin brushing your cat's teeth successfully, move along the gum line, working quickly but stopping before your cat becomes irritated. It could be weeks before your kitty tolerates having all of its teeth cleaned during a single session.
If your cat is stressed or alarmed by the teeth-cleaning process it may react by scratching or biting. So if brushing your cat's teeth is too difficult for you and your kitty consider adding plaque remover additives into their drinking water, getting them specially designed chew toys, or providing your cat with tasty dental treats.
As well as your efforts to keep your kitty's teeth clean and healthy, they’ll also need a regular professional dental cleaning performed by a qualified vet to keep their teeth in optimal condition.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.