What You Need To Know To Keep Your Cat’s Teeth Healthy
Cats are natural predators and they are rightly proud of their teeth. Unlike humans, though, cats cannot brush their own teeth. In the wild, cats would seek out rough grass or clean bones to gnaw on to give their teeth a good scrub. But, these all-natural dental hygiene products are not always so easy to find for the typical domestic cat who spends a large part of their time indoors in your home. So, how do you ensure that your kitty has good dental health? Read on for some simple tips.
Get your veterinarian involved
You should take your cat for a check up at least once a year, and during this check up it is a good idea to ask your feline healthcare professional to check out your kitty’s teeth, too. Dental problems that are caught early can usually be solved very easily. But, when problems are missed for years, cats can end up having to undergo painful and arduous surgery.
Should you brush your cat’s teeth?
The answer to this depends on many factors, and most of all on your cat’s overall oral health and their diet. Many cat owners do not brush their cat’s teeth – ever – and their cats are just fine. This is usually because they feed their cats dry crunchy food in combination with plenty of water (extra water is a must if you feed your cats dry food) which is great for scraping away excess plaque on the teeth.
If you want to clean your cat’s teeth, it doesn’t need to be a traumatic experience for either of you! You can purchase special feline toothpaste which actually tastes nice to cats, and apply it to their mouths using a specialized tooth brush. Perhaps a more easy way to brush your kitty’s teeth is by wrapping gauze around your finger and using that to brush the toothpaste all over their teeth.
If your cat doesn’t seem to like having their teeth brushed, try dipping your finger in tuna water (i.e. the water that canned tuna comes in – make sure it is not the super salty kind!) and rubbing it over your cat’s gums before you start brushing their teeth. This will make the experience of having their teeth brushed more pleasant for them
Do not brush your cat’s teeth with human toothpaste! If cats ingest human toothpaste, they can get seriously ill. This is because human toothpaste contains fluoride which cats do not react too well to.
Initial dental health warning signs to look out for:
The first sign of an oncoming cat dental heath problem will usually be seen in your kitty’s gums. Cats’ gums should be pink firm, but not red and inflamed. If you notice red, inflamed gums, or gums that are bleeding, get your cat checked out quickly. You can stop problems in their tracks by gently massaging your cat’s gums regularly (say every few days or every week) with a finger. Try the tuna water trick mentioned above to make this an enjoyable experience for them.
Have you had any experience with cat dental care? Let us know how it went in the comments.