Care of the teeth and gums of your cat is an important aspect of responsible pet concern. This can be a challenging task unless you have started the dental process when your cat was very young. Being the independent creatures that they are, brushing their teeth will be quite the undertaking but it is imperative that you do so.
Your cat can develop bad breath from lack of feline dental care. They sometimes don’t want to eat because of the horrible taste in their mouths from bad teeth, plaque and eventually tartar. Tartar irritates the gums, causing inflammation and gingivitis. Gums can get infected, causing periodontal disease. This is something that can be fatal with loss of teeth, as well as infection entering the bloodstream, affecting the heart, liver or kidneys.
To perform at-home care of your cat’s teeth, begin with regularly checking your cat’s mouth. What you are looking for is odor, are the gums red and/or swollen or a yellow-brown tartar crust on the teeth near the gum-line. Be sure to look for bleeding gums or missing/broken teeth. If you ever notice any lumps or bumps in the mouth, call your vet immediately.
Proper feline dental care should involve brushing your cat’s teeth several times per week. Use a small toothbrush or one of those finger brushes along with a feline poultry flavored toothpaste, and use gentle circular motions. Be sure to give your cat a lot of praise when it cooperates. It is best to start this process when your cat is still a kitty. If you have difficulty with the process, ask your veterinarian to show you how to make it easier for you and your cat.
Use a dental food diet such as Science Diet Feline Oral Care, Hills Feline dental care, Friskies Feline Dental Diet and Purina brand Feline Dental Formula. These foods require a lot more chewing and are much better for your cat’s teeth.
A product called Aquadent can be added to your cat’s drinking water. It helps to reduce plaque and tartar formation and improve mouth odor.
Provide your cat with enzyme-treated dental chews daily. This does not take the place or brushing but helps in between to clean excess food from the teeth.
For optimum feline dental care, your veterinarian should perform a comprehensive full dental cleaning once yearly. We can never clean our pets’ teeth as well as the doctor so while anesthetizing our pet, he/she examines each and every tooth, removing all tartar, polishing the teeth and flush the mouth of all bacteria. Your cat comes home with the best looking pearly whites. You as the pet parent can then maintain your cat’s healthy mouth and “smile”.