It’s important to be proactive about your cat’s dental health. Cats’ teeth need care and attention as well as people’s, or they could suffer from tooth decay or gum disease. Even though your cat might not enjoy having their teeth cleaned, you’ll be doing them a lot of good in the long run. Here are some top tips for keeping your cat’s teeth clean.
Daily dental care routine
The more you take care of your cat’s teeth, the more they’ll get used to it. Brush their teeth with a soft-bristled pet toothbrush. If you don’t have one you can try a child’s toothbrush, a cotton bud or use gauze wrapped around your finger. Never use human toothpaste, baking soda or salt. Always use a pet toothpaste as these are designed especially for the enamel of cats teeth.
When brushing their teeth, use a circular motion and focus on your cat’s gum line. Concentrate on the outer surface of your cat’s teeth. Spend a couple of minutes doing this daily. For kittens, or the first time, you’ll need to work up to this. Get them used to your finger in their mouth by dipping it in a tin of tuna first. You could then start by using a soft gauze or sponge.
Stimulate their gums
In order to prevent problems later, you’ll need to massage their gums while brushing. Keep an eye on your cat’s gums. They should be pink and healthy, and not appear red or irritated.
If your cat seriously objects to having their teeth brushed then dental treats are a welcomed alternative. Look for natural treats that are beneficial to your cat’s teeth. Dental chews and treats are specifically designed to reduce plaque formation and eventual tartar buildup. Talk to your vet about which foods are better for their dental health, and ensure they get plenty of fresh water.
Cats are obligated carnivores so naturally they are used to chewing bones, which actually helps keep their teeth healthy. It removes tartar and maintains tooth and gum health. Seen as most domesticated cats only eat soft food, vets often recommend giving them hard toys to chew.
Cats like to chew toys and hopefully, it might prevent them from gnawing on household items. Always look for toys specifically designed for cats, and they shouldn’t be harder than your fingernail.
It’s important to keep on top of your cat’s teeth and oral health. Take them for annual check-ups with the vet who will automatically inspect their teeth and gums. Bad breath can be a sign of dental problems. Your cat’s breath might not always smell of roses, but if it’s particularly pungent, then it could be related to gum disease or tooth decay.
If your cat is drooling excessively, then this may also mean they need a check-up, especially if combined with bleeding gums. Your vet can give your cat’s teeth a deep cleaning and look for any other problems. Always ask your vet for advice on your cat’s teeth and oral health. They’ll be able to provide you with plenty of information.