You may think your cat is good enough at keeping herself clean: after all, she spends a good portion of her day grooming, and you make sure to keep her fur in good shape. But have you considered the cleanliness and health of her teeth lately?
Of course, we recommend a dental cleaning for your cat on a regular basis. But in between your yearly visits to the vet for dental care, it’s crucial that you keep up with your cat’s dental hygiene. There are a few ways you can do this easily without adding much time to your daily routine.
Cat Dental Care 101
First, it’s important to address the why behind cleaning your cat’s teeth. Without proper dental hygiene, you could miss warning signs of health issues leading to periodontal disease and decay. Your cat could be living in pain every day, and without careful vigilance and attention on your part, you might miss it. Here’s what you should know.
1. Stay Aware
Your cat’s breath probably always smells like he just ate a pound of tuna—that funky scent is considered normal. But if you start to notice your cat’s halitosis is on the rise, it could be an indication that something more is wrong. Watch out for increased drooling, foul smells, bleeding, and difficulty eating (or low appetite). These could all be indicators that your cat is suffering from tooth decay or gum disease.
2. Don’t Miss That Yearly Cleaning
It’s important that your cat sees the veterinarian at least once a year—perhaps more often for older or ill cats—and that a dental checkup is included in this visit. Your cat’s vet will look for any signs of disease, decay, or tooth problems for you.
3. Don’t Forget to Brush
It’s true: tooth brushing isn’t just for humans. With specialized cat toothpaste and your finger, you can start your kitten off right with healthy dental hygiene and brushing. Adult cats will likely be more resistant if they haven’t received regular tooth cleaning in the past, but some treats or tuna on your finger should make it all easier.
4. Pay Attention to Diet
Your cat’s diet plays a big role in their dental health. Vary your cat’s diet with both wet and dry foods, and pay attention to whether they have any trouble chewing these foods. You can also use tartar-control treats for an extra boost in dental health.
5. Don’t Wait
Your cat’s overall health is closely related to their dental health, so if you have any cause for concern, contact your vet immediately. Don’t delay your cat’s yearly checkups and stay on top of dental hygiene.
To schedule your cat's next dental cleaning, click here.