Like people, our cats can suffer from painful oral health issues caused by poor oral hygiene or injuries to their mouths. What is good oral hygiene for cats exactly? And what kind of dental care does your feline friend need? Here, our Kent vets explain how to clean your cat's mouth and keep its teeth healthy.
Your Cat's Dental Health
Cats are very social creatures that are quite skilled at hiding pain or discomfort. they may be suffering from painful oral health issues without ever letting on that they are uncomfortable. because of this, cat owners need to be conscious of their feline companion's oral health and in keeping their cat's mouth clean. By keeping an eye on your cat's teeth and mouth, and routinely cleanings both, you will be able to detect oral health issues earlier in their development and help your cat avoid pain or expensive veterinary treatments.
Caring For Your Cat's Teeth At Home
Keeping up a daily dental hygiene routine for your cat may help to keep your feline friend's teeth and gums healthy throughout their lifetime. To make cleaning your cat's teeth at home as easy and stress-free as possible, start by establishing a daily oral hygiene routine for them while they are still kittens. This way, your cat will be accustomed to having its teeth brushed and its mouth touched from quite a young age.
Strive to make brushing your cat's teeth a stress-free and easy part of your kitty's daily routine. Start 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 their teeth and gums for just a few seconds.
- Don't expect too much from your cat at first. You may only be able to reach a couple of teeth the first few times your try this process. That's okay though. This is about building trust in your cat to help prevent them from becoming 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 feline friend is used to you massaging their gums each day, you will be able to gradually introduce a soft-bristled toothbrush you can acquire from your vet and some special cat toothpaste. Toothpaste can come in a range of excellent flavors for cats like beef or chicken.
- 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.
Be Patient While Your Cat Gets Used Teeth Cleaning
The amount of success you can achieve when it comes to cleanings your cat's teeth will largely depend on their temperament. Make sure that you stay calm, relaxed, and flexible. Be willing to adapt your approach to take your cat's level of tolerance into account. Many cat owners will have a pretty easy time cleaning their pet's teeth using a piece of gauze, while a brush work well for others, and a dental gel works even better for others too.
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 kitty 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.
Annual Dental Exams For Cats
To help to ensure that your cat's mouth stays free of pain and as healthy as possible, our vets recommend annually scheduled dental care as part of your feline friend's preventive healthcare routine. Bringing your cat in for dental appointments is like a visit to your cat's dentist. Your vets will evaluate your cat's oral health, take X-rays as needed, and do a thorough cleaning of their teeth and mouth
To help ensure that your cat's mouth stays pain-free and healthy, our vets recommend annual professional dental care as a part of your kitty's preventative healthcare routine. Taking your cat for a dental appointment is like a visit to the cat dentist. Your vet will evaluate your cat's oral health, take x-rays if required, and do a thorough cleaning. If your cat is suffering from a mouth injury, tooth loss, or severe decay, your dentist will provide you with recommendations regarding care or surgery to treat your cat's oral health issues.
To find out more about dental care for cats available here at our Kent animal hospital check out our dentistry page.
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.