Oral health issues may be just as painful for our cats as they are for us. In fact, tooth and mouth pain may even get so bad that it prevents your furry friend from eating. Here, our Columbia vets explain some of the best ways you can help keep your cat's mouth clean and healthy.
Cat Dental Care
Cats can be quite adept at hiding their pain. they may actually be suffering from painful oral health issues without ever letting on that they feel uncomfortable. Because of this, owners need to be conscious of their companion's oral health and well-being as well as make sure they keep their cat's teeth clean.
By keeping an eye on your cat's teeth and oral health, you may be able to detect health issues early and get your cat treated before emerging issues become more serious (and expensive).
Annual Dental Checkups For Your Feline Family Member
In order to help make sure that your feline friend's mouth remains free of pain and as healthy as possible, our Maury County Veterinary Hospital veterinarians advise that you make annual dental visits to your pet's office part of their routine professional care.
Your veterinarian will be able to evaluate your pet's oral health on top of their general physical health and will be able to let you know if any professional cleanings or surgeries will be required in order to restore your cat's good health.
How To Clean Your Cat's Teeth
Maintaining your cat's dental health starts with daily at-home oral hygiene, which is crucial for keeping their teeth and gums in the best possible condition.
To facilitate the teeth-cleaning routine at home, it's beneficial to introduce your cat to mouth handling and tooth brushing at a young age. By familiarizing them with these sensations early on, they will become more accepting and tolerant of the brushing process.
Your goal should be to make brushing your cat's teeth as stress-less as possible by incorporating it into your cat's daily routines. Start by waiting until your cat is relaxed and calm and then take the following 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 you 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.
When you start successfully brushing your cat's teeth, focus on the gum line and work swiftly, making sure to stop before your cat becomes irritated. It may take several weeks before your kitty becomes comfortable with having all their teeth cleaned in one session.
If the process of teeth cleaning stresses or alarms your cat, they might react by scratching or biting. If brushing their teeth becomes too challenging, you can explore alternative options such as adding plaque remover to their drinking water, providing specially designed chew toys, or offering dental treats.
In addition to your efforts in maintaining your cat's oral hygiene, regular professional dental cleanings performed by a qualified vet are necessary to ensure their teeth remain in optimal condition.
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.