How to look after your cat’s teeth

How to look after your cat’s teeth

Looking after your cat’s teeth is important in ensuring that your pet stays healthy, from its gums to its tail!

Oral health is paramount in maintaining the general well-being of your pet.

For example, if your cat has periodontal problems, leading to inflammation of the gums, it may find eating painful, thus preventing your pet from eating a balanced diet and topping up on essential nutrients.

So what is one of the main culprits of teeth decay and gum disease?

Something us humans also fight against: PLAQUE!!

This is a common build-up of tartar, a whitish yellow substance, over the tooth enamel and, if left unchecked, can cause many problems, not least gum disease and eventual tooth loss.

Many foods can cause this build-up, in particular sugars and starches. Of course, milk contains sugars and some cat foods may well contain starches, thus doing harm to your pet’s teeth.

Some cats may be more prone to a build-up of tartar but it is good practice to maintain oral hygiene with all pets. The plaque is most likely to develop on the front of the upper teeth, so remains relatively visible and easier to remove.

Your cat’s breath will also be a giveaway; some young cats experience bad breath whilst teething but once their adult teeth have grown, this may settle down on its own.

So, how do you go about dealing with dental hygiene?

You could take your pet to the local vet, who will give your cat a general anaesthetic in order to clean its teeth, without interruption!

This could cost upwards of $100, which is worth the investment but you may feel confident to tackle the job at home!

Do you have a good relationship with your feline friend?

You will need to in order to carry out this procedure successfully!

You could ask a friend to help you and use a large towel to restrict the animal’s movement (and as a protection for you!) whilst you clean its teeth.

So, you are primed and to ready to go; what tools do you have to hand?

Well, invest in a child’s toothbrush or, if you are confident enough, you could purchase some rubber finger brushes, enabling you to gently place your finger along the teeth and gums.

You can then apply with more precision in areas where there is a build-up of plaque and/or reddening of the gums.

If you are very gentle (no need to rub hard!), your cat should be fine. Use a special toothpaste which you can purchase from the pet store.

Never use toothpaste designed for humans – keep the fluoride at bay, it is not suitable to animals!

This great video will show you a little bit more of what I have been talking about.