Did you know that cats can suffer from painful toothaches and gum disease just like people? Today our Los Angeles vets explain more about cat dental health and how to clean your cat's teeth.
Caring For Your Cat's Dental Health
Cats are stoic creatures who can hide their pain well. They may be suffering from a painful oral health issue without ever expressing their discomfort. As a result, owners must be aware of their feline companion's oral health and keep their furry companion's teeth clean. By monitoring and cleaning your cat's teeth on a regular basis, you will be able to detect any oral health issues early on and help your cat avoid pain and costly treatment.
At Home Oral Health Care for Cats
Maintaining a daily dental hygiene routine for your cat could help keep their teeth and gums healthy for the rest of their life. To make cleaning your cat's teeth at home as simple and stress-free as possible, start establishing a daily oral hygiene routine for your cat while they are still a kitten. This way, your cat will become accustomed to having its teeth brushed and mouth touched from 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.
- As you did with the teeth-and-gum massage, start using the toothbrush gradually. Your cat may start by licking a tiny bit of toothpaste from your finger.
Be Patient While Your Cat Gets Used Teeth Cleaning
Your success in cleaning your cat's teeth will be largely determined by your pet's temperament. Make certain that you are calm, relaxed, flexible, and willing to adapt your approach to your cat's tolerance level. Many cat owners find that a piece of gauze works well for cleaning their pet's teeth, while others find that a finger brush or a dental gel applied with their fingers does the job.
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.
Your cat may react by biting or scratching if the teeth-cleaning procedure stresses or alarms them. Therefore, if brushing your cat's teeth is too challenging for you and your feline friend, think about putting plaque-removal additives in their water, buying them specially-made chew toys, or giving your cat tasty dental treats.
Professional Dental Care for Cats
To help keep your cat's mouth pain-free and healthy, our veterinarians advise annual professional dental care as part of your cat's preventative healthcare routine. Comparable to visiting a human dentist, taking your cat to the veterinarian for cats. Your cat's oral health will be examined by your veterinarian, who will also perform a thorough cleaning and, if required, x-rays. Your dentist will suggest care or surgery to address your cat's oral health problems if it has a mouth injury, tooth loss, or severe decay.
To learn more about dental care for cats available here at our Los Angeles 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.