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Caring for your cat's dental health

Caring for your cat's dental health

Smelly cat breath isn’t normal so it’s important to keep their teeth and gums clean and healthy. Here are our top tips for cleaning your cat’s teeth at home to protect their pearly whites.

Believe it or not, taking care of your cat’s dental health is just as important as looking after your own. Proper dental care for pets is critical to your pet’s overall health and wellbeing. Besides discomfort for your cat, dental disease can lead to bigger issues like tooth abscesses and even heart, liver, and kidney problems. The good news is, in most cases, dental disease is preventable with regular dental checks and the appropriate ongoing dental care.

Follow this guide on how to look after your feline friend’s dental health.

 

1. Book a dental check-up

You wouldn’t go for years without seeing a dentist, and neither should your cat. The best place to start when providing your cat with the dental care they deserve is booking them in for a dental check-up at your local Animates Vetcare clinic

During a dental check, the vet will carry out a thorough examination of your cat’s mouth, teeth, and gums and determine if there are any signs of gingivitis, plaque build-up or infection. This check-up will identify if your cat requires a professional dental treatment, or some at-home preventive measures to help maintain a healthy mouth. If it’s something that might need a dental scale and polish or tooth extraction, then the vet would provide an estimate for the procedure and any specific recommendations for your cat. 

2. Feed a dental diet

After checking your cat’s teeth, your vet may suggest feeding your cat a dental care diet. Dental care diets can help to keep teeth clean, while still providing a complete and balanced diet. Using a special shape and texture, dental care diets are designed to promote mechanical cleaning to ensure that your cat chews the food to provide the contact time needed between the teeth and kibble for good oral care.  Consult your veterinarian for further information on how prescription dental cat food can help your cat maintain your cat’s dental health. 

If your cat swallows their dry food too fast and does not take adequate time to chew, talk with your local Animates Vetcare Vets for ways to slow them down. In addition, if your cat eats mostly wet food then there’s no physical abrasion when they chew. Over time, a diet of wet foods alone can lead to gingivitis and even loose teeth so make sure you feed them a mix of wet and dry food so they can reap the benefits of both.

3. Feed dental treats

Not only are treats a delicious reward for your pet, they can also be helpful in controlling dental disease. Dental treats are formulated with a texture that helps to scrub your cat’s teeth as they chew, preventing plaque and tartar from building up. Further, the ingredients of some dental treats contain essential vitamins and minerals that benefit your cat’s health and promote fresh breath. While dental treats should not solely be relied on for dental hygiene, they are a useful addition to your cat’s home dental care program.

Top-to-Tail tip: Use pet-specific toothpaste only.  When cleaning your cat’s teeth, use pet-specific toothpaste only. Human toothpaste contain ingredients harmful to pets4. Use a pet toothbrush

Brushing your cat’s teeth every day is a great way to ensure their dental health. It’s important that you begin brushing your cat’s teeth from when they’re a kitten, so they are used to being touched around and inside their mouth. Using a beef or chicken flavoured pet toothpaste can make this process more agreeable for your cat. A great cat dental care tip is to let them taste the toothpaste first, and then squeeze some on a small finger brush to rub their teeth. You can then gradually build up to using a pet toothbrush if appropriate.

Don’t forget about your cat’s gums either. Gingivitis is when the colour of the gums becomes red and inflamed, just as with humans. Your cat’s gums should look pink and healthy, not irritated, sore and painful. An important part of providing your cat with the best dental care is to massage their gums to stimulate good oral health. 

5. Add a water additive or teeth gel

Another element you can include in your daily dental care routine is pet-specific water additives. Pour some into their drinking water to promote healthy teeth and gums and to fight bad breath. In addition, there are a range of cat dental care products that may assist in cleaning your cat’s teeth, and encourage oral hygiene including clean teeth gels that can be applied directly to your cat’s teeth without any brushing required.

By implementing a regular dental care routine for your cat, you can keep their teeth clean and gums healthy. For more advice on which methods best suit you and your cat, speak to your local Animates team member or book a dental appointment at your local Animates Vetcare clinic for a tailored dental health plan for your cat today.

Vetcare : Find your local Animates Vetcare

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