Dental health issues can be just as painful for your cat as they are for us. Mouth and tooth pain could even cause your feline friend to resist eating. Today, our Rabun County vets explain how to clean your cat's teeth and keep their teeth healthy.
Your Cat's Dental Health
Cats are very good at hiding their pain. They could 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 regularly, you will be able to detect any oral health issues early on and help your cat avoid pain and costly treatment.
At-Home Dental Care For Your Feline Friend
Maintaining a daily oral hygiene routine for your cat may help to keep their teeth and gums healthy for the rest of their life. Begin establishing a daily oral hygiene routine for your cat while they are still a kitten to make cleaning their teeth at home as simple and stress-free as possible. Your cat will become accustomed to having their teeth brushed and mouth touched from a young age this way.
Your goal is to make brushing your cat's teeth a stress-free and easy part of your kitty's daily routine. Begin 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 put too much pressure on your cat at first. The first few times you try this process, you may only be able to reach a couple of teeth. But that's fine. This is about instilling trust in your cat to keep them calm.
- Maintain your cool and give lots of praise and a tasty treat after your teeth-and-gum massage. You're attempting to acclimate your cat to the experience by gradually increasing the amount of time you spend on the task each day.
- Once your feline pal is used to you massaging their gums every day, you can gradually introduce a soft-bristled toothbrush and special cat toothpaste from your vet. Toothpaste can be found in a variety of excellent flavors for cats, such as beef or chicken.
- Begin using the toothbrush as gradually as you did the teeth-and-gum massage; your cat may begin with licking just a small dab of toothpaste from your finger.
Be Patient & Adaptable While Your Cat Gets Used to the Process
Your success in cleaning your cat's teeth will be largely determined by your kitty's temperament. Make sure you're calm and flexible, and that you tailor your approach to your cat's tolerance level. Some cat owners find that cleaning their pet's teeth with gauze is very easy, while others find that a finger brush works well, and still others apply a dental gel with their fingers and let it do the work for them.
When you can successfully brush your cat's teeth, move along the gum line, working quickly but stopping before your cat becomes irritated. It could take weeks before your cat tolerates having all of its teeth cleaned in one sitting.
If your cat is stressed or alarmed by the teeth cleaning procedure, he or she may scratch or bite. If brushing your cat's teeth is too difficult for you and your kitty, consider putting plaque remover additives in their drinking water, purchasing specially designed chew toys, or giving your cat tasty dental treats.
Yearly Dental Checkups For Cats
Our veterinarians recommend making annual dental care visits to your vet's office a part of your cat's preventative healthcare routine to ensure that their mouth remains pain-free and healthy. Your veterinarian will assess your pet's oral health in addition to their overall physical health and notify you if professional dental cleaning or surgery is required to restore your cat's good health.
To find out more about the veterinary dental care available here at our Rabun County 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.