Cat dental is too often overlooked by cat owners. Humans are not the only ones who have to worry about keeping their teeth and gums in tip-top shape. It is just as important for cats. Unlike humans, cats do not get cavities, but if they do not get the dental care that they need, then they may suffer from plaque, gum disease, inflammation, bone loss, or lesions.
If left untreated, the problems will only get worse, causing your cat a lot of pain and discomfort and possibly the loss of one or more teeth. A vet visit will be needed to treat the issue, which will end up costing a lot more than necessary steps to prevent it.
Unfortunately, cats are not able to brush or floss their teeth like we can. So, it is up to you to give the your cat the dental care it needs.
Cat Dental care: Be Calm and Patient
In this case, patience really is the key! Do not get frustrated if your cat
does not want for you to brush its teeth right away. It will take some
getting used to for both you and your cat. Do not yell as this will make
both parties on edge and the experience will not be one that you will want
to repeat. Make sure that you are calm and reassuring. Pet you cat gently,
making it feel comfortable and relaxed.
This whole process will be much easier for a kitten than an adult cat. If possible, start as young as you can. A kitten will be much more likely to accept you brushing its teeth and at a much quicker rate than an adult cat will. Although it is ideal to start young, it is not a must. Your adult cat can still learn and get used to you brushing its teeth. Just remember, it will not happen overnight. It is a step by step process and will take some time.
Initially, you should pet your cat on its head, taking special care to
massage and touch its mouth area. Occasionally, lift its lips out of the way
so that you can view its teeth and then go right back to petting. All that
this is doing is getting your cat used to having you touch its mouth and
teeth – which is very important for later.
As your cat grows more comfortable with you doing this, you will notice
that he or she will be much more relaxed and less likely to run away. Once
you notice this, you can move on to the next step. Start off in the same
manner as before. Then, slowly begin to massage your cat’s gums in a
circular motion with your fingers. Only do this in short increments of time
as you are just trying to get your cat used to it.
You may then dip a piece of cloth or gauze in something flavorful such as
tuna water or chicken broth and use that instead of your fingers along the
teeth and gum line, gently cleaning them. The goal is to make your cat enjoy
and look forward to getting its teeth cleaned by associating it with getting
lots of love, and getting a tasty treat.
Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth
At this point, you can invest in a specially made toothbrush for cats as
well as some flavored toothpaste. There are brushes that fit on the tip of
your finger. These may be easier to use since you will be able to replicate
the same movements as before where you were rubbing your fingers on the
teeth and gums. The toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors such as
chicken, beef, or seafood.
Start the same way as before by petting your cat and rubbing his or her
mouth. Then, put a small amount of toothpaste on the brush and gently brush
your cat’s teeth and gums, taking special care to get off all of the plaque
build-up. Before you know it, your cat will be very used to this routine and
will be on his or her way to a healthier smile!
Although brushing your cat’s teeth and gums is very important, it is not
the only preventative measure that can be taken. If your cat absolutely
hates getting its teeth brushed, then you can try using a dental rinse
instead. There are also plenty of tasty treats that can be given to your cat
that will aid in dental care. Dental treats are a great way to prevent
tartar and plaque build-up – especially since most cats love the way that
Another great method to prevent dental disease are toys. That’s right. Your
cat can play with toys that are not only fun but are specially made to clean
teeth by simply wiping away plaque build-up. It is a good idea to go to the
vet to get your cats teeth cleaned about once a year.
Sure, you may be doing a great job at brushing, but a professional cleaning would be extremely beneficial and a vet will be able to clean those spots that you may have had difficulty getting to. Contact your vet if your cat will not allow you to give the proper dental care. He may be able to offer some helpful advice or give you other options.