Taking care of your Cat's Teeth
It was 'World Smile Day' on October 1st, so we thought we'd take the time to talk teeth!
Cats, like us, require the proper dental care to keep their teeth healthy and strong. However, this is an area of pet care that many owners overlook. In order to prevent the buildup of rotting food or plaque which can cause some pretty unsavoury diseases, it is essential for all cat owners to follow a few simple procedures with their feline companions.
By neglecting your cat's health when it comes to their teeth and gums, you could be putting them at risk of the following illnesses:
• Peridontal disease: an infection of the gum and roots caused by a buildup of tartar and food scraps
• Feline Stomatitis: An inflammation of the gums caused by the body becoming allergic to plaque around the teeth
• Feline Odontoclastic Oral Resorption Lesions (FORL): Inflammation on the teeth caused by the accumulation of plaque within pits on the surface
• Malocclusion: a misalignment of the teeth which can cause a difficulty in eating
To prevent these kinds of diseases, there are a few helpful measures to take while at home. The most obvious is to brush your cat's teeth on a regular basis. It is easy to find feline toothpaste (some of it fish flavoured!) within any good pet store. To start with, simply wrap your finger in gauze, apply some toothpaste, and then brush your cat's teeth. Once they have gotten used to this, you can then move on to using a proper children's toothbrush. Some loving care will be required though so that your bundle of fur does not become too scared in the future whenever you pull out the toothbrush.
Your cat can also help with their own dental care! Several companies now offer dental chews for felines which help to remove food debris and plaque from the surface of teeth. Even a chew toy made from rope can provide your cat with everything it needs to floss and remove unwanted material from its mouth.
Of course, regularly scheduling a checkup with your veterinarian is also highly recommended as they can spot the early signs of oral disease and then stop it in its tracks. These exams only need to be done annually, especially if you are conducting your own regular mouth care routine at home. This team work is the best way for you and your vet to take care of your special feline's oral health.
A cat with great teeth and gums will be pain-free, have a healthy appetite and be able to eat a varied diet. To keep your kitty happy and healthy, make sure to brush their teeth and give them a quick oral exam on a regular basis. Even though your cat may squirm, it will thank you for the effort in the long run!
Read more about protecting your pets smile here.
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