Dental health is an important part of your cat’s overall wellness and should not be overlooked. However, if there is somewhere cat owners find themselves slacking, it’s usually in the dental health department.
This is because keeping your cat’s teeth clean has been emphasized relatively recently and a lot of people are simply unaware of the risks. However, just like people, there are many oral diseases that cats can and do get that could lead to even greater problems down the road. While a yearly dental cleaning is likely recommended by your veterinarian, there are also things you can do at home to help keep your cat’s teeth squeaky clean.
#1 – Brush Those Teeth
Brushing teeth is probably the most effective way to prevent dental disease and tooth decay. Unfortunately, it’s not always the easiest thing to do. Don’t feel discouraged if the first time doesn’t go as planned – many cats and kittens need to be started slowly. It’s an odd sensation for them and with a little positive training and patience, you’ll be able to brush your cat’s teeth without issue. Choose the right toothbrush and cat-specific toothpaste. These toothpastes are made with ingredients safe for cats, whereas human toothpaste has ingredients that are quite toxic. Brushing teeth will remove and prevent plaque and tartar build up and keep your cat’s dental health in tip-top shape. While brushing every day is ideal, even once or twice a week will provide major benefits.
#2 – Utilize Dental Treats
Quality dental treats are a major benefit to your cat’s overall health and well-being. They are made specifically to clean your cat’s teeth almost as effectively as brushing with a toothbrush and toothpaste. The chewing action scrapes off plaque and tartar and they are filled with ingredients to help prevent further build-up and make your cat’s breath fresher. What’s better is that most cats absolutely love a good dental treat! They are a delicious treat that your cat won’t even realize is healthy. Dental treats are one of the easiest ways to improve your cat’s dental health and we think that cats agree.
#3 – Feed Quality Food
Feeding a high-quality, healthy food is an excellent way to keep your cat’s oral health in check. Nourishing the body means that teeth will grow stronger and your cat’s overall health will benefit greatly. Avoid ingredients like grains, by-products and meals that are not only unhealthy, they stick to your cat’s teeth. Poor-quality foods will increase plaque and tartar build-up and keep your pet’s dental health and immune system functioning far below their ideal strength. Whole foods with natural ingredients often contain enzymes and other supplements that help break down unwanted build-up on teeth, but even cats that are fed natural diets should have their teeth brushed and dental health checked regularly.
Cover photo: Helen Haden via Flickr