Everyone knows that cat breath can be pretty formidable and although it might go unnoticed for some time, it’s usually a sign that there is something unhealthy going on in your cat’s mouth. Bad breath is a symptom of tooth and gum disease, and a large number of cat owners don’t enforce any oral care in their cats. Since our kitties can’t take themselves to the dentist, it’s up to us to make sure they’re getting proper dental hygiene. There are several things you can do to keep your cat’s teeth clean and breath fresh and we’ll go over them here.
#1 – Yearly Dentals
Your veterinarian will know best when your cat needs a dental, but you should definitely consider having one done once a year. During your cat’s annual check up, your veterinarian will check your kitty’s teeth and gums to make sure they’re healthy. An anesthetic dental is the best option for oral hygiene because, just like your dentist, your veterinarian can do a much more thorough cleaning than you can at home.
#2 – Brush Teeth
It sounds crazy to brush your cat’s teeth, but it’s something that will keep their breath at a reasonable odor. Bad breath comes from plaque and tartar build up, so a weekly brushing will make a big difference. You’ll have to start slowly and work your way up to brushing your cat’s teeth with ease, but it’s definitely something to look into.
#3 – Water Additives
There are water additives you can put in your cat’s drinking water to help with plaque build up and breath freshening. It’s more difficult to control how much your cat consumes than the other alternatives, but it can help keep your cat’s breath odor free.
#4 – Chew Toys & Treats
There are many toys and treats geared towards cleaning your cat’s teeth. Cats don’t quite chew on toys like dogs do, but the treats are a great option. There are hard, crunchy treats that freshen breath and scrape plaque and tartar off your cat’s teeth and they can be given fairly regularly. Look for treats marked for dental cleaning or breath freshening and see what you can find. There are also pet-friendly breath mints that you can share with your cats – just make sure you don’t mix them up with your own!
Keeping your cat’s mouth healthy is important. Tooth and gum disease is not only painful, it can lead to more dangerous systemic illnesses if left untreated. Prevention is the best medicine, so work towards brushing teeth or offering dental treats and definitely consider a professional dental cleaning once a year. Your veterinarian will help you determine which regime is best for your cat. Even if you start slowly and work up to daily or biweekly cleanings, you’ll notice you have a happier cat with breath that is fresher than ever!