Although cats can groom their fur, they don’t have the ability to groom their teeth. Aside from the natural resources they may find to clean their own teeth it’s important as their owner to implement some techniques and establish good dental hygiene for them. They may not be too fond of the idea initially, but it will save a lot of money and the potential for painful dental surgery down the road. Here are 5 things you need to know about caring for your cat’s teeth:
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1. Keep an eye (well, nose) out for a problem
All cats are known for having ocean fresh breath, but if you happen to get a whiff of a strange, unpleasant odor then something might be going on with your cat’s teeth. Cats aren’t able to properly voice their issues so it’s important to be proactive about this so they aren’t forced to suffer in silence. Your cat won’t be able to discuss what’s going on with their body so be a good pet owner and watch for this.
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2. Be sure to do dental screenings at annual vet exams
A vet isn’t a dentist so they may accidentally overlook a cat’s teeth at an annual checkup. Make sure to voice your concerns over your cat’s teeth at the yearly exam so a medical professional can give a thorough inspection.
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3. Establish a dental routine
Like bathing, most cats (especially older) will be resistant to having a brushing object stuck inside their mouth. There are toothpastes specifically designed for cats that might make the process more appealing to them. To establish a proper routine start when your cat is only a kitten and use a finger brush to treat their teeth.
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4. Stimulate the gums while brushing
Cats can suffer from gum diseases just like we humans can so when brushing your cat’s teeth be sure to massage the gums as well. Plaque buildup can become a problem in cats who’s gums are not routinely cleaned, as well as inflamed and red gums which can signal gingivitis.
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5. The truth about “tartar control” treats
Although many of these treats claim to have tartar-protection abilities, this will not be better than actual brushing. Don’t rely on these treats as a means to keep your cat’s teeth clean and think to skip on dental care. It’s also recommended to be mindful of your cat’s diet in general to promote dental health.