We take our dental hygiene seriously so why should our cats dental hygiene be any different? It should not be, and it is easy to handle if you know what to do! The words “Dental Hygiene” may be overwhelming, and images of advanced dental equipment might come to mind, but rest assured it is WAY easier than you think! Five minutes of your day is all that is required with a few items to help keep your cat’s teeth clean.
First and foremost, the most important step you can take to taking care of your cat’s dental health is by ensuring that they see a vet annually. Obviously, vets are professionals and will be able to performs tests and be able to see if there are any health conditions, areas to improve on, etc. This is also a good opportunity to ask your Vet if there are certain dental diets that your Cat should be on. Avoiding annual vet visits can result in serious health issues.
An easy way to detect if there is something going on with our cat’s teeth is the breath odor test. Of course, our kitties breath will usually smell a little unpleasant due to the foods they eat. However, it should not be unbearable to give you a weird face after smelling it. Do not ignore bad breath as it could potentially be gum disease or tooth decay and should keep a close eye on this before it gets even worse. We recommend using Nature’s Dentist on your cat’s food during mealtime. This powder helps remove plaque and reduces enzymes that cause bad breath.
Daily brushing is the BEST way to stay on top of your cat’s dental hygiene care. It may sound tedious to do every day, but it takes just as long as it does to brush our teeth, 2 minutes. It is likely that your cat will not be overly receptive to this so lots of patience is needed especially at first. It is worth noting that brushing their teeth as a kitten will make this as whole lot easier. Try dipping your finger or toothbrush in tuna or chicken as good incentive for your cat. The Bluestem Toothpaste & Brush combo is what we recommend using and it is available at our store or on our website at www.piscespets.com.
The easiest and most enjoyable way to stay on top of your cat’s dental hygiene is by treats! That is right, TREATS! It is important to get VOHC approved treats as not all treats are for dental purposes. These treats help prevent tartar which is great when combining treats with teeth brushing. Treats SHOULD NOT be the only method of dental hygiene care; however, they work great as a reward for after teeth brushing. Feline Greenies is a treat that we recommend that is approved by the VOHC.
Another fun way to help take care of our cat’s oral health is by using toys! Who would have guessed that toys can contribute to tooth hygiene? However not all toys are necessarily great, you should look for ones that are no harder than your fingernail because if the toy is too hard it can cause tooth fractures.
The final tip that we are going to recommend that you include in your routine is to ensure that there is always fresh water available to your cat. Drinking water helps remove food that has stayed on the surface of your cat’s teeth, removing the food debris decreases the chances of your cat getting gingivitis down the line.
Hopefully, these tips are helpful for you and your cat. The biggest thing is to establish a consistent brushing schedule and keep an eye on your cat’s breath and any visible signs. If anything comes up that you are not sure about, we advise that you contact your vet as they are the most knowledgeable!