If your cat is experiencing dental pain then it may be affecting many areas of their life and causing serious underlying complications. Today, our Middlesex vets talk about cat dental care and how to properly care for your cat's oral health.
Cat Dental Care
One thing that not everyone may be aware of is how good cats are at hiding their pain. Cats may be suffering from the symptoms of advanced dental health conditions and will not show any of their pain. Because of this, owners need to be conscious of their feline companion's oral health and be aware of how to provide complete dental care. By monitoring and regularly cleaning your cat's teeth, you will be able to detect any oral health issues early and help your cat avoid pain and expensive treatment.
How to Provide Complete Cat Dental Care at Home
In order to ensure lifelong oral and overall health, it is important to provide complete cat dental care. To make cleaning your cat's teeth at home as easy and stress-free as possible, begin establishing a daily oral hygiene routine for your cat while they are still a kitten. This way, your cat will be accustomed to having their teeth brushed and mouth touched from a young age.
The more often that you clean your cat's teeth and provide dental care the easier the process will become. Begin by waiting until your cat is calm and relaxed, then follow these steps:
- Gently lift your cat's lips, then use your finger to massage their teeth and gums for just a few seconds.
- Don't expect too much from your cat at first. You may only be able to reach a couple of teeth the first few times your try this process. That's okay though. This is about building trust in your cat to help prevent them from becoming agitated.
- Remain calm and be sure to give lots of praise and a yummy treat after your teeth-and-gum massage. You're trying to build your cat’s tolerance to the experience, gradually increasing the length of time you spend on the task each day.
- Once your feline friend is used to you massaging their gums each day, you will be able to gradually introduce a soft-bristled toothbrush you can acquire from your vet and some special cat toothpaste. Toothpaste can come in a range of excellent flavors for cats like beef or chicken.
- Begin using the toothbrush as gradually as you did the teeth-and-gum massage; your cat may begin with licking just a small dab of toothpaste from your finger.
How to Help Your Cat Adjust to Dental Care at Home
How successful you are at cleaning your cat's teeth will largely depend on your kitty's temperament. Make sure you are relaxed, flexible and that you adapt your approach to your cat's level of tolerance. Some cat owners have a very easy time cleaning their pet's teeth with some gauze, others find a finger brush works well and others apply a dental gel with their fingers that they allow to do the work for them.
When you finally begin brushing your cat's teeth successfully, move along the gum line, working quickly but stopping before your cat becomes irritated. It could be weeks before your kitty tolerates having all of their teeth cleaned during a single session.
It is possible for dental care to stress your cat out and so they may scratch or bite in an attempt to get away. So if brushing your cat's teeth is too difficult for you and your kitty consider adding plaque remover additives into their drinking water, getting them specially designed chew toys or providing your cat with tasty dental treats.
The Importance of Routine Professional Cat Dental Care
To make sure that your cat's mouth remains pain-free and healthy, our veterinarians recommend making annual dental care visits to your vet's office a part of their preventative healthcare routine. Your veterinarian will evaluate your pet's oral health on top of their overall physical health and let you know if any professional dental cleaning or surgery is required to restore your cat's good health.
To find out more about cat dental care available at Bound Brook Veterinary Clinic in Middlesex check out our dentistry page.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.