Dental care is very important for both people and cats. Bad teeth are not only unattractive, they can also make kitty downright sick. Bad breath, plaque and parodontitis are no longer rare occurrences among cats today. Make oral hygiene a priority from kittenhood on, you can even get young animals used to having their teeth brushed. If your cat is older or refuses to cooperate, give them dry feed and dental treats to help prevent deposits from building up as quickly.
Inspect tabby’s teeth
To start with, regularly inspect your cat’s teeth. Gently apply pressure to the corners of the mouth with your thumb and index finger, so that kitty opens their mouth. Check if the teeth are nice and white or if they are stained, and whether any tartar has accumulated. Tartar, its unpleasant removal is even a reason for people to dislike a visit to the dentist. But humans are not alone in suffering from this lifestyle related dental disease. Our feline friends are also afflicted by this yellow layer just above the gum line. Already three out of four cats have dental problems. It all starts quite harmlessly with plaque. The soft layer of food residues and bacteria deposits on the animal’s teeth. If it is not removed, the deposits will harden over time and become tartar. Severe inflammation of the gum can be the dire consequence if plaque and tartar are not removed by a vet. In severe cases teeth may become loose and fall out eventually. Even internal organs can be damaged if the infection crosses over to the blood. Kidney and heart valve damage, as well as liver disorders, can have serious consequences. Stubborn deposits can be removed under anaesthetic by a vet. Your vet should have a quick look at your cat’s teeth once a year e.g. when they come in for vaccinations. Removing plaque, pulling teeth, drilling, grinding, polishing and cleaning, it’s all part of the job. But ideally, pets will never have to worry about these kinds of treatments: Provided pet owners regularly clean their pets’ teeth and make sure they get a check-up once a year.
Your cat’s diet
Give your cat a sugar-free diet whenever possible. Dry food is best, the hard pieces help to clean and remove leftover food from teeth. You should also regularly give your furry friend a dental treat, which is not just great for teeth most cats think it tastes good too. Some cats even love buffalo skin bones. Ask your vet first if you should give these to your cat. Never give them chicken bones, as these can splinter and cause serious injury to their throat and digestive tract. Remember to include these extras in your pet’s daily food rations; otherwise you will be promoting obesity! Dental toys also help provide additional cleaning for teeth. However, how intensely a cat will chew on these toys depends on their breed and personality. Filling the toys with pastes or treats usually makes them more attractive.
You can get some pets used to having their teeth brushed, but not with your own toothpaste of course. You can get special pet toothpaste available in delicious flavours such as chicken, which makes some cats forget that they don’t actually enjoy the procedure. If your feline friend lets you, brush their teeth once a day, at best in the evening. If they refuse, give them dental treats every day and don’t forget the regular check-up at home and at the vet.
Call into your local store today to discuss your cat’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts