Cats, just like humans, can develop oral diseases. They need daily cleaning to maintain their dental health and keep their teeth healthy into their senior years. Our veterinarians in New York are here to provide owners with all the essential information about how to clean their cat's teeth.
Tips for Keeping Your Cat's Teeth Clean
Cats tend to hide when they're experiencing any discomfort or pain. That's why kitty parents need to be aware of their cat's oral health and know how to keep their teeth clean.
Take Your Cat for Annual Dental Checkups
During their annual veterinarian visit, cats should undergo a dental checkup. Your vet will assess your cat's oral health and overall physical condition, informing you of any need for professional veterinary dental cleaning or surgery.
Implement a Daily Dental Care Routine
Cats require a daily oral health and dental care routine to maintain clean and healthy teeth. Introducing tooth brushing to your kitten while they are still young is advisable.
First, consult your vet to ensure your cat's oral health is suitable for brushing, as even kittens may have dental issues that require correction before brushing.
To ease your cat into this routine, wait until she is calm and relaxed, and then follow these steps:
- Gently lift the lips, then use your finger to massage the cat's teeth and gums for a few seconds.
- Start with low-key expectations - you may only reach one or two teeth the first few times you try this. Stop before she gets too annoyed.
- Give lots of praise and a yummy treat after your teeth-and-gum massage. The goal is to build your cat's tolerance to the experience, gradually increasing the length of time you spend on the task.
- Once your kitty has become used to having you massage her teeth and gums on a regular basis, you can gradually introduce a toothbrush and toothpaste designed especially for cats (never use your own toothpaste, as it contains ingredients that are toxic to our feline companions). Look for flavors that appeal to them, such as beef or chicken.
- Start with the brushing as gradually as you did the teeth-and-gum massage; your cat may begin by licking just a small dab of toothpaste from your finger (you may even have the opportunity to test a few different flavors). Find a brush that has soft bristles made for cats' delicate gums.
Some cat owners achieve success using soft gauze, while others prefer a finger brush for their felines. Some even opt for applying dental gel using either a toothbrush or their finger, allowing the gel to do the work.
You can choose from various products like teeth brushing, special treats, food, chew toys, or drinking water additives to assist in maintaining your cat's dental hygiene. However, it's essential to remember that your cat also requires regular professional dental cleanings performed by a qualified veterinarian to keep their teeth in excellent condition.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. If you are concerned about your pet's health, contact your veterinarian immediately for diagnosis and treatment.