Three Ways To Improve Your Cat's Oral Health
Cats can develop cavities and gum disease like anyone else, but it's unfortunately common for cats' oral health to be neglected. This can lead to tooth loss and severe pain; in fact, most cats over the age of three already have some form of dental disease. If you want to either protect your cat from experiencing dental disease in the first place or to prevent your cat from experiencing future tooth loss, here are three steps you can follow at home to reduce your cat's risk.
Brushing your cat's teeth may seem hard, but it can actually be a lot easier than you think. Most cat toothpastes are made with enzymes that help to break down bacteria and plaque on contact. This means that just getting the toothpaste into your cat's mouth will make a difference. However, you should still try to reach every tooth you can.
To make it easier to brush your cat's teeth, don't force the brushing right away. Let your cat get accustomed to the toothbrush. Allow your kitty to smell it, and if they're so inclined, bite it. Put some toothpaste on the brush and see if your cat wants to lick it off.
After letting your cat get used to the toothbrush, you can start brushing the front canine teeth. Once your kitty is used to that, you can move on to the teeth further into the mouth. Take it slowly and allow your cat to adjust.
Your cat drinks water anyway, so why not add something to it to help curb dental disease? Dental water additives are designed to control bacterial growth in the mouth. This slows the development of plaque and helps to prevent gum disease. While water additives aren't enough on their own, when paired with the other tips in this guide, they can do a lot for your kitty's oral health.
Lastly, consider buying some dental treats for your cat. These treats are meant to help scrape tartar off of your cat's teeth. This will help to prevent tooth decay, especially when combined with the other tips.
If you want to give your cat dental treats, try to give it to your cat so that they actually chew the treat instead of just swallowing it. Typically, cats are more inclined to swallow treats if they lick them up off the ground or out of the palm of your hand. Instead, try holding the treat in your fingers and let your cat bite it to take it out of your fingers; they should then crunch down on it. If your cat doesn't bite or chew the treat, it can't help their teeth, so experiment until you find something that works.
Good dental health for your kitty can be achieved with regular veterinary visits and these tips. If you think your cat is already experiencing dental health problems, visit a pet hospital for an examination and full cleaning.