Dental problems in cats can be just as painful as they are in humans. In fact, mouth and tooth pain may cause your feline companion to refuse to eat. Our Staten Island veterinarians discuss how to clean your cat's mouth and keep their teeth healthy today.
Your Cat's Dental Health
Cats are very good at hiding their pain. They could be suffering from a painful oral health issue without ever expressing their discomfort. As a result, owners must be aware of their feline companion's oral health and keep their furry companion's teeth clean. By monitoring and cleaning your cat's teeth on a regular basis, you will be able to detect any oral health issues early on and help your cat avoid pain and costly treatment.
At-Home Dental Care For Your Feline Friend
Maintaining a daily oral hygiene routine for your cat may help to keep their teeth and gums healthy for the rest of their life. Begin establishing a daily oral hygiene routine for your cat while they are still a kitten to make cleaning their teeth at home as simple and stress-free as possible. Your cat will become accustomed to having its teeth brushed and mouth touched from a young age this way.
Your goal is to make brushing your cat's teeth a stress-free and easy part of your kitty's daily routine. 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 put too much pressure on your cat at first. The first few times you try this process, you may only be able to reach a couple of teeth. But that's fine. This is about instilling trust in your cat in order to keep them calm.
- Maintain your cool and give lots of praise and a tasty treat after your teeth-and-gum massage. You're attempting to acclimate your cat to the experience by gradually increasing the amount of time you spend on the task each day.
- Once your feline pal is used to you massaging their gums every day, you can gradually introduce a soft-bristled toothbrush and special cat toothpaste from your vet. Toothpaste for cats can be found in a variety of delicious flavors such as 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.
Be Patient & Adaptable While Your Cat Gets Used to the Process
Your success in cleaning your cat's teeth will be largely determined by your cat's temperament. Make sure you're relaxed and adaptable, and that your approach is tailored to your cat's tolerance level. Some cat owners use gauze to clean their pet's teeth; others use a finger brush, and still, others apply a dental gel with their fingers and let it 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 its teeth cleaned during a single session.
If your cat is stressed or alarmed by the teeth cleaning process it may react by scratching or biting. 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.
Yearly Dental Checkups For Cats
Our veterinarians recommend making annual dental care visits to your vet's office part of your cat's preventative healthcare routine to ensure that their mouth remains pain-free and healthy. Your veterinarian will assess your pet's oral health in addition to their overall physical health and notify you if professional dental cleaning or surgery is required to restore your cat's good health.
To find out more about the veterinary dental care available here at our Staten Island animal hospital 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.