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Did you know that most cat owners aren’t educated about feline dental care? Cat teeth problems are so prevalent that a study by the AVDS states that 70% of cats are affected by the periodontal disease by the age of three.
This is very disconcerting news for pet lovers and more information should be made available to rectify such a preventable disease. If you are not committing your pet to routine cat teeth cleaning, it is strongly suggested that you begin.
A Brushing Routine
When brushing cat teeth, it is recommended that you commit to a steady schedule averaging one to two times per week. Some people even claim three times, but even one time is more than most people will probably ever do. Getting this routine going is the hardest part. This may sound like a lot at first, but given the alternative, it is a small price to pay. Many people don't ever brush cat teeth so if you can't stick to a tight schedule do it monthly. You'll notice that it often works better if you try regularly so you'll probably end up doing it more.
Periodontal disease in cats is such a concern because once cat teeth are exposed to it, the infection will progress rapidly. The most detrimental cat teeth problems occur when bacteria from the disease enters the cat’s bloodstream and, over time, damages the heart, kidneys, and liver. The final result is the premature loss of your beloved pet; something that happens all too often.
Toys and Supplements
Once you and your pet familiarize with the process, brushing cat teeth is not as foreboding as you might have thought. Yet, if your cat is particularly averse to the practice you can purchase additional items to assist in the cleaning process.
Two of the more prevalent ways of assisting you in keeping cat teeth clean is the use of various toys and supplements. Pet retailers actually have toys with ingredients that encourage digestion and fight plaque. These are great additions to your cat teeth cleaning regimen because they are not just useful, but also fun. Also, don’t forget to pick up food supplements as well. Most of them come in either powder or liquid form, aid in keeping cat teeth clean, and are easily utilized by placing them in with your cat’s food.
Best Practices When Brushing Cat Teeth
Regarding the best practices for brushing cat teeth, the following points can assist you:
- Purchase a small toothbrush, or better, a cat-approved brush provided by your veterinarian.
- Purchase a cat-approved enzyme toothpaste from your veterinarian. Cat teeth-specific toothpaste is recommended because they possess a lower fluoride level than their human counterparts.
- You may have to wrap your cat in a towel and make sure their nails are trimmed in order to lower the chance of being harmed by their initial reaction.
- Your first attempts should be with just the toothpaste and your finger. This introduces the procedure to your cat for the first week, acclimatizing it to the action.
- Once your cat has become accustomed to step 4, introduce the brush. Only use it for a small period of time before returning to using your fingers. Increase the period of time brushing your cat’s teeth each day until you are able to clean all of the teeth easily.
Already Having Dental Issues?
Once you are accustomed to brushing cat teeth appropriately, the act will be rather uneventful, making it easy to commit to it a few times per week. If you’ve already noted cat teeth problems, it is suggested that you visit your veterinarian in order to gauge the progress of the issue and remedy any existing ailments. Once your veterinarian makes their approval, then you can commit to cleaning your cat’s teeth as discussed, making sure to slow any chance of disease in the best manner possible.
Hygiene and Life Longevity
Our cats can provide us some of the best relationships of our lives. We should do everything in our power to extend their lives as well so that we can have them around for as long as possible. Just remember, we don’t just clean cat teeth for the sake of hygiene, we do it for their overall health and longevity. Once committed to, cat teeth cleaning can help us experience a longer and healthier relationship with our beloved friends.
Is This Important Element Missing From Your Pet’s Healthcare Routine?
By: Chewy Editorial Published: October 13, 2016
BeWell / Wellness / Is This Important Element Missing From Your Pet’s Healthcare Routine?
Is This Important Element Missing From Your Pet’s Healthcare Routine?
When it comes to your pet, having clean, sparkling white dog teeth or cat teeth might seem like more of a cosmetic concern over a possible serious pet health issue. But the truth is, your pet’s dental health affects each and every part of your furry friend’s overall health and well-being.
To maintain good dental health, have your pet’s teeth checked once a year by your veterinarian.
Regular, yearly checkups are crucial components in keeping your pet’s mouth healthy. These visits can help you and your vet catch any minor problems before they become much bigger ones for your pet’s health. Pet parents should also keep an eye out for the following signs of dental problems and see a veterinarian immediately if they notice any of these key indicators: unusually bad breath, broken or loose teeth, lack of appetite or dropping food, bleeding or swelling around the mouth, excessive drooling, abnormal chewing or any obvious signs of pain or discomfort.
The easiest way to keep your pet’s mouth healthy is to stop disease before it starts.
To keep dental problems and periodontal disease at bay, one of the most effective ways to help your pet’s pearly whites at home will involve regular cleaning and brushing of your dogs’ teeth (or cat’s teeth). It may take time for you both to feel comfortable with this idea and to train your dog—or even more difficult, your cat—to accept regular tooth brushing. But brushing even a few times a week, or ideally daily, according to the American Veterinary Dental College, can make a great deal of difference.
A task even easier than brushing your dog’s teeth? Giving her dog dental chews like Greenies, the #1 vet recommended dog dental chew – proven to clean dog’s teeth by fighting both plaque and tartar buildup! There are many hard dog chews and liquid water additives for both cats and dogs that can help prevent tartar buildup. As always, it’s best to consult your veterinarian before purchasing new products or treats to make sure you’re getting the best item for your pet and her needs.
Consider occasional professional teeth cleanings.
As a pet parent, you have a few options when it comes to your dog or cat’s dental healthcare. It is less costly to clean your dog’s or cat’s teeth regularly at home, but (again, just like humans) animals may need both at-home and professional cleanings to keep their teeth and gums in tip-top shape.
If you do opt for professional cleanings, many veterinarians recommend giving a pet anesthesia during the service. Doing so, will allow for close scrutiny of and the removal of plaque at the gum line, where the worst buildup usually occurs. Most animals do not like any human, no matter how trusted, probing that far down into their mouths, so to better ensure both your pet and the veterinarian aren’t injured during the cleaning, anesthesia is often necessary. This can up the cost of a basic dental exam and cleaning considerably when compared to home care, but in the long run, it is well worth the price if it prevents the progression of serious dental disease and other problems that could be detrimental to your pet’s overall long-term health.
Your sweet cat deserves healthy teeth. Gingivitis and other oral problems affect organ wellness, not just what you smell when your cat opens her mouth. Fishy breath is normal cat breath, but the smell of rotting can be a sign of a chronic pain disorder or heart condition down the line. You can take preventative steps and give your cat the best pampering by being Health First.
Now, before you whip out your own tube of toothpaste to brush Fluffy’s teeth, let’s give you some pro-tips:
Give Your Cat Greenies SmartBites
Unpaid endorsement: They just work. They clean your cat’s teeth while they chew, no effort on your part needed! They come in a variety of flavors, and are commonly found in cat-stuff markets. Tartar control treats are a great way to reward a cat who’s behaving or being generally lovable, and are usually a hit with the felines. Over-supplementing can hurt the belly, so be sure the keep the treats moderated by the other steps.
Keep Their Diet Healthy
This means various meals, grain free, and reasonably sourced. If it was fish last week, try chicken this week. If your cat can eat both wet and dry, mix it up there, too. The better the diet, the healthier the teeth!
Brush Their Teeth
Use finger toothbrushes like these to keep your cat’s teeth healthy between cleanings.
Acquire a finger toothbrush (a plastic tool that fits over your finger and is intended for use with pets) and some Cat Toothpaste (very different than human toothpaste! Human toothpaste will put your favorite fluff on the vet’s table!), and get into a routine. Warm your cat up to the feeling of you lifting her lips, and after a few days, introduce the new toothbrush. Gently brush, for as long as she’ll let you (no more than two minutes—but wow, if you can do two minutes!). After the first brushing, make it a routine. Cats are creatures of habit.
Regular Check Ups
Bring ‘er in for a yearly check up at your local. You’ve gotten the postcards in the mail, read the signs on the storefront, and received reminder emails: A regular check up keeps Meow’s health in tip top shape, and this means the pros will have the chance to really care for her teeth.
Keeping your cat’s teeth clean without brushing daily is possible. There are many products made for cats’ dental health, so it should be very easy to find substitutes.
Also, we know that cats are not as cooperative as dogs when it comes to brushing. For fidgety kitties, brushing may not be possible at all. In that case, you have to explore other methods.
Below are some of the things we use for my kitten Watson on days when we can’t brush his teeth:
1. Apply dental gel for cats
Cat dental gels are antiseptic gels used to help prevent stomatitis, plaque buildup, and periodontal disease. It’s like toothpaste, but there’s no brushing needed.
You only have to apply about two drops on your cat’s mouth and let it lick. The licking reaction will help spread the gel all over your cat’s mouth. You should also refrain from giving your cat food or water for 30 minutes after applying the gel.
Take note that dental gel for cats is formulated for felines. It’s edible and not like any toothpaste or dental gels you can find in the market.
2. Utilize cat teeth cleaning treats
Another effective way to clean your cat’s teeth without brushing is by giving it some cat dental treats. Unlike the typical treats, these are formulated with breath-freshening ingredients. It also has ingredients added to neutralize bacteria and prevent bad breath.
Dental treats are very easy to administer and can be given every day. It’s also a great form of reward if you’re training your cat. Still, you should never overindulge your cat with these treats since it’s still a source of calories.
3. Use a water additive
Many veterinarians swear by water additives in solving halitosis among cats . It’s a formula that you can add to your cat’s water bowl. As your cat drinks, the formula cleanses its mouth. This is safe to ingest and can come flavored to encourage your kitty to drink more.
Water additives will help reduce the formation of tartar and plaque. It will also give your cat a nice breath.
There’s no brushing needed when you use water additives. Still, you must consult the vet first before using any water additive for cats. In rare cases, some cats may have sensitivities to the ingredients of a specific water additive product.
4. Give some dental toys
Aside from using gels and additives, you can also make playtime more productive for your cat. I suggest getting some dental toys that your cat can safely chew. As your kitty chews on it, the toy scrapes the tartar off their teeth.
Dental chew toys for cats can also be flavored to encourage the feline to chew more. Take note that you should never give dog chew toys to cats. Those are stiff and will damage your feline’s small teeth.
Also, you must supervise your cat every time you will give a chew toy. Although most of it is safe, there’s still a choking risk to it. Being present will let you intervene even before your cat swallows and chokes on a toy.
5. Consider dry food
Dry food is actually better than wet food if we are to talk about the dental health aspect. Kibble or dry food is crunchy, therefore scraping some tartar as your cat chews it. Unlike wet food, dry food is less likely to cause plaque buildup. Still, you should observe proper dental health measures to keep your cat’s teeth in check.
You can also find cat food shaped especially to remove tartar off a feline’s teeth. Some are even infused with breath-freshening ingredients.
Do you have to clean the cat’s teeth regularly?
Yes, it’s important to clean a cat’s teeth regularly. Brushing is the top option, but there are alternatives if your cat doesn’t seem to like the brush.
Aside from using various dental products for your cat, you should also consult the vet regularly. In general, cats need professional cleaning once a year. This helps remove hidden tartar that dental products alone can’t remove.
However, if you notice your cat is suffering bad breath and discolored teeth, you may need to bring it to the vet. These are signs of dental problems that must be addressed immediately. Otherwise, your cat will suffer from pain and discomfort. Dental products and brushing won’t suffice in this condition.
How to scrape tartar off cats’ teeth
Is your cat suffering from tartar buildup? If you act early, you can remove the tartar and prevent it from causing further dental problems on your cat.
Brushing is a very effective way to remove tartar from your cat’s teeth. You should also use cat toothpaste to wash away any food bits and bacteria on your cat’s mouth.
However, if the tartar is deep-seated and has solidified, it’s best to ask the vet for professional cleaning. Scraping it with hard objects at home will only hurt your kitty. My friend once tried doing it on his cat, and they ended up in the emergency room of the vet.
Tips to prevent dental problems on cats
Cleaning your cat’s teeth is imperative for dental health. Being proactive is key to prevent dental problems that will cause pain to your cat and burden on your pocket. Instead of waiting for dental problems to erupt, you must perform these preventive steps:
- Clean regularly. If possible, you should brush your cat’s mouth at least twice a week. If you can’t manage it, you should use dental gels, water additives, or dental chews as alternatives. Like us, our cats also need to keep their mouths clean.
- Professional check-ups. Aside from proper dental hygiene at home, you should also bring your kitty to the vet once a year for dental checks. This is to spot any problems that you didn’t see at home. While these checks cost a fee, it’s much lower than paying for treatment later on.
- Watch out for symptoms. Acting fast is key to prevent minor dental problems from becoming a bigger health concern. If you notice a change in your cat’s breath, teeth, and eating habits, you should consult with the vet.
- Mind the diet. The food we give our cats has an impact on their dental health. Avoid smelly food that can cause bad breath as well as food that may damage the cat’s gums and teeth. If your cat requires a special diet, you should consult the vet as always.
Knowing how to keep cats teeth clean without brushing is very important. Even if you have a busy schedule, this will ensure that your kitty’s dental health is in check. There are very easy ways to do this with the right supplies and advice from the vet. Nevertheless, you should take your cat to the vet for yearly dental checks to diagnose problems as it arises.
How often should you clean the cat’s teeth?
Ideally, this should be a daily exercise. Adult cats can have their teeth cleaned naturally by chewing meat in the wild. With kittens, they are a bit delicate and have to be assisted with the cleaning daily. So in essence, brush your cat’s teeth daily, even if it has chewed meat and other foods. Just once a day brushing is okay for the cat. Introduce them to this exercise when they are young so that they get used to it.
Cats need to have their teeth cleaned. There are ways of cleaning without brushing, and you can also clean by brushing. Cats too can have their teeth cleaned by chewing things like meat, skin, and bones. Kittens need to be assisted in the cleaning of the teeth as they are a bit delicate. Always observe hygiene and keep your pets clean.