Preventative Dental Care for Cats

Proper dental care for cats keeps cats pain free and healthy. Cats with severe tooth decay suffer from a great amount of pain that alters their eating habits. Left untreated, the plague and infection spread to other organs and can lead to organ failure. Every pet owner should handle simple teeth cleaning procedures at home.

Choose Dental Care for Cats Food Formulas

Iams, as well as Hills, offer prescription dental care formulas proven to improve oral health by scraping off plaque and tartar while the cat eats. The dry food comes in larger pieces forcing the cat to chew more leading to more scraping action.

It is important to realize that cat food alone is not enough to ensure a cat's dental health, but it's a good way to start preventing tooth decay.

Yearly Dental Exams

Once a year, you need to take your cat to a veterinarian who is qualified in dental veterinary medicine. The veterinarian must check for gingivitis, oral lesions, tooth decay, plaque and tartar. If necessary, the cat will be anesthetized and a complete scaling of the teeth will be completed to remove plaque and tartar. All dental care for cats routines should include a veterinary dental visit.

At-Home Dental Care for Cats for Owners

You should clean your cat's teeth daily. Pet stores sell cat-sized toothbrushes. Purchase a cat-friendly toothpaste, usually chicken and tuna flavored pastes work effectively. Tuna flavored toothpaste is harder to find, but most pet stores sell C.E.T. Enzymatic oral hygiene gel in a chicken flavor and cats love it. The enzymes help break up plaque and bacteria.

Let your cat set the pace. You might not be able to clean all the teeth in one sitting. Do not force the cat to stay still. This will only teach the cat to hate cleanings.

Use the small brush with a small portion of oral hygiene gel and gently brush the tooth down to the gum. It's natural for your pet to swallow the mixture, they won't understand spitting it out. You can use a damp washcloth to wipe away any drool.

Use dental floss to get between teeth. If you start this when your cat is a kitten, he'll become accustomed to your fingers being in his mouth. With older cats, you may need to be patient. Watch for bites, a cat bite is filled with bacteria and can be dangerous to humans. If a bite does break skin and draw blood, call your doctor to ask about antibiotics.

Finishing with a Chlorhexidine Oral Rinse

Follow up a brushing with a chlorhexidine oral rinse. The dental rinse comes in a squirt bottle that you can squirt onto your cat's gumline and teeth for additional protection. You should have a towel or newspapers under the cat for easy clean up. The oral rinse will end up on your floor, counter or table.

Preventative dental care for cats will keep your pet's teeth and gums healthy. In addition, you prevent bacteria from damaging the organs in the future. Too many pet owners discover too late how infected teeth can cause life threatening heart, liver and kidney damage.