A quick guide to kitty dental care

Just like us, our feline friends need a bit of help to keep their smiles healthy. Here are a few things to look out for and what to do to make sure their gnashers stay healthy.  

April 16, 2024

Why cat dental care matters

Unlike their wild cousins who chomp on bones and grass, our indoor treasures miss out on nature’s toothbrush. Plus, cats are the strong, silent types—they won't always let on when they’re hurting. And here's a shocker: By age three, most kitties show signs of dental disease. Yikes!

Keep an eye on their mouth and look out for a few signs:

  • Bad breath (a sign of advanced dental disease)

  • Red or swollen gums

  • Yellowish-brown tartar buildup

  • Difficulty eating

  • Excessive drooling

  • Pawing at their face

You might also notice your cat dropping food from their mouth, chewing only on one side or losing weight because they’re finding it difficult or painful to eat.

Brushing and beyond

Start with the right tools: a cat-specific toothbrush and pet-safe toothpaste (chicken or beef flavour might make them more cooperative). Begin slow, be patient, and praise them like crazy!

If your cat's a bit hesitant, introduce them slowly to the idea, letting them taste the toothpaste and get used to the brush. Consistency is key, so try to make it a calming daily ritual. Don't stress if daily brushing isn't possible right away—any brushing is better than none!

Diet and dental health

Mixing up your cat's diet with both soft and dry food can help. Dry food, in particular, can act like a natural toothbrush. There are also dental treats approved by dental health councils that help clean teeth while your cat enjoys a tasty snack.

Vet visits

Regular vet check-ups are crucial for catching and treating any dental issues early. Also, keep an eye out for any changes in your cat's mouth or eating habits—they might be trying to tell you something's not right.

By taking a bit of time for dental care, you're not just preventing bad breath (although that’s a major bonus!); you're ensuring your cat's overall health and happiness.

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