Feline Oral Health: Preventative Practices

cat oral healthOne of the most important, and often overlooked, aspects in the health of your cat is the proper care of the teeth and gums. Like humans, oral health is indicative of overall health and wellness and poor hygiene can lead to life-long issues.

Caring for Your Cat’s Teeth

Preventative practices can ensure good dental health and a longer life for your feline companion. These include regular oral inspections at home, regular veterinary visits, and tooth brushing. Daily tooth brushing will take patience and persistence to establish. The earlier you can accustom your cat to this practice, the easier it will be for you both. As kittens need weekly inspections to monitor teething patterns, it is good to start tooth brushing as soon as the first teeth erupt.

There are a variety of toothbrushes specially made for cats, as well as specialized toothpastes with flavors your cat will find appealing. NEVER use human toothpaste on your pet! It contains foaming agents that can cause internal problems if swallowed by your cat.

A Q-tip dipped in tuna juice and rubbed against the outer side of the teeth at the gum line is a common way to train your cat to allow you to brush. Tuna water has no real dental benefits outside of removing a light layer of plaque, but most cats like the flavor and will respond more willingly to tooth brushing.

It can take several days or even weeks to build up to your cat allowing you to brush all of its teeth. Don’t worry about the tips or inner surface unless your cat is very cooperative, the abrasive surface of the tongue generally keeps them cleaner.

For more information about feline health issues, please contact us.