Did you know cats can develop the same dental problems that are found in humans?
We humans are taught from a young age to brush our teeth regularly to ward off gingivitis, plaque and tartar, however we often forget that these very same diseases can also affect our pets. For effective dental health for cats, it's important to look at several facets of your cat’s lifestyle.
Although most commercially produced pet foods provide a balanced diet, products such as tinned foods, meat rolls, and even raw meats like mince, are very soft and mushy and therefore can't act as an abrasive to naturally clean teeth.
An excellent addition to the pet food market was the introduction of dry biscuits that are now a very common style of food for most pets. As they have a hard and crunchy texture, they rub against the teeth whilst your cat is chewing. There are even some specific dry cat food products that have been manufactured with this exact purpose in mind.
Although feeding your cat dry biscuits certainly can help to keep plaque and tartar at bay, giving your cat bones or chunks of raw meat to chew on regularly is not only another effective solution, but a tasty one too!
Yes, you can buy a toothbrush for your cat! We stock several types of toothbrushes suitable for cats, including one that has been specially designed to fit over your finger and with a small brush head, perfect for your cats’ small mouth. There is also specialised toothpaste for pets. Human toothpaste cannot be used due to the fact that contains too much fluoride.
The hardest part of actually brushing your cat's teeth is keeping them still! Most people find that unless you start brushing your cat's teeth when they are young, it may be more difficult to get them used to it as they get older, so when you get a new kitten, start their toothbrushing routine as early as possible.
Cat Life Stage
You may have heard the phrase 'getting long in the tooth' which is an old saying that means you are getting older. Sadly, the majority of older cats will have experienced or will be experiencing tooth and gum problems. In fact, the state of advanced plaque on a cat's teeth is often used as a reasonably accurate indicator of a cat's age.
Your cat can wear down their teeth through excessive self-grooming which is when a pet is constantly gnawing and biting or chewing at its own fur due to itchiness caused by untreated skin conditions. Seeking relief for the original skin condition will eliminate your cats excessive grooming and avoid wearing down their teeth.
Cat Dental Hints
The most obvious signs of teeth and gum disease in cats are bad breath and drooling. Often the cause of that foul smell is the presence of stuck food particles and sometimes even an infection in the tissues of your cats’ mouth. Not only is this very unpleasant for both you and your pet, but it can be dangerous to your cat's health as abscesses, blood poisoning and serious illness can result from mouth infections.
Some breeds of cat are more susceptible to dental problems than others. For example, cats with short or pushed-in faces such as Persians, may be more prone to dental problems. The bone structure of their skulls can sometimes mean that there isn't enough room for all of their teeth or that their teeth will grow at incorrect angles and may eventually cause gum damage.
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