Does your cat have a toothache? Like us, tooth pain can also be uncomfortable for your furry friend. Our Clearlake vets are here to explain the best practices for keeping your cat's mouth healthy and pain-free.
Cat Dental Care
Cats are masters at hiding pain, especially regarding oral health problems. They may suffer silently from painful issues without showing any signs of discomfort. As responsible owners, you must be aware of your feline friend's oral health and maintain their dental hygiene. Regularly monitoring and cleaning your cat's teeth can help you spot any problems early on and prevent your cat from experiencing pain or needing costly treatments.
Annual Dental Checkups For Your Feline Family Member
Our vets recommend scheduling annual dental exams with your vet to ensure their mouth remains pain-free and healthy. Preventive dental care can help keep your pet from suffering unbeknownst to us. Your veterinarian will evaluate your pet's oral health on top of their overall physical health and let you know if any professional dental cleaning or surgery is required to restore your cat's good health.
Regular dental checkups for your cat not only help the vet clean their teeth but also enable them to educate you on preventing dangerous plaque and tartar buildup.
Routine Dental Care For Cats
Maintaining a daily oral hygiene routine for your cat can significantly contribute to the long-term of their teeth and gums. To make cleaning your cat's teeth at home as easy and stress-free as possible, begin your cat's oral hygiene routine while your kitty is still young. This way, your cat will be accustomed to having their teeth brushed, and mouth touched from a young age.
Your goal is to make brushing your cat's teeth a stress-free and easy part of your kitty's daily routine. Begin by waiting until your cat is calm and relaxed, then follow these steps:
- Gently lift your cat's lips, then use your finger to massage their teeth and gums for just a few seconds.
- Don't expect too much from your cat at first. You may only be able to reach a couple of teeth the first few times your try this process. That's okay, though. This is about building trust in your cat to help prevent them from becoming agitated.
- Remain calm, and be sure to give lots of praise and a yummy treat after your teeth-and-gum massage. You're trying to build your cat's tolerance to the experience, gradually increasing the length of time you spend on the task each day.
- Once your feline friend is used to you massaging their gums each day, you will be able to gradually introduce a soft-bristled toothbrush you can acquire from your vet and some special cat toothpaste. Toothpaste can come in a range of excellent flavors for cats, like beef or chicken.
- Begin using the toothbrush as gradually as you did the teeth-and-gum massage; your cat may begin by licking just a small dab of toothpaste from your finger.
The degree to which you can brush your cat's teeth depends largely on their temperament. Make sure to remain adaptable and adjust your approach based on your cat's tolerance levels. Some cat owners have a straightforward time cleaning their teeth with some gauze, some find a finger brush works well, and others apply a dental gell with their fingers that they allow to do the work for them.
When you finally begin brushing your cat's teeth successfully, move along the gum line, working quickly but stopping before your cat becomes irritated. It could be weeks before your kitty tolerates having all of their teeth cleaned during a single session.
Is your feline friend feeling stressed or alarmed during the teeth cleaning routine, leading to potential scratching or biting reactions? If you find the task of brushing your cat's teeth challenging, fret not! There are alternative approaches to maintaining their dental health. Consider incorporating plaque remover additives into their drinking water, exploring specially designed chew toys, or delighting your kitty with delectable dental treats.
As well as your efforts to keep your kitty's teeth clean and healthy, they'll also need a regular professional dental cleaning performed by a qualified vet to keep their teeth in optimal condition.
To find out more about the veterinary dental care available here at Clearlake Veterinary Clinic, check out our dentistry page.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet