I’m sure you wouldn’t go into the office in the morning or nod off to sleep at night without brushing your teeth. But, can you say the same for your floofy friend? Unfortunately, cat dental care is an all too often overlooked part of a kitty-cat’s health with eight out of ten cats experiencing some form of dental disease in their lives. Dental disease can bring with it a whole string of unwanted symptoms including pain which cats are very good at hiding, and of course stinky kitty breath. That’s why today we’re going to discuss cat dental care in depth and share some impawtent cat dental care tips and advice so that you can best maintain your furry buddy’s pearly whites.
Cat Dental Disease
After your cat’s finished tucking into their favourite lip-smacking cat food, food particles, bacteria, and plaque are left on your cat’s teeth and gums. When their teeth aren’t brushed regularly or god forbid at all, plaque and bacteria can build up and eventually harden into tartar which causes irritation and inflammation of the gums.
Gum inflammation is called gingivitis and is the first stage of periodontal gum disease. If left unchecked gingivitis can progress into more severe forms of dental disease, which can cause nasty infections or even tooth loss. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as with proper cat dental care, periodontal disease can be prevented.
Signs Of Poor Cat Dental Care
As we said, the best way to prevent your cat from developing periodontal disease is to recognise the signs of poor cat dental care early. The first sign that you’ll probably notice is stinky cat breath, and no, not just after they’ve eaten their favourite salmon cat food.
Other signs of poor cat dental care include:
- Red and inflamed gums.
- Excessive drooling.
- Signs of dental pain such as refusing to eat, pawing at their mouth, or reduced grooming.
- Visible tartar or plaque around the teeth – this is a yellowy-brown colour and looks like those rocky limescale bits that form in the bottom of your kettle
- Chewing on one side of the mouth or eating noticeably slower.
- Ulcers in the mouth.
- Weight loss.
If you notice any of these signs, take your feline friend to the vet for a dental examination.
Cat Dental Care: Tips and Advice For Maintaining Purrfect Oral Hygiene
Brush Your Cat’s Teeth
To keep the kitty cat tooth fairy away and those vet bills low, you should be brushing your cat’s teeth every day. It can be a challenge to clean your old tom’s teeth if he’s not used to it, so make sure to start brushing your cat’s teeth from a young age. This will make it an easier and more pleasurable experience for both of you. Six months of age is a good time to start. At this point they will have stopped teething which makes the process much more comfortable for them.
Make sure to use an enzymatic, pet-specific toothpaste and specialised cat toothbrush so that you’re brushing their teeth safely.
Cats should never use hooman toothpaste as the high levels of fluoride in it is toxic for them. Always use the proper equipment, it will be easier for you and safer for your kitty cat.
You can check out this guide on cat teeth cleaning for all the details on how to incorporate regular brushing into your cat’s daily routine.
Care For Your Cat’s Gums
Cat dental care doesn’t stop at their teeth. As we know, periodontal disease often starts with gum inflammation or gingivitis. After you’ve finished brushing your cat’s teeth, give their gums a little massage to help stimulate healing of the gum and strengthen them too.
Avoid Sugary Foods
Our kitty-cats are carnivorous critters, and sugar has no nutritional value to them. Sugar only does harm to cats as it erodes the protective enamel of their teeth, which can lead to tooth decay and cat dental disease. That’s why you should always steer clear of cat food and treats with added sugars.
As much as your cat may look up at you with those great big adoring eyes whilst you’re tucking into your own dinner or yummy dessert, you should also avoid giving them any scraps from the dining table. Not only are some human foods toxic to cats, but they often have high levels of sugar in them which can be damaging for their teeth
Regular Veterinary Dental Check-Ups
Check-ups with your vet once or twice per year are the best way to keep your cat happy and purring. As cats are very good at hiding pain, in particular dental pain, it can be difficult for pawrents to really know when something’s not quite right. It takes a professionally trained eye to spot some of the signs of poor cat dental care and to prevent them from developing dental disease. Sometimes even the most diligent teeth brushing needs a little extra TLC and vets can pick up on this and provide deep cleans, similar to that of when we go to the dentist ourselves. They can also recommend and prescribe certain products or medications for cat dental disorders or oral hygiene issues.
How Scrumbles Cat Dental Treats Can Help
At Scrumbles, we know how important cat dental care is for maintaining the happiness and health of our kitty-cats. That’s why we created our Gnashers Cat Dental Treats, to be the perfect adjunct to a well-rounded cat dental hygiene routine.
We love to feed our cats these Gnashers as a healthy treat after brushing their teeth to reward them while also helping fight nasty plaque buildup. We add an active ingredient known as Sodium Hexametaphosphate (SHMP) which is clinically proven to reduce plaque by up to 80%.
Plus with a crispy, crunchy texture, they go one step further in powerfully rubbing off plaque through mechanical abrasions.
They’re also naturally sugar and grain-free, so kind on tooth enamel and sensitive tummies, and packed with 50% highly digestible and delectable chicken to satisfy our carnivorous buddies.
So, try them out and let us know what you think! And, as always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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