Did you know that dental health issues can be just as excruciating for our feline friends as they are for us humans? Tooth and mouth pain can be so severe that it can prevent cats from enjoying their meals. Here, our vets in Suffolk County share some tips for cleaning your cats teeth and talk about the importance of dental care.
Will My Cat Always Show Signs of Dental Pain?
Cats have a talent for hiding their pain. If your cat is experiencing a lot of pain in their mouth without showing signs, it must be taken to the vet for checkups. By keeping your dental health habits, you can prevent your cat from experiencing more pain and expensive treatments. You should contact your vet if you notice any of the following signs in your cat. This could indicate a dental problem.
- Bad breath
- Bleeding or swollen gums
- Refusing to eat
Taking your cat to the vet is the best way to learn if your feline friend is experiencing any dental health issues.
Dental Checkups For Cats
To keep your cat's mouth pain-free and healthy, the vets at Deer Park Animal Hospital suggest taking your kitty for a dental check up at least once a year as part of a preventative care routine. This would be like taking them to the dentist. The vets will examine your cat's dental health as well as, perform a physical health evaluation to inform you if they need professional dental cleaning or surgery to restore their overall well-being.
Establishing a Dental Care Routine For Cats
As loving pet parents, we want our feline friends to have the healthiest, brightest smiles possible. And just like our oral hygiene, a daily dental routine can work wonders in keeping your kitty's teeth and gums in shape. But getting your cat used to this routine can be daunting, so let us help you.
To ensure a stress-free brushing experience for you and your furry companion, we recommend starting the routine when your cat is still young. This will get them accustomed to having their teeth cleaned and make the process a breeze. Here's how you can start:
- Carefully lift your cat's lips, and massage your kitty's gums and teeth with a finger for a few seconds.
- Do not expect much patience from your cat at first. You may only accomplish a second or two on your first few attempts, but that's fine. Just be careful to stop before your cat gets too excited.
- Stay calm and give your kitty lots of treats and praise after the teeth-and-gum massage. You want your cat to build a tolerance to the experience, continuously adding more time to the task every day.
- As soon as your kitty is familiar with getting their gums and teeth massaged daily, you may gradually start including a soft-bristled toothbrush ( and possibly a toothpaste for cats) that's recommended by your vet. The cat toothpaste is available in a variety of flavors cats love, including beef or chicken!
- Start introducing the toothbrush the same way as you did the teeth-and-gum massage (gradually); at first, your cat might lick a tiny bit of toothpaste from your fingertip.
Be patient and flexible with the method you use to brush your cat's teeth, as the degree of cleaning will depend on your cat's temperament. Some may prefer a small piece of soft gauze, while others may benefit from a cat dental gel on a finger or toothbrush.
Remember, the key is to work along the gum line, moving quickly and stopping before your cat becomes impatient or angry. It may take a few weeks for your cat to tolerate having all their teeth brushed in one go, but with persistence and patience, it will become second nature.
However, if your cat becomes stressed or resistant to brushing, other options, like dental chew toys, treats, or plaque remover additives in their water dish, are available. And remember to schedule routine professional dental cleanings with your veterinarian to keep your kitty's teeth and gums in ideal condition.
To learn more about our dental care services at Deer Park Animal Hospital, visit our dentistry page. We're here to help you keep your furry companion's smile shining bright!
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.