When we think about maintaining dental health, we might think of our morning brushing and flossing, we might even stretch to thinking about how dogs might benefit from a chewy denti-stick, but you would scarcely associate the need for oral hygiene to cats! Perhaps their pioneering independence is the reason behind this? In actual fact, cat dental care is a key factor to consider when you go about looking at building the best lifestyle for your feline friend. Cat dental problems are sadly not uncommon, and for that reason, cat teeth cleaning and how to clean cats teeth are things worth considering.
Your cat’s mouth, after all, is the gateway through which nutritious food enters their body and the teeth and gums form powerful tools at ensuring your cat gets the most out of their food. Not only this, but the mouth is your cat's primary apparatus in playing with other cats, cleaning itself, and also hunting and exploring the local environment. It is also important to try and facilitate cat teeth cleaning and cat dental care from early on, for two specific reasons. Firstly, warming your cat to cat dental treatment like cat dental treats and cat teeth cleaning as a kitten will give them the opportunity to habituate themselves to it. Also, like many other sites of illness, cat dental problems are typically developmental and can be stopped early on, or eased with preventative measures.
Cat Dental Problems
When it comes to cat dental problems, you can see a thematic link between the kind of oral issues that cats face, and the kind that humans and indeed dogs face. When you consider this, the necessity for cat teeth cleaning, and dental cleaning as a whole becomes far more apparent, as we humans already dedicate an enormous portion of time to the cleaning and maintenance of our own teeth and gums. Here are 3 of the main cat dental problems to look out for:
Plaque is a common issue that animals face and, if left unchecked, it can form the first step on the road towards cat gum disease. Plaque is essentially a milky deposit that forms when the particles from your cat's food mix with its saliva. This milky deposit can then end up collecting on the teeth and forming a layer. Cat teeth cleaning can be seen as incredibly important in this sense, as it provides a quick-stop solution to the buildup of plaque which constitutes a cat dental problem for your furry friend. Plaque is also identifiable by the fact that it causes alarmingly bad breath, so treating it early on is a way of preventing this.
Eventually, if not cared for early, plaque can build to a point where it hardens and becomes a stubborn mineral substance known as tartar. This can spell disaster for your cat's dental health and can make cat dental treatment problematic because tartar is far harder to remove than plaque, as it is fixed to teeth. The transition from plaque to tartar underpins the need to pursue cat dental care from an early point and shows just how important it is to take preventative measures to stop the plaque from turning into stubborn tartar.
When tartar has built to a chronic level, your cat will have developed gingivitis, a clinical form of cat gum disease. This occurs when cat teeth cleaning has been neglected to the point where tartar has built to an unhealthy level. The tartar buildup can then cause reddening, swelling and bleeding of the gums. Beyond causing your cat pain and discomfort, this cat dental problem will leave their gums vulnerable to the plethora of potentially harmful bacteria that circulates in the mouth and is usually neutralised by digestive enzymes. This essentially provides an avenue through which bacteria can enter your cat's body via the gums, and create potentially more health issues.
Cat Dental Problems Symptoms
In order to act quickly to make the changes necessary to prevent an escalation in cat dental problems for your feline friend, it is important to check regularly for the ‘tell tale’ signs of infection. The most notable symptom is bad breath, which is an expected a well with plaque (which is essentially formed from rotting food). This can help you work out that your cat is in need of oral relief. Also reddening of the gums, inflammation of the soft tissue in the mouth, and damage of the teeth are clear signs of trouble.
How to Prevent Cat Gum Disease
The first steps to ensuring your cat doesn’t run into any unwanted dental issues are preventative ones. Giving your cat the right diet is essential for oral health, as too much sugar or processed ingredients has the potential to affect your cat's dental care in the same way they affect that of a human being. Also make sure that your cat has plenty of toys to bite and chew on, as toys provide a beneficial alternative to surfaces, sticks and other things that could damage your cat's teeth in the long run.
The next important factor which follows the start early mantra, is cat teeth cleaning. Much like how we regularly brush our teeth, regular cleaning can help prevent cat dental problems and the gradual incidence of cat gum disease. Start from when your cat is a kitten by purchasing a toothpaste tailored for cats. Have them habituate themselves to the flavour by simply allowing them to taste it on your finger before eventually building up to introducing your furry friend to a cat orientated toothbrush and regular brushing. The process of routine cat teeth cleaning will help prevent the buildup of plaque, which in term will prevent the arrival of tartar and later cat gum disease.
Cat Dental Supplements
Lastly, dental supplements are a great way for you to make substitutions or enhancements to your cat's dental care routine to help complement their oral health and help prevent cat dental problems. There are certain supplements that are out there which are geared to suit a specific purpose, for example, there are cat dental treats that are tailored to provide an enjoyable cat tooth cleaning process. Furthermore, there are supplements which can work to cater to pets that don’t like having their teeth brushed, and act as a substitute for cat teeth cleaning. Combining these with the preventative effect of a balanced diet can make a world of change when it comes to working to provide the pinnacle of cat dental care and also ensuring that they have a pleasant, fresh breath to match.
Some great natural ingredients to look out for in a botanical-based dental care supplement include vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C and Calcium are especially beneficial as they’re both known to support the function of normal teeth and gums to help keep them strong and healthy, making them a key part of internal cat dental care. Essential oils can also be great when it comes to your cat’s teeth as not only do they have protective qualities that can be useful when it comes to unwanted bacteria, but oils such as peppermint and parsley are known to leave a fresh scent - meaning no more bad cat breath!
It is also important to consider where your supplements come from when you get them for your beloved feline friend. Often people make the mistake of purchasing supplements that are sourced from unnatural chemicals and additives. These can often do more harm than good and constitute products that you wouldn’t knowingly want to feed to your cat. Always check the label to ensure that what you are giving your cat first and foremost and always try and get supplements that are natural in their origin.