What You Need to Know About Cat Teeth Cleaning

What You Need to Know About Cat Teeth Cleaning

Monday, 03 August 2020 14:27

Across the US, nearly 100 million cats have found their way to a forever home and have brought untold joy and happiness to their owners. Now, as much as we all love our feline friends, there is a chore that many of us find… well, unpleasant. To say the least! Cat teeth cleaning. It can be easy to put to the back of the to-do list, but oral health is just as important for our pets as it is for us. Why? And how do you convince a cat to let you help her maintain those pearly whites?

 

Why Cat Teeth Cleaning Is Important for Your Pet 

Cats are renowned for their ability to self-groom. This begins in the tiniest kittens and continues on into adulthood. That said, these behaviors don’t extend to cleaning their teeth! 

According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 70% of cats have dental disease by age three. Your cat could experience tooth loss, bad breath, abscesses, inflammation and infection of the gums, and severe pain. If bacteria from infections enter the bloodstream, it can affect the heart, liver, and kidneys.

Many people are hesitant to brush their cat’s teeth or make veterinary appointments for dental care. Why? There are some stubborn myths surrounding this subject. Let’s take a few minutes to bust them:

Myth: Dry food will clean your cat’s teeth for you.

Unfortunately, this is not true. Unless your veterinarian has prescribed a specific therapeutic dental diet, dry food is typically too small and brittle to effectively offer chewing resistance. As well, many cats just swallow the food whole so they do not get any abrasive action from the kibble.

Myth: If my cat has a problem, I’ll be able to tell.

Cats (and many dogs) are adept at hiding pain. Most continue to eat and behave normally. What you may notice, however, is bad breath, bleeding, excessive drooling, less frequent grooming, and pawing at the mouth.

Myth: 70% of cats get dental disease - so there’s nothing I can do.

Not so! The good news is that you can take steps to prevent or slow gum disease. Regular brushing to remove plaque and tartar, as well as routine dental cleanings, are key.

Myth: Cleaning my cat’s teeth will be a nightmare!

Sure, your cat is not likely to love having their teeth cleaned, at least initially. Start slowly and work your way up. For example, let your cat lick a little bit of pet-specific toothpaste from your finger. That’s enough for one session! 

After she’s comfortable with this, apply some on a pet toothbrush and let her lick it. Again, when she is used to this, you can begin placing the brush in your cat’s mouth. It may take a month or two to build up to regular tooth brushing, but it’s worth it. You’ll help prevent serious issues - and your cat will have better breath to boot! 

The biggest, most harmful, myth of all is that cat teeth cleaning is not important. It is vital in helping your feline friend live a long, healthy, active, and happy life. As mentioned, good, regular oral care is just as important for pets as it is for humans.

Avery Creek Pet Hospital: Cat Teeth Cleaning Services

While brushing daily (or at least three to five times a week) is important, it is also vital that your cat receives an annual checkup and cleaning from an experienced veterinarian. The Avery Creek team has extensive experience in pet dentistry, and we can not only provide a thorough cleaning, but we can also detect, diagnose, and treat any issues before they become painful or even life-threatening. 

Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Cat teeth cleaning is just as essential as snuggles and love!