Did you know that teeth and gum problems occur in eight out of ten cats that are over the age of three? This means it’s important to look after your cat’s mouth from an early age.
In nature, cats usually clean their teeth by chewing on the bones of their latest meal, or on tough grass, but domestic cats don’t have the same access to these materials.
Remember, it’s always easier to prevent these issues than it is to treat them once they’ve happened, so one of the best things to do is regularly check on your cat’s oral health.
Signs of a healthy mouth:
- None of your cats teeth are missing or chipped
- Your cat’s mouth is free of ulcers, swelling, bumps and foreign objects such as string
- Your cat’s breath is free from a strong, foul odour
- Your cat doesn’t have any difficulty chewing or swallowing their food
- Your cat doesn’t regularly paw at their face
How to look after your cat’s mouth:
Brushing your cat’s teeth at least twice a week with a cat toothbrush is the best way to keep their teeth and gums healthy. It’s a good idea to get them used to this routine when they’re young, otherwise they can be very resistant to it.
Toothpaste for cats is essential for this, and covering your finger in tuna water can help get them used to the experience. It’s best to use either sterile gauze strips or a cat toothbrush and make sure to cradle them from behind so that they feel comfortable and secure.
Massage the gums:
After brushing your cat’s teeth, this is a good time to massage their gums to stimulate blood flow, improve their health and reduce the risk of gum issues later.
There are special dental sprays designed for cats that can help control plague and tartar build up and help to keep breath fresh. Your vet will be able to tell you if your cat is suffering from this issue and will be able to recommend the best sprays for your needs.
If your cat is prone to having problematic teeth and gums, you may also wish to provide them with dental treats to keep their mouths healthy. Cat chew toys can also improve the quality of your cats teeth, and are also a fun way to keep your cat entertained.
As always, it is best to check with your vet if you plan on changing your cat’s diet. Remember that a healthy cat, is a happy cat!