As a pet owner, it is important to keep your pet healthy and happy. Many people overlook dental health when caring for their cat, but this is actually one of the most important things to do if you want your cat to live a long and healthy life.
Feed the right food. Feeding your cat a healthy diet of both hard and canned food can help reduce tartar. Crunchy treats and toys can also improve your cat's oral health.
Buy toothpaste and a toothbrush. A pet toothbrush and toothpaste can be purchased at any pet store. Do not use toothpaste or toothbrushes meant for humans; toothpaste can make your cat sick, and pet toothbrushes are much softer than human ones. Many pet stores even sell fish-flavored cat toothpaste, which can make this chore easier.
Brush your cat's teeth. Start brushing your cat's teeth while he or she is still a kitten. Otherwise, your cat will hiss and snarl when you try to get the brush inside their mouth. Your cat will be much more cooperative if he or she is used to having a toothbrush in their mouth from a young age. Try to brush your cat's teeth daily, although twice a week may be sufficient. You only need to worry about the outside surfaces, because plaque does not build up on the inside surfaces of their teeth. While brushing, examine your cat's teeth for any visible problems.
Know what to look for. Cats experience a range of dental problems including broken teeth, inflamed guns, periodontal disease, and cavities. While you brush your cat's teeth, look for these issues, including yellow or brown buildup, irritated gums, or damaged teeth. Contact your vet if your cat does not want to eat. This can indicate dental problems as well as a range of other health issues.
Vet care. The only sure way to know if a cat has dental problems is to take your cat to the vet. Schedule an annual checkup, which is good for their overall health as well as their dental health. This is especially important as your cat ages; nearly all older cats suffer from dental problems. Your vet will carefully examine your cat's teeth, ensuring that they remain healthy. New technology also allows vets to perform dental procedures like those humans undergo at the dentist's office, but it is best not to let it come to this. Anesthesia is not a good option for cats, although it can be done if necessary.
Just like humans, cats are prone to dental issues. Cats can't often undergo dental surgery or other corrections, so you must be vigilant about preventive care and catching problems before they become serious. As a responsible pet owner, do not overlook your pet's oral health.