Cat Dental Care

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Cat Dental Care

Brushing cats’ teeth is a vital part of keeping them healthy. If oral hygiene is neglected, it allows plaque, a form of bacteria, to build up on their teeth and eventually harden into tartar. Tartar can then lead to common oral and gum diseases like gingivitis—a serious and quite costly disease that can lead to tooth loss and infection. To avoid any of these complications, it’s best to always keep up on brushing, in addition to regular oral exams performed by veterinarians. And while brushing cats’ teeth can seem intimidating, it might be easier than you think. The first thing you’ll need to do is pick up a cat toothbrush and cat toothpaste. Each cat toothbrush is specially designed to make brushing your cat’s teeth easier. And some even feature two heads, one larger and one smaller, which is perfect for households with different sized pets. Just like your own toothpaste, cat toothpaste is formulated to fight plaque and tartar. But unlike human toothpaste, it features savory flavors cats love. This helps your pet accept the brushing and, with repeated use, eventually even enjoy it. To brush your cat’s teeth, gently hold her, facing away from you. With one hand, hold under her chin and bring her face up, so she is looking at you. With the other hand, gently massage her teeth and gums with your cat toothbrush and a bit of toothpaste on it. Don’t worry if your cat swallows the toothpaste—it is made to be ingested. To help your cat adapt to the routine, it’s best to start when she is a kitten, if possible. And when you first start brushing, be sure to take it slowly. Start with one tooth and follow it with treats and praise. Then next day, brush another tooth—maybe two. Continue this until your cat is comfortable having you brush her teeth. Once acclimated, stay on top of your cat’s routine by brushing daily. If you are unable to brush your cat’s teeth daily, brush as often as you can—any brushing is better than no brushing. This will ensure your cat spends less time dealing with oral-related health issues and more time cuddling up with you.