4 Tips For Keeping Kitty’s Teeth Squeaky Clean

4 Tips For Keeping Kitty’s Teeth Squeaky Clean

Did you know that keeping your kitty’s mouth clean can have an impact on their overall health? Estimates suggest that around 50-85% of cats develop some degree of gum disease by three years of age. It’s important to take action to prevent gum infections and tooth loss, which can contribute to larger issues over time. The American Animal Hospital Assocation recommends taking your cat for a professional tooth examination and cleaning one to two times per year, just like you should do for yourself. At a minimum, you should have your vet take a look at your cat’s mouth during each visit to help you spot early signs of inflammation and tartar buildup.

There are many steps you can take at home to help your cat maintain good oral health between vet visits and dental cleanings. Here are 4 ways you can make an impact starting now.

1. Brush your kitty’s teeth

Brushing your cat’s teeth daily, or even a few times a week, can help reduce plaque buildup and the problems that go with it. Depending on your cat’s demeanor, even getting a toothbrush in their mouth may sound impossible. Just like nail maintenance, it is often much easier for your cat to allow you to brush their teeth if you start doing so while they’re still a kitten. If you’re dealing with an adult cat and don’t know where to start, petMD has some helpful tips to help you choose the proper tools and slowly acclimate your cat to the idea of letting you touch their mouth. Easing into it will ensure that both you and your feline friend are comfortable with the process.

2. Choose the proper diet

Just as food has a strong impact on your cat’s full-body health, selecting the right diet can go a long way in aiding their oral well-being. According to Skyline Animal Hospital, dry kibble, which is sometimes said to help clean your kitty’s teeth by scraping, may not be as beneficial as you may think. They recommend a diet rich in moisture and well-rounded nutrients, such as canned or raw food.

3. Supplement with treats

Skyline Animal Hospital also suggests letting your cat chew on raw bones in order to keep their teeth clean. It is crucial to avoid giving cooked bones as these can splinter and cause serious issues for your cat’s stomach and intestines.

If the thought of serving raw bones to your cat disturbs you, there are plenty of commercial dental treats on the market. As with any new diet change, we encourage you to do your research and consult with your vet regarding ingredients and the impact that such treats may have on your cat’s health.

4. Consider water additives

Dental water additives are typically colorless and odorless liquids intended to fight dental issues while your cat drinks from their water bowl. Fuzzy Pet Health has a guide to help you understand what is in these products and when they may be a good option for your cat. As with any dietary change or additive, please research and consult with your vet before adding a new product to your cat’s diet.

In summary

While brushing your kitty’s teeth may sound daunting, there are plenty of other steps you can take to ensure that your cat maintains good dental health. Keeping up with their oral hygiene can help you feline friend live a long and healthy life. If it has been a while since your cat had their teeth examined, step one is to get them in to see the vet and assess your next steps.

Photo by Owen Lu on Unsplash

Categories: Cat Ownership