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Understanding Feline Dental Health: Tips for a Purr-fect Smile

Today, we're diving into an often overlooked aspect of feline health — dental care.

Cats may not be as vocal about their dental discomfort, but maintaining their oral health is crucial for their overall well-being. Let's explore why feline dental care matters and some tips for keeping those whiskers clean and smiles bright.

Why dental care is important

Dental issues in cats can lead to more than just bad breath; they can contribute to serious health problems. Periodontal disease, tooth decay, and oral infections can impact your cat's ability to eat, cause pain, and even affect their vital organs. Regular dental care is an investment in your cat's longevity and happiness.

What can you do

While it may take some patience and training, brushing your cat's teeth can significantly reduce the risk of dental problems. Use a feline toothbrush and toothpaste, and start gradually to get your cat accustomed to the process.

There is a brilliant guide on how to do this on ISFM website

You should also invest in dental treats and toys designed to promote oral health. These can help reduce plaque and tartar buildup and provide your cat with a fun and rewarding experience.

It is really important to schedule regular veterinary check-ups that include a thorough dental examination. Your vet can detect early signs of dental issues, recommend professional cleanings if necessary, and provide guidance on at-home care.

Nutrition also plays a crucial role in dental health. Consult with your veterinarian to choose a diet that supports your cat's oral well-being. Some specially formulated cat foods are designed to promote dental health through texture and ingredients (for example Royal Canine Dental)

Stay vigilant for signs of dental problems, including bad breath, difficulty eating, pawing at the mouth, or excessive drooling. If you notice any of these signs, consult with your veterinarian promptly for a professional evaluation.

What if it is too late to clean the teeth at home as they already look dirty

Just like humans, cats benefit from professional dental cleanings. Your veterinarian may recommend a cleaning under anaesthesia to address dental issues. This procedure helps ensure a thorough examination and cleaning without causing stress to your cat.

Far too many times I have heard of groomers performing scale and polish of the pets` mouths with the animal awake and this is not ok!

Pets can get really badly stressed from doing this and there is no way the groomers can have a thorough look at the teeth with the animal moving. Also, if the pet needs anything else done (for example tooth extraction) this is not something groomers can do.

Bear in mind that as cats age, their dental needs may change. Regular check-ups become even more critical to monitor for conditions like gingivitis or tooth loss. Your vet can adjust their dental care plan to accommodate their changing health requirements.

In conclusion, by incorporating at-home dental care, regular veterinary check-ups, and a cat-friendly dental diet, you can help ensure your feline friend maintains a healthy smile throughout their life.

Remember, a little effort in dental care goes a long way in keeping your cat comfortable, happy, and ready for a lifetime of purrs and cuddles.

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