Cats are meticulous in their own right, cleaning every spot from whisker to tail, but their dental health requires a human hand.
Did you know that periodontal disease is considered the most common disease in cats three years of age and older? A cat parent can detect a dental problem in their pet by checking their cat's breath, looking for red or swollen gums, yellow deposits or pus on the teeth, and watching their cat drool or paw at their face. If infected, the bacteria can eventually invade the bloodstream and lead to damage to your cat's kidneys, heart, liver and other organs. If you notice any of the above symptoms, their teeth should be professionally cleaned before starting home care.
A proper and thorough home dental care routine will go a long way to protecting your cat's teeth and maintaining her overall health. Here are the top 3 things you can do at home -
1. Brush their teeth
Brushing is best, and cat parents should brush their fur babies regularly, but let's be realistic. Unless they started at a young age, many cats simply won't allow it. Don't get carried away and come to your adult cat with a brush and paste in one day. Work towards it. Start by touching the cat around the mouth while petting it. Gently lift his lip to look at his teeth and touch the tooth. Go gently from there.
Try to work up to cleaning once, twice, or ideally three times a week. If the toothbrush scares your cat, you can achieve much the same result by wiping her teeth with a gauze pad or dental wipe from your local pet store.
Warning: Always use toothpaste designed for cats and never human toothpaste.
2. Choose high-quality food suitable for teeth
Your vet may also recommend dental food. These have oversized "nuggets" designed to reduce plaque and tartar through chewing. We recommend choosing fresh homemade food for your cats. You can also invest in dehydrated treats specially made for cats, to control plaque and tartar, it is made to support chewing. This mechanical action provides a cleaning effect that reduces the accumulation of dental plaque and calculus. Kitty will be proud to show off her pearly whites!
3. Consider a dental rinse
One of the latest innovations in home dental care is mouthwash, which kills bacteria in your cat's mouth. Ask your cat's vet if this might be helpful for your cat—especially if your feline friend becomes feral and refuses to cooperate with brushing. Instead of brushing your teeth, apply regular mouthwash. Mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine gluconate are effective antiseptics that bind to the gum tissue and the surface of teeth. They also kill bacteria, reduce plaque, and slow tartar build-up. Rinses can be used alone or as a supplement with brushing.