A master should always attach great importance to the maintenance of the mouth and teeth of his cat. This would avoid many inconveniences such as bad breath for example, but would also protect his little companion against many diseases which we do not always suspect that they may be related to the state of the teeth and gums of the animal. Here is everything you need to know about good oral hygiene for cats.
Risks associated with lack of oral hygiene in cats
A cat that never brushes its teeth quickly becomes a victim of plaque. The appearance of brown spots on tooth enamel indicates the presence of scale. Over time, it continues to accumulate in all interstices, on the gums, and if left untreated, things get worse. This excess of tartar irreparably results in:
- Halitosis (bad breath),
- The loosening of the cat’s teeth,
- Gingivitis, i.e. inflammation of the gums,
- Periodontitis or periodontal disease, namely a pathology affecting all the tissues that support the teeth,
- Glossitis or inflammation of the tongue,
- Dental infections,
- Stomatitis, inflammation of the oral cavity,
- The inexorable fall of teeth.
It is understandable that in the absence of regular oral hygiene, the cat which is increasingly missing teeth can no longer eat properly or even hunt.
But we can go further, by specifying that a mouth and teeth in very poor condition have a direct impact on the general cat health. Tartar is not just a hard, brownish yellow deposit that is very unsightly. It is above all a real culture broth which contains a very large number of bacteria. However, a part of them is conveyed in certain organs of the cat via the bloodstream, which can, among other things, cause kidney disease and different cardiac pathologies. It is regrettable that so many masters still ignore it.
Cat and oral hygiene: good practices
Since cats produce dental plaque, it is essential to maintain your teeth frequently and as regularly as possible to protect it against the many harmful effects of tartar.
You have to know the different methods to be applied on a daily basis so that the cat’s gums and teeth remain healthy but also that its oral cavity is not the seat of bacteria. It is all of these methods that we call oral hygiene.
Regularly inspect your cat’s oral cavity
A quick glance once a week does not take much time and allows you to play the prevention card. We can thus observe that all is well, or on the contrary detect the slightest beginning of a problem such as for example an inflammation of the gums which swell and become red, an abscess, a cavity (because yes, cats can also have decayed teeth), a broken or moving tooth, loose teeth …
Brush your cat’s teeth
So that the kitty accepts without flinching that his master brushes his teeth, it is strongly recommended to start as soon as possible, while the animal is still very small. He will lend himself more readily to this type of session without risking scratching or biting, forcing his master to ask for the help of a third person.
Brushing a cat’s teeth should be done at least three times a week with a kitten or adult cat toothbrush and a pet toothpaste. Under no circumstances should the owner use his own toothpaste because it contains toxic components for his cat. Let’s not forget that the little feline can neither rinse its mouth nor spit it out.
Give your cat kibble and chew toys
The effect slightly abrasive cat food helps fight against dental plaque. Even if the cat eats mash or household food, this does not prevent him from giving him some additional kibble every day. At the same time, it makes sense to buy him chew toys specially designed to ensure the good oral hygiene of the animal.
Adding dental hygiene products to the cat’s food
These products are marketed, in liquid or gelled form, by specialized brands. They are very useful for fight bacteria which easily proliferate in the mouth of the cat because they are made from specific substances such as a antiseptic of chlorhexidine type. These dental products for cats are a good preventive solution against gum problems caused by tartar.
Descaling at the vet
Having your cat’s teeth descaled is absolutely essential and that is part of oral hygiene. The act is performed under general anesthesia and the veterinarian uses an ultrasound machine as is done for humans. When necessary, the practitioner takes advantage of the scaling session to practice other acts such as for exampletooth extraction.
It is recommended to schedule a scaling of the cat’s teeth regularly, the frequency being to be determined with the veterinarian. In this way, the master limits the risks of dental problems from which his little companion could suffer in the medium term.