Five Ways to Keep Your Cat’s Dental Health in Check
February 1, 2016
February is Dental Health Month—is your cat’s oral hygiene up to snuff? Below, learn how to keep kitty’s teeth and gums healthy from the professionals at Westside Animal Hospital, your Savannah, GA veterinarian’s office.
Great oral health—not to mention overall well-being—starts with a premium, high-quality diet. Make sure your pet is eating a nutritionally balanced food that is appropriate for his or her age, weight, breed, and body condition. Remember: the nutritional needs of an older cat differ greatly from a kitten, or even a middle-aged cat. Feel free to ask your vet to recommend a great diet for your particular pet’s needs.
Exams at Home
On a regular basis, try and get a look inside your cat’s mouth to examine the gums and teeth. If the gums are white or deep red, rather than a healthy pink, something may be amiss. Also take note of swelling, misaligned or cracked teeth, bleeding, sores, or anything else that looks out of the ordinary. Let your veterinarian know if you find something that concerns you.
Brushing the Teeth
Did you know that you can brush your cat’s teeth at home? Pick up a feline-formulated toothpaste and brush at your local vet’s office or pet store. Start by introducing your cat to the paste so that he or she can get used to the taste and smell. Slowly, try brushing one tooth, very gently. Eventually, you can work your way around to all teeth. Finish each one with a downward stroke to remove plaque effectively.
Chew toys are a lot of fun for your cat, but they also provide health benefits. For one, they keep the teeth and gums strong and healthy. Secondly, quality toys can help scrape some of the plaque off of your cat’s teeth, removing it before it’s allowed to harden into tartar. Rotate your cat’s toy selection in and out on a regular basis so that she doesn’t get bored with the same old options.
Of course, regular visits to your vet’s office are essential for keeping your cat’s dental health in order. This way, your vet can spot any dental problems before they can develop into serious troubles and provide treatment accordingly. Your veterinarian can also give you further recommendations on keeping your cat’s mouth healthy—schedule regular appointments at Westside Animal Hospital, your pet clinic in Savannah, GA.