Even if your pet cat only eats crushed food or chews on toy mice for a while, they still need to have clean, sharp teeth with healthy gums. Here are 10 steps to taking care of your cat’s teeth:
1. Breath test
Smell your cat’s breath. No need to smell for a long time, just for a while. Cat’s breath may not smell like roses, but it’s not unpleasant either. However, if you feel that your cat’s breath smells bad, then the cat must have had digestive problems or gingivitis, at this time, you should take them to the veterinarian for a checkup.
2. Lip Care
Place your cat in front of you, then gently tug on the cat’s lips and look inward. Healthy gums are strong and pink, not white or red or show signs of swelling. Teeth must be clean and free of decay or broken teeth.
3. Check it out more closely
Look for the following signs of mouth problems in your cat: dark red lines on the gums, red and swollen gums, sores on the gums or tongue, loose, flaking teeth pus, difficulty chewing food, excessive drooling, excessive scratching in the area around the mouth.
4. Dangerous bumps
If you see any signs of gingivitis, you should take your cat to the veterinarian for an examination. If left untreated, gum disease can develop, which can lead to broken teeth or prevent your cat from eating or drinking. Inflammation also shows signs of internal diseases such as kidney disease or infection with Feline Immunodeficiency virus (FIV). (FIV is a virus of the Retroviridae family, from the same genus Lentivirus as HIV in humans, BIV in cows or SIV in monkeys. The disease is also known as AIDS in cats. As the name suggests, the virus causes immunodeficiency, leading to infected with other diseases. The virus is spread mainly through bites, from the infected cat’s saliva into the bloodstream.)
5. Facts about tooth decay
Bacteria and food plaque can build up on your cat’s teeth. It can harden and form tartar, causing gingivitis, weakening gums and breaking teeth. The solution? Of course, brush your teeth regularly.
6. Cat toothbrush set
All you need to brush your cat’s teeth is cotton swabs, a small toothbrush, and a tube of toothpaste specifically made for cats. You can also use salt and water. Ask your vet to recommend some reliable cat toothpastes, and remember to never use human toothpaste as it has ingredients that can be toxic to cats!
7. Now let’s brush the cat’s teeth clean!
When brushing your cat’s teeth at home, you need to follow these simple steps:
- First, get your cat used to brushing her teeth. Start by gently massaging their gums with your fingers or using cotton swabs.
- After a few times, put a little toothpaste on your cat’s lips to get them used to the taste.
- Next, introduce him to a toothbrush specifically designed for cats. It is smaller than a human toothbrush and has softer bristles. A toothbrush that you can wear on your finger is already on the market and helps you massage your cat’s gums carefully.
- Finally, put toothpaste on your cat’s teeth and brush them gently.
A pre-start vet visit can be helpful in checking your cat’s gums for inflammation. Many cats have mild gingivitis, so brushing too hard can hurt their gums!
Chewing toys can respond to a cat’s natural need to chew and help strengthen teeth. Chewing on a toy can also help them floss, massage their gums, and scrape away soft plaques of tartar.
9. Diet for healthy teeth
If your cat has dental problems, ask your veterinarian to recommend a puree to help maintain healthy teeth and remove plaque build-up.
10. Recognizing dental diseases
If your cat is experiencing any of the following symptoms, take them to the vet right away:
- Gingivitis: Gingivitis mainly occurs in older cats. In the early stages, it is symptomatic as a dark red line right where the gums border the teeth. If left untreated, gums can become painful and ulcerate. It could be a sign of FIV or another infection.
- Periodontitis: If gingivitis spreads to the root of the tooth, the tooth may become loose and a festering formation may form.
- Stomatitis: Inflammation in the lining of the mouth can be the result of a foreign body in the mouth, or it can also be caused by a viral disease or dental problems. Your cat will have difficulty eating and the inside of the mouth will turn red.
- Rodent sores: The sore will spread and the upper lip will swell.
- Salivary gland cysts: If the salivary glands or ducts that carry saliva into the mouth are blocked, a cyst can form under the tongue.
- Canker sores: Sores on a pet cat’s tongue and gums are sometimes caused by the cat’s respiratory system or kidney disease.
See more cat and dog care tips at Begy. Good luck in raising a cat.
ASPCA, Ten Steps to Dental Health