Dental care is something that is often overlooked, particularly in the early stages of pet ownership where people tend to be more concerned with getting their new kitten settled in and house trained. Nevertheless, your cat is dependent on her teeth for many different reasons. As well as helping her to eat, she also needs them to hold toys and to follow her instincts to catch and kill prey such as mice and spiders. If her teeth are compromised, she could lose one of her most important defences and this could cause her to feel vulnerable or even be in considerable danger from any other animals she may come across outside of your home. Poor dental care can also have an impact on her general health and wellbeing, with cats that have bad dental hygiene having been shown to be more likely to experience periodontal disease, which could lead to heart, liver and kidney problems. These could all be prevented by providing your feline with adequate preventative dental care.
If you are a conscientious and responsible cat owner, you will be concerned with ensuring that your feline friend receives the dental care that she deserves.
What is involved in cat dental care?
Feline dental care provided by your pet dentist comprises of several different elements. One is a regular dental check-up. This is often performed during your kitten’s wellness appointment and is an opportunity for your pet dentist to thoroughly assess the health and condition of your cat’s teeth. This means that any potential problems can be identified early, and prompt treatment can be started, which could make a significant difference to the outcome for your feline furbaby.
Another crucial element to kitten/cat dental care is a professional dental clean. This is a deep, comprehensive clean of your cat’s teeth that is performed using special tools while she is asleep under the effects of a general anesthetic. A professional clean provides a clean that is much more thorough than any cleaning that you can do at home, and this is primarily due to the use of the general anesthesia. By ensuring that your kitty is fast asleep, still and not stressed or anxious, your pet dentist has the time and access to her mouth to clean every single part of each tooth. This enables the removal of any plaque and tartar that may have formed and will leave your cat with significantly healthier teeth. Since she is also completely still, the process is much safer for her too, as otherwise any sudden movements could cause her to become injured by the sharp implements used to clean the teeth.
At-home cat dental care
Despite care from a pet dentistry team forming an essential part of your cat’s preventative care, there are also a number of things that you can be doing at home to support her oral health. These include:
Brushing your cat’s teeth
Your feline furbaby will benefit from daily tooth-brushing just as much as the human members of your family. Only daily brushing will remove the food debris that interacts with the bacteria in her mouth and causes dental problems to occur. You will be pleased to discover that brushing your cat’s teeth is unlikely to be as tricky as you might imagine, and your pet dentist will be happy to show you the best techniques to hold her and clean her teeth. You must remember to purchase a toothpaste designed specifically for cats as other varieties may contain ingredients that are harmful for your feline.
Offer dental treats
Dental treats aren’t just for dogs. There are also a wide range of dental treats designed specifically for cats and these products can be found in most good pet and grocery stores. They include sticks, chews and other treats that both taste delicious and contain ingredients that are designed to boost your kitten’s dental health. If you aren’t sure which is likely to be right for your pet, be sure to ask your pet dentist for advice.
How often should my kitten/cat receive dental care?
In most instances, professional dental care provided by your pet dentist is carried out on an annual basis. However, if your pet dentistry team feels that your feline would benefit from more regular check-ups or a semi-annual dental clean, this will be discussed with you. Your pet dentist has the knowledge and experience to be able to make this recommendation and it is strongly advised that you adhere to their guidance.
When it comes to dental care at home, you should ideally be brushing your cat’s teeth on a daily basis. However, if this isn’t possible, you should still try and clean them as often as you can as this will substantially reduce the likelihood of her developing dental problems. Offer dental treats as recommended on the packaging of the product you have chosen.
If you have any concerns about your kitten’s dental wellbeing and you would like the advice and support of our experienced pet dentistry team, please feel free to call our full-service veterinary clinic in Boiling Springs, SC at 864-383-0600 and our vets in Boiling Springs would be happy to answer any questions.