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The importance of dental care for cats

Dental care is often overlooked when it comes to our feline companions, but it's an essential part of their overall health and well-being. Just like humans, cats need regular dental care to prevent dental problems and maintain good oral hygiene. In this post, we'll discuss why dental care is important for cats and what you can do to keep your cat's teeth healthy.

Why Dental Care is Important for Cats

Dental problems in cats can lead to a variety of health issues, including:

  1. Gum Disease: Gum disease is one of the most common dental problems in cats. It's caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth and can lead to infection and tooth loss.

  2. Tooth Resorption: Tooth resorption is also a common dental problem in cats. It's caused by the breakdown of the tooth enamel and can lead to pain, infection, and tooth loss. You can learn more about this condition here.

  3. Bad Breath: Bad breath is often a sign of dental problems in cats. If your cat has bad breath, it's a good idea to have their teeth checked by a veterinarian.

  4. Other Health Problems: Dental problems in cats can lead to other health problems, such as kidney disease and heart disease.

How to Keep Your Cat's Teeth Healthy

  1. Regular Brushing: Brushing your cat's teeth regularly is the best way to prevent dental problems. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for cats. Start by gently rubbing their teeth and gums with your finger, and then gradually introduce the toothbrush. Many, if not most, cats will not tolerate teeth brushing. The key is to start when your cat is just a kitten. You can learn more about brushing your cat's teeth here.

  2. Dental Treats and Toys: Dental treats and toys can help keep your cat's teeth clean and healthy. Look for treats that are specifically designed to promote dental health and are specifically for cats. Treats or toys designed for dogs can be too large and may result in broken teeth for your cat.

  3. Raw meat: If your cat will eat it, raw stewing beef or a raw chicken wing or leg can help keep your cat's teeth healthy when they chew on it. While raw meat is safe for your cat, it is not safe for you, so please be careful around raw meat, especially if you have small children or elderly people in your home.

  4. Professional Dental Cleanings: Regular professional dental cleanings are important for maintaining your cat's oral health. Your veterinarian can perform a dental cleaning under general anesthesia and remove any plaque and tartar buildup and remove any painful teeth. Cleanings should always be performed with dental x-rays to ensure the cleaning is more than just cosmetic.

What about dry food? Contrary to popular belief, regular dry food does not have much of a positive impact on keeping our cat's teeth healthy, you can read more in my post here.

In conclusion, dental care is an essential part of your cat's overall health and well-being. By taking steps to prevent dental problems and maintain good oral hygiene, you can help your cat live a long and healthy life. Talk to your veterinarian about the best ways to keep your cat's teeth healthy and prevent dental problems.

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