Dental Care for Cats

July 17, 2013

Dental care is just as important for cats as it is for humans.  If Fluffy’s teeth are neglected, she is likely to develop periodontal disease.  Bacteria from that condition can travel through the body and lead to serious and even fatal health problems.

When Abby was rescued from the streets of Punta Gorda, Florida, by Jeanie and James Roland, owners of The Perfect Caper Restaurant, she had serious dental issues that resulted loss of several teeth and hundreds of dollars to clean up the infections.

Abby, who overcame feline dental disease

Jim and I took Abby in as a foster and ended up keeping her for several years until she died at the ripe old age of 19.  Abby tried to eat dry cat food, but she was much more successful with a diet of canned food.  The missing teeth did bother her.

By taking care of your cat’s teeth, you can help prevent bad breath, abscesses of the teeth, tooth loss caused by disease, infections and the major expense of dental work.

Begin with a veterinary check-up.  Your cat’s veterinarian will determine if a professional cleaning is needed.  Some animals need their teeth cleaned when they are young and some won’t until they are much older.

Next, get your cat used to having your fingers moving around her mouth.  This may take time, especially, if she is older.  Then, gradually introduce a toothbrush and toothpaste made for cats.  Allow Fluffy to lick the toothpaste off your finger.  Progress to allowing the cat to lick the paste off the brush, while you try to brush her teeth using a very gentle circular motion.  Stick to the outside surfaces of her teeth.

Be sure to shower your kitty with praise and affection and a treat or two.  If you are relaxed about the process, Fluffy will be, as well.  Don’t expect this to be a quick process, if your cat is older, but the rewards will be worth it.


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