It’s a given that we brush our teeth daily (should be twice per day!) but we’re never as sure when it comes to our pets. I mean, Should I brush my cat’s teeth? Really?
Whatever questions or doubts you may have, teeth are teeth and animals are no exception. Believe it or not cats are just as susceptible to bad breath, gum diseases and tooth decay as us humans are.
Hot fact – did you know that up to 85% of adult cats have some degree of dental disease? Shocking isn’t it!
How do I recognise signs of dental disease in my cat?
Firstly, bad breath is a typical indicator that your cat’s teeth and mouth need some attention. Just like humans, it’s no different a situation.
Other signs can be any redness or swelling on the gums surrounding your cats teeth. Excessive salivation and staining of his/her fur can also been signs that something is not right.
If you are unsure, please take your cat to your vet as soon as possible as they are qualified to diagnose any issues to save you having to worry. Really, you should be taking your cat to your vet for a checkup every 12 months at least anyway and they will pick up on any dental issues there and then.
So, just how do I brush my cats teeth?
It’s never going to be easy, let’s get this straight now! They are animals an don’t understand – but the best way is to get your vet to show you the best way to handle your cat whilst brushing, as well as how to brush their teeth effectively.
One good way is a finger toothbrush that fits over your finger and you gently rub their teeth. This is a gentle way to do it and gives you more control as well.
But use a toothpaste that has been especially developed for cats – don’t be tempted to use your tube of Colgate – the fluoride can make your cat very ill! These special ones have more palpable flavors such as meat or malt and are fine for your cat to ingest.
If you cat shows signs of stress or is struggling to get away, don’t persist. Break off and have a little rest and then do some more. Talk in a soothing voice and comfort your cat – this will help keep them more relaxed.
If you keep up this good routine – your cat will have healthy teeth and pleasant breath!