Oral health is as important for your cat as it is for you. The idea of cleaning your cat's teeth might not seem appealing, but it is necessary. These four tips will help you keep your feline's teeth healthy.
Choose the Correct Dental Supplies for a Cat
Cats, like most carnivores, have several large canine teeth. These are the sharp teeth that a wild cat uses to eat its prey. Cats also have other smaller teeth. All of the cat's teeth need to be cleaned. Pet stores offer toothbrushes for cats. These brushes come in several types, including rubberized brushes that fit like a finger puppet and handled brushes similar to what people use. There are also specialty cat toothpastes.
Visiting a Pet Clinic
If you suspect that your cat has a dental problem, it is important to visit the pet clinic. Professionals, like those at Evergreen Veterinary Clinic, can give your cat a medication to relax so that a full dental exam and cleaning can be completed. If your cat has an infected tooth, the vet may be able to perform an extraction to help your pet feel better.
Keeping Your Cat Calm
Most cats are not going to be cooperative the first time you try to clean their teeth. Work up to it. On the first day, use your hands to lift up your cat's lips to visualize the teeth. Reward your cat. On the second day, use your fingers to gently open the cat's jaws. Reward the cat for cooperating. On the third day, use the brush to gently clean one side of the cat's teeth. After this, the cat should allow you to brush all of its teeth.
Brushing the Cat's Teeth
To brush the cat's teeth, choose a time of the day when the cat is relaxed. Avoid waking the cat up from sleep or disrupting a grooming session. Spend a few minutes petting your cat, then start the brushing routine. Apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and use a gentle, circular motion on each tooth. If your cat gets annoyed, do the top teeth one day and the bottom teeth the next.
When visiting the vet clinic, ask about the signs of oral health issues in cats. Each time you brush your cat's teeth, look for signs of problems. Brushing your cat's teeth once or twice per week could help to prevent tooth loss, infections and weight loss because of painful teeth and gums.