A healthy set of teeth and gums is essential for your cat’s welfare.
To help keep your pet's teeth strong and free from plaque, tartar and gum infections you need to routinely examine your cat's mouth and regularly clean her or his teeth.
Regularly means each day.
“So how come it is recommended to clean the teeth of your cat? After all, the big cats in the wild don’t have an owner or a veterinarian to brush their teeth for them!”
Your little domestic cat may be related to the big cats, and kitty’s ancestors may have lived the wild life, but your cat’s diet is not the same as a wild cat’s diet.
Modern cat foods may do a grand job in supplying your feline with the right vitamins and nutrients, but they do little to keep their teeth healthy.
Back when your cat’s ancestors fended for themselves, all that tearing through skin and bones prevented a build up of tartar and plaque which is something that modern cat food, even dry cat food, does not do.
So, ensuring that your cat is as free as possible from dental problems needs human intervention, which is where you and your veterinarian come in.
If your pet has already got a build up of plaque and tartar then it will be wisest to have your veterinarian make an oral inspection, clean and polish the teeth and give any other treatment necessary.
Dental treatment for cats is usually not cheap, but cleaning your cat’s teeth regularly should mean that kitty will not need it that often.
The younger you start your cat on his or her teeth cleaning routine the better.
Kittens are perhaps not the easiest of critters to manipulate but with care, and plenty of patience, your furball will soon accept her daily oral hygiene session.
Never cleaned cats teeth before? Your cat is older and never had her teeth cleaned? OK, both of you are going to have to get used to the routine.
Don’t assume that it is going to be a tough job and that your cat will never submit to having her teeth cleaned.
Although some cats will put up some resistance at first, your cat may not if handled in the right way. And even the most stubborn of cats, if shown plenty of patience and a little Cat Psychology will become used to a daily teeth cleaning session.
First you need to get a cat toothbrush and pet toothpaste.
Yes that’s right! Please don’t use a toothbrush designed for humans on your cat’s teeth, they are much too harsh and not of the correct shape.
Normal toothpaste is likely to give your cat an upset stomach if swallowed, and swallowed it will be, you can’t teach a cat to rinse.
Your cat has never had her teeth cleaned? OK, both of you are going to have to get used to the routine.
Pet toothbrushes and toothpaste are available from pet stores and possibly from your veterinarian.
For the first few days start by petting and stroking your cat.
Put a small bead of the cat toothpaste, which conveniently comes in flavors that cats love (even tuna,) on the end of your finger and see if your cat will let you gently massage her teeth and gums.
Don’t be too insistent, if your cat resists try again the next day. Be encouraging, give plenty of praise and your cat should soon start to accept you gently rubbing her teeth.
Next, move on to getting your cat used to the feel of the brush (with a small amount of pet toothpaste) in her mouth. Again plenty of praise and perhaps reward her with a healthy treat.
When your cat is happy with the feel of the brush against her teeth you can try a little brushing.
Don’t worry if you can’t get to all of her teeth yet and keep the session short, about 15 seconds. Gradually increase the brushing time to about 30 seconds and try to get more of your cats teeth cleaned.
It doesn’t really matter how long it takes to get to the stage where you are cleaning every tooth that your cat has, patience and persistence is the key.
Congratulations! Your daily 30-second cleaning will help keep your cat’s teeth free from plaque, tartar, gingivitis and gum disease, go a long way to prevent serious oral problems, and save you the cost of much dental treatment for your cat.
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