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Regular dental care is vital to your cat's general wellbeing and will enable him or her to enjoy years of healthy and happy fun. In this article, we discuss all you need to know on the subject.
Proper cat dental care prevents or limits the risk of gum disease, which can become periodontal disease if it spreads to the teeth.
Periodontal disease is the most common illness in cats older than three years. Unfortunately, it is also the most unrecognized because most pet owners do not appreciate the importance of cat dental hygiene. Proper dental hygiene for your cat, along with dental testing, will help you keep him or her happy.
Excessive plaque, tooth decay, and tartar don’t just cause dental problems in cats. They can also cause other medical conditions in the liver, heart, and kidneys. Many of these can be fatal. Unfortunately, cats rarely exhibit signs of pain. Most will adapt by swallowing dry food whole or chewing on one side of the mouth. There might still be subtle behavioral changes, though, like irritability and bad breath. Other signs may include;
You will need to examine his or her mouth. First, smell your cat’s breath. Cats aren’t supposed to have halitosis (bad breath), so an unpleasant odor indicates something is wrong. Take your pet to the veterinarian for a thorough examination as he or she could have a bone or gum infection.
Next, examine the teeth. Starting with one side of the mouth, study your cat's back teeth. Look for yellowing (a sign of plaque) or darker material, along with any broken or cracked teeth. Next, examine the gums. They should have a pink color, not red or pale. The gum should not grow over the teeth. If you notice this, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Remember to reward your cat when you've finished. A dental chew would be an excellent choice for the occasion.
Note: You can also purchase a dental health test for your cat. Base paws cat dental health test analyzes your cat's saliva to identify microbial signatures for the most common dental illnesses in cats like Tooth Resorption, Periodontal disease, and bad breath.
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Brushing your cat’s teeth is relatively easy if you know how to go about it. It will help prevent dental disease, particularly if his or her dental health test results return positive.
You can start your pet on this routine at any age. However, the younger they are, the easier it will be for them to adapt. Older cats may require a slower and gentler approach. Although not all cats will tolerate it, many will, and it is an effective way to maintain oral health.
Note: remember to use appropriate equipment for your pet. Avoid human dental products, as they may harm your cat. You can get the right tools from your veterinarian’s office.
Your pet needs to trust you before he or she lets you anywhere near their mouth, so it’s going to take a while to brush their teeth at first. Once you've established familiarity, the process should become a lot easier.
Here's what you'll need to do.
Once your cat becomes comfortable with this process, it’s time to brush his or her teeth.
Besides brushing your cat’s teeth, you may give them dental chews. You can get these at your veterinarian or from a pet shop. They come in various flavors and can help reduce (not eliminate) plaque.
You may also use chlorhexidine mouth washes or gels. It provides antibacterial effects that last a few hours and is largely safe. This is most useful in situations where brushing the cat's teeth at home is difficult.
There are several brush types designed for household cats.
This product ships with a comprehensive kit that includes toothpaste, an angled toothbrush, and a finger toothbrush. The hydrogen peroxide-based enzymatic toothpaste formula reduces plaque and tartar. It does not foam and doesn’t require rinsing.
Enzadent doesn’t come with a toothbrush, but it is non-foaming, safe to swallow, and it contains a triple enzyme formula that removes plaque and food particles from your pet's teeth.
It is estimated that about 70% of adult cats develop some type of dental disease. Fortunately, most of these are treatable or preventable with effective dental monitoring and care.
Basepaws' Dental health test screens over 1000 microbes in your cat's mouth to identify disease signatures before they present visible signs. This information empowers veterinarians to provide comprehensive cat dental care.
The test will arrive a few days after you make an order. It will provide detailed instructions on how to collect a sample, along with a barcode registration on the inside of the CatKit box. After you've collected a sample, mail it back to BasePaws in the provided packaging (It's prepaid, so you don't need to buy a stamp). You'll have a report within 6 weeks after BasePaws confirms they received your sample.
Although the BasePaws' test does not replace the need to take your cat to a veterinarian, it is highly effective at screening for dental conditions like Halitosis and Periodontal Disease. It is also the only feline dental disease screening test available for both home and veterinary use.
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