We’re often able to get a good look at our cat’s teeth. Usually, it’s around six in the morning when they are stood on our chests as we lie in bed, yowling in our faces. Other times it will be a long and languorous yawn as they stretch out on our laps. But while you may often see your feline friend’s full-beam smile, do you know how healthy your cat’s teeth actually are? At The Insurance Emporium, we want our furry friends to be with us and you as long as possible, so we’ve looked into the health implications of whether you should brush your cat’s teeth.
Just like us
Cats have 30 adult teeth and 26 baby teeth and whilst the front two upper canine teeth can help them to resemble a big cat in the wild, cat teeth are actually remarkably similar to ours. They are covered in enamel and accumulate plaque in exactly the same way that human teeth do. This plaque then hardens to tartar, irritating the gums. Any outbreak of gingivitis can not only make your cat feel uncomfortable and under the weather but it can also lead to more serious problems such as tooth loss. So in short, should you brush your cat’s teeth? Absolutely.
What are the signs of poor dental hygiene?
There are a number of factors you should check for that could indicate your cat is struggling with their dental health.
Bad breath – You may notice a waft of less than pleasant air when your puss comes to give you their daily cuddle. They may just have eaten but this could also be a sign of problems.
Swelling or redness of gums – A clear sign of gingivitis would be the inflammation and irritation of your cat’s gums. This could also indicate the presence of abscesses, you need to watch out for this.
Trouble eating – If your animal is chewing food on only one side, or the food is dropping out then it could be a sign that eating is actually becoming painful for them. Examine the teeth and gums if this happens.
Weight loss – If you notice that your cat seems to be off their food, or they appear to be losing weight then this could be another giveaway that they are struggling. Just think, if you had severe toothache you wouldn’t much fancy eating either!
If you do notice any of the above signs, then you should take your cat to the vet*, where they may well
recommended specialist dental care. You don’t want to get to this stage however, so there are preventative measures you could take.
Brush regularly – Again, just like a human, a key to good dental hygiene is brushing regularly. Try to brush your cat’s teeth daily or at least two to three times a week.
Annual dental check-ups – Schedule a yearly visit with your vet, to stay on top of any potential problems. These can just be undertaken as part of a more general check-up. Elderly cats may need more regular care and attention.
Make the effort – Chew toys aren’t just for dogs! They can help keep your cat’s teeth in top nick. Also, make sure you monitor their nutrition. Just like humans, dental health is linked to overall welfare, so a healthy diet is more likely to result in healthy teeth.
Brushing daily would be ideal but it might not always be possible. People have busy lives and the chances are, your cat will absolutely hate the idea of you brushing their teeth. This doesn’t mean you can’t still help with their dental hygiene though, there are alternatives.
Dental diets – Generally cats are better off with wet food as opposed to dry food. Having said that, certain dry foods have been formulated specially to try and avoid dental disease. Seek advice from your vet to find the best one for your pussy cat.
Drinking water additives – Fluids that you can add to your pet’s drinking water can help to clean their teeth, promote healthy gums and also to leave them with fresher breath. It is also odour-free so your cat won’t notice a thing!
Teeth brushing alternatives – If they do hate it when you approach them with a brush, try wrapping a piece of soft gauze around your finger and using that to wipe the teeth. When you first start, don’t do any more than a couple of teeth at a time until they are used to it.
Pet Wellness 2017
Taking good care of your cat’s teeth is as much a part of pet welfare as anything else. Just like diet and exercise, it is your responsibility to make sure your animal is well looked after. At the Emporium, we want all pets to have as long and healthy a life as possible and that’s why we have launched our Pet Wellness 2017 campaign. Join our mission to give our pets a healthier lifestyle and you will receive your first month on a new policy completely free! Visit The Insurance Emporium today to find out more about this purrfect offer…
*Please note that The Insurance Emporium doesn’t cover costs resulting from tooth or gum disease or deciduous teeth.
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