Did you know that you should brush your cat’s teeth? Yes, dental hygiene is as important for cats as it is for humans. Wild cats usually clean their teeth by chewing grass and bones but domesticated cats are not used to this routine.
Of course, you can get professional teeth cleaning for your cat at the veterinarian but if you want to save time you can do it at home as well. Cleaning your cat’s teeth at home will be beneficial for your pet’s overall health. Keep on reading as we’ll discuss how to provide your cat with the best dental care.
Why Is Cat Dental Care Important
Taking care of your cat’s teeth is of vital importance for their health and can help prevent some serious health issues such as gingivitis. Research shows that eight out of ten cats over the age of three have dental issues. The thing is that over time cats develop plaque and tartar buildup around their teeth and this is precisely what causes diseases.
This happens because cats accumulate bacteria, debris, and plaque on the surface of their teeth. This buildup in the teeth area can become dangerous over time because it irritates the gums and can cause diseases such as gingivitis or tooth loss. In some cases, the coating of germs can become so extreme that the cat’s teeth need to be removed in order to stop the pain.
Teeth and gum problems cause a bad sensation in a cat’s mouth and can make it almost impossible for them to eat and drink. In some cases, the bacteria from the teeth can enter the bloodstream and cause damage to a cat’s kidneys and other vital organs.
Periodontal disease is the most common disease in adult cats. It causes inflammation of the mouth, chronic pain, and tooth loss. This is a preventable disease and you can protect your cat from it with regular home and dental care.
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How Often Should You Clean Your Cat’s Teeth?
If you want to minimize the risk of dental issues, it’s best to brush your cat’s teeth daily or twice a week. Keep in mind that most cats will be resistant to having their teeth cleaned, so you’ll need to be extra patient during this process. Veterinarians recommend that it’s best to regularly brush your cat’s teeth from an early age so they can get used to this process.
It’s also important to provide your cat with regular veterinary dental cleanings. The veterinarian can provide your cat with a more thorough cleaning because it’s done while your cat is asleep under anesthesia. Regular veterinary dental cleanings can be beneficial to the overall health of your cat,
How To Brush Your Cat’s Teeth
As we’ve mentioned before, cats are usually resistant to teeth brushing so it’s best if possible to introduce this process to your pet when it’s still young. However, adult cats can also be trained to get their teeth brushed. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be patient during this process because your cat will need some time to get used to the experience.
To provide your cat with the best dental care, you’ll need proper toothpaste and toothbrush. It’s very important that you purchase a cat-specific toothpaste. You can buy cat toothpaste and toothbrush from a pet store. Don’t use human toothpaste to brush your cat’s teeth because it’s toxic for cats.
So, how to brush your cat’s teeth? Follow these steps:
- In the first period, it’s important to get your cat used to the experience. Let your cat smell and taste a small amount of toothpaste. Next, you can add a small amount of toothpaste to your finger. The first few times, you can use your fingers as a brush. Put the finger in your cat’s mouth and rub the teeth and gems. It may take a month before your cat get used to this experience.
- After some time, you can start using a piece of gauze and a small amount of toothpaste. Rub your cat’s teeth and gems with the gauze regularly.
- After some time, you can start brushing your cat’s teeth with a toothbrush. Be gentle and patient and do not force your cat’s mouth open. You can gently lift your cat’s lip and brush the surface of the teeth. Focus on the surface of the teeth because this is where most bacteria and germs accumulate. Make slow and circular motions. Repeat the process a few times.
Often cats don’t tolerate teeth brushing and can get very anxious around this process. In the first period, you might be able to brush just one or two teeth and that’s normal. The gauze can be a helpful tool for cleaning bacteria and gems if your cat can’t get used to a toothbrush.
Aside from brushing your cat’s teeth at home, make sure you bring your cat to regular veterinarian checkups. Cleanings at the veterinarian are the most effective way to take care of your cat’s dental hygiene.
Do Cat Teeth Cleaning Toys or Cat Teeth Cleaning Treats Work?
There are a number of products advertised by companies that claim that they are beneficial to a cat’s dental health. Numerous dental treats, foods, and supplements are available online and in pet stores. However, not all of these products are really helpful. It’s recommendable that you talk to a veterinarian before purchasing any of these products.
The most popular products are dental treats, oral gels, supplements, sprays, and special types of food. You can’t use some of these products as a substitute for tooth brushing and dental health checks.
How Often Should You See Your Vet for a Professional Cat Teeth Cleaning?
As you already know visiting the vet regularly is important for your cat’s overall health. Alongside regular checkups, you should provide your cat with professional teeth cleaning as well. You should do it at least once a year. The vet will examine your cat’s teeth and check if there are some dental diseases. They will also recommend professional teeth cleaning. How often your cat will need teeth cleaning depends on various factors including age, genetics, diet, and health conditions.
How Much Does Cat Teeth Cleaning Cost?
There isn’t a fixed price for cat teeth cleaning. The cost may vary and depends on multiple factors including:
- The type of dental issues your cat suffers from
- Your cat’s genetics, age, and health condition
- The overall health of your cat’s teeth
- The type of anesthesia your cat needs
The average cost of teeth cleaning is between $50 and $300. The treatment may cost much more if your cat has serious dental diseases and needs a special type of anesthesia.
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