Dental Care

Printer-friendly versionUnfortunately almost every cat we see develops some tooth problems at some time in their life and many can have serious disease by the time they are 4-5 years of age. The trouble starts with tartar building up on the teeth. Bacteria live in this and attack the gums causing gingivitis. Eventually the gums start to recede leading to tooth loss, often causing a lot of pain and discomfort along the way.

Just like us, undoubtedly the best way to keep your cat’s teeth clean is to brush them daily or every other day. It is best to start when your cat is young before any dental problems have started. This will also give them the best chance to get used to it at an early age. To have any chance of success it needs to be enjoyable for both you and your cat.

Firstly you need special cat toothpaste, ours contains too much fluoride and cats don’t like the feeling of it frothing in their mouth. You also need a special toothbrush or finger brush, although initially you could try a cotton bud or even your finger.

Start with your cat sitting relaxed and happy on your lap. Put a little toothpaste on his lips to get him used to the taste. Then try touching the teeth and gums with a cotton bud or small brush, making a fuss of him all the time. It may take several sessions to work up to actual brushing.

Ideally you should brush all the teeth front and back, inside and out. However most tartar forms on the outside of the upper back teeth and the top canine teeth, so concentrate on those to start with.

Alternatives

Biscuits can make a difference- especially effective are the special dental-care varieties produced by Hill’s and Iams. These biscuits are larger than normal and very fibrous which helps to brush the teeth as your cat crunches on them. Contact us for more information.

Logic Toothpaste - this toothpaste is designed to just be squirted into your cat’s mouth or mixed in the food. Enzymes in it help to break down plaque while your cat chews. It needs to be used daily and is not as effective as brushing but is a lot easier. Only available from vets.