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Essential Guide to Cat Dental Care: Keep Your Feline’s Teeth Healthy & Happy

As pet owners, we want to ensure that our pets are healthy and happy. However, one aspect of their health that is often overlooked is their dental hygiene.

Proper dental care is essential for your cat’s overall wellbeing, and it’s never too late to start. This article will provide essential information on the importance of cat dental care, supplies needed for brushing your cat’s teeth, brushing techniques, managing your cat’s anxiety, and handling your cat while brushing their teeth.

So, let’s get started!

Importance of Cat Dental Care

Teeth Count and Types

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they require a diet that primarily consists of meat. Their teeth are specially designed to handle this type of diet.

The average adult cat has 30 teeth, including:

– 12 incisors: these are the small teeth at the front of the mouth used for biting and grooming. – 4 canines: these are the pointed teeth on either side of the front teeth used for tearing meat.

– 10 premolars: these are the teeth behind the canines used for slicing and grinding meat. – 4 molars: these are at the back of the mouth and are used for chewing and grinding food.

Supplies for Brushing Cat Teeth

To keep your cat’s teeth healthy, you will need specific supplies. These include:

– Finger toothbrush or small toothbrush: Look for a toothbrush that is specifically designed for cats.

If your cat is new to brushing, start with a finger toothbrush to get them used to the sensation. – Pet toothpaste: Do not use human toothpaste as it can be toxic to cats.

Choose a cat-specific toothpaste with flavors that your cat will enjoy. – Treats: Use treats as a reward for your cat when they brush their teeth to make it a positive experience.

– Calming help: If your cat is anxious, consider using calming supplements or medication to help them relax. – Towel: Use a towel to wrap your cat to prevent scratches and to create a calming mechanism.

Tips for Brushing Cat Teeth

Brushing your cat’s teeth can seem overwhelming, but with patience and persistence, it can be a straightforward process. Here are some tips to make the process easier:

– Start young: The earlier you can introduce teeth brushing to your cat, the better.

Kittens can begin learning to brush their teeth at 8 weeks of age. – Use treats as a reward: Reward your cat after brushing their teeth with their favorite treats.

– Gentle head holding: Gently hold your cat’s head while brushing their teeth to prevent them from moving too much. – Towel wrapping: If your cat is particularly anxious, wrap them in a towel to create a calming mechanism and prevent scratches.

– Toothbrushing techniques: Angle the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line and make circular motions to clean the teeth and gums. Focus on the outer surfaces of the teeth as these are where plaque and tartar build-up occur.

– Stop if your cat struggles: Stop brushing your cat’s teeth if they start to struggle or become too anxious. Gradually work up to longer brushing sessions to get them used to the process.

Consequences of Not Brushing Cat Teeth

Failure to brush your cat’s teeth can lead to several dental problems. Dental disease can cause inflammation and infection in the mouth, which can spread to the bloodstream and affect internal organs.

If dental disease is severe, extraction of teeth may be necessary, leading to pain and bad breath for your cat. Regular brushing and dental check-ups can prevent these issues and keep your cat healthy.

Brushing Cat Teeth Techniques

Finger Toothbrushing

If your cat is new to brushing, start with a finger toothbrush to get them used to the sensation. A finger toothbrush is a small rubber cap that fits over your finger with little bristles on the end.

Gently massage your cat’s teeth and gums with the toothbrush using circular motions.

Cat Toothpaste

Choose a cat-specific toothpaste with flavors that your cat will enjoy. These toothpastes are specially formulated to be safe for cats, as human toothpaste can be toxic to them.

Apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to the toothbrush and brush your cat’s teeth using circular motions. Managing Cat’s Anxiety

If your cat is anxious, consider using calming supplements or medication to help them relax.

Consult with your veterinarian to determine what would be best for your cat.

Wrapping a Cat

Wrapping your cat in a towel can help create a calming mechanism and prevent scratches. Place a towel over your cat and wrap them tightly, leaving their head exposed.

This method can help keep your cat calm and prevent them from moving too much during brushing.

Struggle-Free Brushing

Use treats as a reward for your cat when they brush their teeth. Gentle head-holding can help prevent your cat from moving too much during brushing.

Timing brushing for when your cat is most relaxed can also help make the process easier.

Conclusion

In conclusion, proper dental care is essential for your cat’s overall health and wellbeing. By providing your cat with the supplies they need, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, treats, and a towel, you can make brushing your cat’s teeth a straightforward and positive experience.

Remember to start young, use gentle techniques, and be patient with your cat during the process. With regular brushing and dental check-ups, you can help prevent dental disease, inflammation, infection, and other dental problems that can lead to pain and bad breath for your cat.

Overall, this article emphasizes the importance of cat dental care and provides helpful information on supplies needed for brushing, brushing techniques, managing a cat’s anxiety, and handling a cat while brushing their teeth. Dental disease can cause inflammation, infection, and affect internal organs, so it’s crucial to prioritize dental hygiene for your cat’s overall health and wellbeing.

With a bit of patience and persistence, and the right supplies and techniques, you can ensure that your cat has healthy teeth and gums that are free from disease. So, don’t forget to take care of your cat’s dental health to ensure a happy and healthy cat for years to come.

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