As is the case with humans and other animals, your cat will need healthy teeth to be in excellent shape. When it comes to oral hygiene, the first thought of most owners is usually brushing.
I admit that I have never brushed the teeth of my cats, and I doubt very much that they would be thrilled with the idea. So, you may need to find some other options, as well. Luckily, there are a few helpful tips for keeping your cat’s teeth clean. Let’s see.
1 Quality Food
The primary thing that will prevent any dental problem is proper nutrition. Only high-quality food can save the teeth of your cat from decay, tartar buildup, and gum inflammation.
Providing felines with healthy food will strengthen their teeth and improve overall health. On the other hand, the poor-quality diet will increase plaque and accumulationof tartar. Therefore, avoiding food rich in carbs, by-products, and grains is crucial.
Feeding a kitty with dry food will promote mechanical cleaning, which will protect teeth. Take care always to choose brands with a seal of the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council), which proves that it was passed necessary clinical trials.
One of the excellent solutions is to pick out the right dental cat food for your furry friend. Even though it cannot eliminate tartar, it will reduce the buildup of these ugly deposits.
2 Raw and Baked Bones
Never forget that cats are basically predators. They eat mice, birds, fish, and lizards, so nibbling the bones is a natural way for them to keep their teeth healthy and strong. Depending on the preferences of your kitty, you can offer it both raw and baked bones.
My cats adore chicken wings and small fish, which my husband catches only for them. Clementine and Sofio prefer fish, but Josephine is a meat lover and always chooses pork and chicken for a meal. As a result, all of them have clean and healthy teeth without plaque and tartar.
3 Dental Gels, Sprays, Wipes, and Water Additives
- Dental gels – Daily applying these gels directly on teeth is a comfortable alternative to brushing the cat’s teeth. They contain necessary enzymes that prevent tooth decay, tartar buildup, and gum infection by killing bacteria in the cat’s mouth.
- Dental sprays – Applying dental sprays over the food and treats will help in regular dental care in an entirely non-invasive way.
- Dental wipes – I am not sure that your cat will tolerate them, but these wipes are worth the effort. Wrap one around your finger and use it as a brush. It will probably take some time until your cat accepts this procedure.
4 Water and Water Additives
Drinking fresh water will help in washing away food debris left in the mouth of your kitty after a meal. Except for dehydration, cleaning the teeth is the primary reason to make sure your cat always has plenty of water to drink.
Also, pouring water additives into drinking water will help your cat to have healthy gums and teeth, as well as better breath. They are convenient, but you can expect them to be less efficient than other methods.
Also, don’t forget to check if your cat drinks water as always or avoid it because it dislikes the new taste of additives.
5 Dental Treats and Chews
Exceptthese dental products are a delicious reward for your kitty, they will reduce the number of bacteria in its mouth and freshen up its breath, as well. Always pick out the products approved by the VOHC.
High-quality treats are made for cleaning the cats’ teeth, and they are often as effective as brushing. By chewing them, your kitty will scrape off plaque and prevent the accumulation of tartar.
Most cats adore these products from the very beginning, but some of them need to get used to their taste and consistency.Keep in mind that these treats are not a substitute for professional dental cleaning, but they may reduce the number of these procedures over time.
6 Dental Toys
My cats usually like playing with their rubber dental toys. By chewing them for fun, my beauties clean their teeth at the same time. These toys are a replacement for dental floss that we use during the regular maintenance of oral hygiene.
There are a few benefits to this option. The best of all is that you can avoid unpleasant cleaning of the cat’s teeth and, consequently, reduce their stress that accompanies this procedure.
However, be careful while picking out the right toys for your kitty. If they are too hard, you may face the tooth fractures issue. Also, you need to buy these that are abrasive enough to stimulate gums and scrub off plaque effectively during chewing.
7 Brushing the Teeth
Well, in my opinion, it is quite a tricky and controversial option for cats. I am absolutely sure that my belovedbeauties will bite my finger at the thought of putting a brush in their mouths. Not to mention the possibility of rubbing their teeth to clean them.
If you have a tolerant cat, you should use this method since brushing teeth is the best way to prevent tooth decay and possible dental diseases.I should warn you that the first time will not be easy, and most cats need to get used to this unpleasant action. Therefore, you should start at an early age.
Choose an adequate toothbrush and particular toothpaste containing flavored ingredients safe for kitties. Then, brush the teeth and stimulate gums of your furry friend at least twice or three times a week.
In any case, it is quite hard work, and it is not the best option for every cat. If your cat resists persistently and reacts violently to the brush attempt, it will be better to find another solution.
8 Professional Dental Cleaning
Once your cat needs professional teeth cleaning, you should consult your vet. It will recommend the best strategy depending on the particular problem your furry friend has. For example, if your kitty has accumulated tartar, red gums, or bad breath, it is time to call a professional.
Keep in mind that the frequency of professional cleaning can vary, but it is highly recommended at least once in a year or two. The procedure includes standard steps, such as:
- Examination – The first thing your vet will do is to check the overall health and dental history of your cat.
- Anesthesia – In most cases, it is a necessary step that will prevent the tartar residue and water aspiration during the cleaning.
- X-rays – It is an excellent way to check the roots and parts of the teeth below the gums.
- Teeth cleaning – The vet will clean all the teeth thoroughly with an ultrasonic scaler and polish them.
- Protective sealant – Finally, the vet should put a dental sealant to prevent any possible periodontal diseases.
Keeping your cat’s teeth clean is a thankless job for you and quite a stressful activity for your cat. Still, it is the only way for the kitty to keep its teeth healthy until becoming late. Don’t forget that the general well-being of your furry friend depends on the health of its teeth. Do your best to help it stay healthy!