Cats don’t have toothbrushes to keep their own teeth clean, and in a home setting, their diet will not normally do it for them, as it may have done in the wild. So here are top tips to help keep your kitty’s teeth and mouth healthy.
Keeping Kitty’s Teeth Tip-Top
- #1 Be vigilant… one of the first signs that all is not well, is foul breath. Kitties often have a fishy sort of fragrance – what is often referred to as ”kitty breath”. Nothing to worry about. But you’ll know when it’s really dire, especially if kitty is drooling. It then needs looking into, to ensure no gum disease or damage to teeth. Don’t leave it until kitty is showing obvious signs of distress – by then it’s often more serious than it need be.
- #2 Give them a yearly check-up. Just as you visit the dentist regularly to make sure all is well – make sure the vet looks inside kitty’s mouth at least annually.
- #3 Establish a routine for cleaning teeth. Much easier to do this when they’re young though, so start when your cat is small, perhaps with a finger wrapped in gauze. The toothbrush and special toothpaste made for cats, can come later.
- #4 Brush kitty’s teeth. In the words of the experts:
”…you can brush your cat’s teeth. Toothpaste specially designed for cats is readily available in flavors they’ll enjoy. Do NOT try to brush your cat’s teeth with “people” toothpaste; if fluoride toothpaste is ingested it can make your cat severely ill. Once your cat is used to the flavor of the “kitty toothpaste,” you can cradle your cat from behind, cup his chin, and lift up his lip to clean his teeth using either your gauze covered finger or a kitty toothbrush.”
- #5 Stimulate their gums – massage them when possible. This helps all aspects of dental health.
- #6 Encourage good eating for dental health. Make sure they have food to chew on, a variety of dry and wet food, some lean meat or other food to stimulate chewing. Kitties are predators, so giving them bones helps to keep teeth healthy and knocks the tartar off their teeth. Pork, chicken or fishbones can splinter and cause serious internal damage, so don’t give these to your kitty. Raw bones are much less likely to splinter.