How To Keep Your Cat's Teeth Healthy

Posted on: 13 August 2015

Feline dental health is an important issue often overlooked by pet owners, who tend to focus their attention on problems with their cat's claws, fur and tail. But if you've noticed that your cat has recently seemed to lack a normal appetite or shows signs of discomfort while eating, it may be that they're struggling with any one of a number of dental complications. Take a look below at a few things you can do you keep your cat from ending up at the animal hospital every month.

Preventative Care

The best thing you can do for your cat's dental health is use a variety of methods to prevent it from deteriorating in the first place. Brushing a cat's teeth regularly is the easiest option for most pet owners, but a number of products on the marketplace today directly address issues of dental health: oral maintenance gel, oral hygiene drops that dissolve in your pet's drinking water, and food that specifically targets and strengthens dental health are all things you can purchase to help your cat live a healthier life. 

Regular At-Home Checkups

You don't need to take a trip to the veterinarian to identify issues with your cat's oral hygiene. If you've observed bad breath or problems eating, take a quick peek at your cat's teeth and note what you see. A bit of plaque buildup and slightly swollen gums isn't too much cause for alarm, but you may want to start taking the preventative measures listed above. On the other hand, if you notice bleeding gums, severe tartar buildup or loose teeth, it's likely that your cat is suffering from gingivitis and needs professional treatment immediately. 

More Serious Side Effects

Unfortunately, dental health isn't an isolated issue when it comes to the overall health of your cat. A lack of oral hygiene is directly linked to far more serious medical issues, up to and including the damage (or even outright failure) of major organs. Kidney failure, for example, is in many cases a severe side effect of poor dental health and closely related issues. That's why you should keep a vigilant eye out for symptoms of kidney failure: drooling, sudden weight gain, and even problems with your pet's urinary tract are all possible signs that something is seriously wrong. In these cases, keep a journal of your cat's symptoms and behavior to share with the vet during your next visit.