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Caring For Your Cat’s Teeth

Did you know that over 70 percent of kitties over age 3 have some form of dental disease? Dental problems are just as painful and dangerous for cats as they are for people. Issues like abscesses and infections can be absolutely excruciating, and can really impact your feline pal’s quality of life. Keeping your kitty’s teeth healthy is very important! Read on as an Ellicott City, MD vet offers some tips on caring for Fluffy’s choppers.

Watch For Warning Signs

Fluffy can’t tell you if her teeth hurt, so it’s up to you to watch for warning signs. Some common ones are bad breath, visible tartar buildup, bleeding gums, and swelling. Fluffy may also drool, dribble food, take longer eating, chew on one side of her mouth, or start preferring softer foods. Or, she may act cranky or withdrawn. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these red flags.

Checkups

In addition to home care, you’ll also want to get your cat’s choppers checked regularly. We recommend having Fluffy’s teeth examined at least once a year, starting at age one.

Brushing

We know, brushing Fluffy’s teeth sounds a bit dangerous. However, it may be easier than you think, especially if your pet is still a kitten. To get your feline buddy used to the idea, start by gently massaging her teeth and gums with your finger. The trick is to pick a time when your cat is feeling affectionate, and work in lots of cuddles and praise. From there, you can move on to using pet toothpaste and a kitty toothbrush. You can also wrap your finger in gauze. Of course, you probably won’t have much luck if you try to do too much at once. Start slow, and work up from there.

Dental Products

While brushing is the best way to care for Fluffy’s teeth, there are some other things you can do to keep her mouth healthy. Dental rinses, for example, can be quite helpful. You can also try dental flakes, or dental-formula treats or kibble. It’s also important to make sure that your pet always has plenty of fresh water. (Note: many cats prefer drinking running water. Your kitty may appreciate a pet fountain.) Ask your vet for more information.

Please contact us, your Ellicott City, MD vet clinic, for all your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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