There is more to being a loving cat owner than just feeding and playing with your little feline friend, a lot more. You have to do those things to, but you are also responsible for ensuring your cat’s health, and that includes taking care of your cat’s dental needs. Sure, you take your cat to the veterinarian when you are supposed to, and of course, he cleans and checks your cat’s teeth when you are there, but you should really be performing cat dental care at home as well. When it comes to your own dental care, you couldn’t go to the dentist twice a year and then walk around the rest of the time without ever brushing your teeth, or eating a breath mint…well, technically you could, but you would probably have a severe case of halitosis, not to mention be missing a few teeth sooner or later! Just as you can’t get by with that kind of dental care, neither can your cat!
When it comes to cat dental care, it is very similar to your own dental care. Food and plaque build up on your cat’s teeth and gums, and if left to sit there for long periods of time, will slowly start to eat away at your cat’s teeth, leading to tooth decay, oral infections, lost teeth, and even gum disease. All of these conditions are very detrimental to your cat’s health, impacting his ability to eat properly, leading to poor nutrition, and even more health problems, all that could be avoided with some general cat dental care.
When you take your cat to the veterinarian, he is placed under general anesthesia for his dental care, so it may take him some time to get used to you messing around in his mouth at first. At the veterinarian, your cat gets his teeth cleaned, and examined for any potential problems. Most of the time, this doesn’t get too expensive, unless you have neglected your cat’s dental care, in which case more extensive dental care may be required. So, not only can you protect your cat’s health by performing home dental care, you can also save yourself a lot of money in veterinary bills as well! Just another reason why you should take the time to clean your cat’s teeth, just once a week will make a big difference.
You can brush and care for your cat’s teeth at home, and should do so on a regular basis. Talk to your veterinarian for his suggestions, and follow his instructions. You can purchase small cat toothbrushes that fit on the end of your finger from your local pet supply store, and toothpaste designed particularly for feline use. If you have not brushed your cat’s teeth before, he may not be very happy with this procedure. You should start by letting your cat get used to having your finger in his mouth, and once he accepts that, then move on to getting him use to the toothbrush, before you even try to brush his teeth. Once he accepts the toothbrush in his mouth with minimal fuss, you can add the toothpaste and start brushing his teeth.
If you don’t have the time or desire to care for your cat’s dental needs at home, you should take him to the veterinarian for regular dental care, as his teeth still need to be properly cared for. If you have pet insurance, it may not be as expensive as you think, definitely not as expensive as having to have major cat dental work done, which is what will happen if you neglect your cat’s dental needs.
So, whether you provide your cat’s dental care at home, or you have your veterinarian do it on a regular basis is up to you, but it is part of your responsibility as a pet owner to make certain your cat’s dental needs are being met, however you choose to do it. Don’t put your cat’s health at risk just because you don’t have time or want to brush his teeth!