Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned cat owner or new to the lifestyle, it may come as a surprise that up to 70 percent of pet cats develop periodontal (gum) disease by the age of three. To prevent this, you should become accustomed to regularly cleaning your cat’s teeth and having them professionally cleaned by our Woodbridge, VA, veterinarians at least twice a year.
Cat Dental Care Essentials
According to an article by Dr. Edele Gray titled “The Complete Guide to Dental Cleaning for Cats” published on cats.com, these are the dental care essentials every cat parent needs:
Dental Gels and Toothpaste
There are several products on the market that are specifically designed for pets, and they are often in flavors like shrimp, salmon, chicken, etc. Despite the fact that most humans would turn their nose up to the taste, cats seem to love it—which helps make the cleaning process less stressful for all parties involved. Furthermore, there are specially formulated gels that work to eliminate plaque and tartar buildup.
Human toothbrushes may be too large for a cat’s mouth, so it’s best to look for a baby toothbrush, finger brush, or a brush designed for cats. And if your pet is still a kitten, you might want to consider choosing a brush with natural fibers for the bristles, as they may bite and chew on them during the process.
For whatever reason, if your cat doesn’t tolerate manual brushing, you can look at the significant number of treats that are formulated to do the cleaning for you. However, you should only choose treats that have been approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC).
It’s important to note that most treats are high in fat and calories, so they may not be the best choice for cats who are overweight or have underlying health conditions. But for healthy and active cats, they can be given as rewards and help to maintain oral hygiene.
Like the special treats just mentioned, dental toys can also aid in keeping your cat’s teeth healthy and clean. But owners should be careful to remove broken or damaged toys from a cat’s reach in order to keep them safe.
Nutritionally balanced, prescription dental diets usually contain varying shapes and sizes of kibble to encourage chewing while providing mild abrasion to the teeth, which removes plaque. Professional Cat Dental Care
Even with all of the options mentioned above, you should still schedule regular professional cleanings of your cat’s teeth. And there are various reasons for that, including:
A Better Inspection of Their Teeth
The fact that your veterinarian has the ability to fully visualize your cat’s mouth, which is essential for effective inspection.
There are nooks and crannies in a cat’s teeth that take time and expertise to clean.
Cats are not known for their patience, so the anesthetic helps make the procedure easier and less stressful. The anesthetic also protects your cat’s airway because a special tube is placed in their airway that provides oxygen along with the anesthetic gas.
What to Expect After Your Cat’s Professional Teeth Cleaning
As your pet will undergo an anesthetic, you should anticipate them to be sleepy for the following 24 hours. Some cats may experience a reduced appetite. If that happens, try introducing small amounts of soft food to encourage eating. If that doesn’t work, you should contact your vet.
Our Woodbridge, VA, Animal Hospital Offers Professional Cat Teeth Cleaning
A combination of in-home and professional dental care should be implemented to ensure that your cat’s teeth and mouth are as healthy as can be. If you’re on the fence about whether or not any of this is necessary, please consider the fact that dental and oral health, if poor, can have an effect on other areas of the body (including major organs).
To schedule your cat’s appointment, give our Woodbridge, VA, animal hospital a call at (703) 680-4000.