Hello! Nigel, here. Did you know that February is National Pet Dental Health Month?? Well…neither did I. But according to Dr. S and Dr. J it is. So…I’m just going to assume they’re not pulling my tail on this one. 😉
Kittens have 26 teeth, adult cats have 30 teeth, and most human adults have 32 teeth. Just as you humans need to visit the dentist, your cat needs to visit their veterinarian to get his teeth checked, too. Taking care of your cats teeth is the best way to ward off dental pain and disease.
Many cat guardians are not aware of this, but one of the best ways to care for your cat’s teeth at home is by brushing them – it is the gold standard in preventive dental home-care. Regular brushing of your cat’s teeth improves the overall health of their teeth and gums. Many cats will allow you to brush their teeth if a routine is established early in life or slowly introduced. A variety of toothbrush styles are available for home brushing – try a variety to discover what is easiest for you and your cat. Important – if you use toothpaste, ensure it is made for cats – human toothpaste can be toxic to cats! Cat toothpaste is usually flavored poultry or malt and can be purchased at For Cats Only or at your local pet store. Visit the “Resources” page on this website to find links for videos showing how to properly brush your kitty’s teeth at home.http://vetforcatsonly.com/resources/
Professional dental evaluations should be performed by your veterinarian every 6-12 months, and will involve a general examination while your cat is awake. This commonly occurs at your cats regular wellness exam. You and your veterinarian can discuss what is found during the examination, treatment options, and a home-care routine. If dental disease is apparent, Dr. J or Dr. S will likely recommend a dental cleaning under anesthesia for your feline overlord. Many human slaves become quite concerned by this idea, and fear for their overlord’s wellbeing. However, it is important to remember that most cats (even those with other health issues) do very well under anesthesia and are much better after they have had their teeth cleaned. Most human slaves report a much happier, more affectionate master when they return home after having a dental cleaning at For Cats Only.
Are you wondering if your cat may need a dental evaluation? Here are some things to look for, to determine if your cat may need professional dental care:
-Painful areas around his mouth or he refuses to eat.
-Excessive drooling (ptyalism).
-Grinding teeth (bruxism): Many people describe this as their cat “chewing on a bone.”
-Abnormally red gums (gingivitis).
-Only chews on one side of his mouth, or drops food while eating.
-Tartar (hard deposits of material that forms on teeth at the gum line and contributes to dental decay if not regularly removed).
-A foul odor coming from his mouth (halitosis).
Please note: Cats are great at hiding dental pain! Some cats show NO signs of dental disease, when in fact they are in quite a bit of pain! This is another important reason to see your veterinarian for regular wellness visits.
Well, I hope that this information has been somewhat helpful to you humans. If you have any questions about your cats dental care, please don’t hesitate to call the great staff at For Cats Only. I personally use them for ALL of my dental health needs.
Nigel, signing off! Meow!