Cat dental care; what’s normal for your pet?

February 9, 2022

Cats are masters of disguise and can hide pain and illness like a pro!  This makes it hard to tell if they have a dental problem, but, given that we know some 80% of cats have gum disease by the age of three, it is likely this will affect your cat at some point.

You should get your cat used to having their mouth touched from a young age.  It makes it so much easier for you and the vets when they need to have their mouths examined or their teeth cleaned.  You’ll also get to know what is normal for your cat’s mouth and teeth too which helps to pick up on any issues more quickly!

At Rowan we do a full health check as part of your cat’s annual booster visit.  This includes taking a look at your cat’s teeth.  The vet can give you some really great advice and tips on how to care for your cat’s teeth to keep them in tip-top condition, but you should also check your cat’s teeth every few weeks too.  It helps to pick up issues early and a year is a long time to have toothache!

What’s your cat’s dental regime?

If you don’t know what the signs of gum disease are, here are a few pointers to look out for:

  • Bad breath
  • Reduced appetite
  • Discomfort when eating
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced grooming (poor coat condition)
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Drooling

How do I check my cat’s teeth?

Helping your cat get used to having their teeth examined might take time.  You don’t want to be bitten or clawed so we can help with advice and tips on how you can do this.  Our talented team of RVNs are able to demonstrate the technique to you so you can do it at home.

If you are able to examine your cat’s teeth yourself here’s what you’re checking for:

  • Gums that are painful, red, swollen or bleed easily
  • Gums that have receded
  • Lumps on the gums
  • Yellow material on the teeth (plaque)
  • Hard, brown material on the teeth (tartar)
  • Loose, broken or missing teeth

How can I prevent dental problems?

It is important to catch dental problems early because advanced disease is unpleasant for your cat and can lead to other health issues – plus it can be expensive to treat.

With a few simple steps you can prevent problems from arising in the first place. The best way to do this is to brush your cat’s teeth. This may take time and is best started when they are a kitten, but we can help demonstrate and supply help and guidance on how to introduce it as part of your cat’s routine.

There are also some really great products, diets and treats that can help reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar so if you need any help or advice, or would like us to check your cat’s teeth, contact the client care team on PetsApp or by calling 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352.

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