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Five Tips for Keeping Your Cat’s Mouth Healthy

Since dental disorders can lead to further serious conditions like liver disease, kidney disease, and stomach problems—as well as loosing teeth—your cat’s dental health is paramount. It is often one of the most overlooked aspects of feline health, possibly because we as cat owners are used to our pets grooming and cleaning themselves. Below, a Farmington veterinarian gives you five tips for recognizing, cleaning, and maintaining your cat’s healthy teeth and gums.

Do a Breath Test

Take a sniff of your cat’s breath. While it surely isn’t going to smell like roses, it shouldn’t be especially offensive. If you think your cat has abnormally smelly breath, it could be a sign of something worse. Take your cat to see your Farmington vet if you think his breath is particularly bad.

Watch for Signs of Problems

Aside from offensive breath, you should be on the lookout for signs of dental disorders in your cat. A few times a month, gently pull back your cat’s lips and examine the teeth and gums. Gums should be pink in color, not red or white. If they are swollen or if you see a dark red line along the gums, consult your Farmington vet as soon as possible. Ulcers, plaque buildup, pus, or loose teeth are also signs that something isn’t right.

In addition, your cat may exhibit outward signs of mouth discomfort. If he has difficulty eating, drools excessively, or paws and scratches at his mouth more than usual, call your veterinarian.

Brush Regularly

Use a specially-designed cat toothbrush. These are available commercially at pet store and veterinarian’s offices. Ask your Farmington vet for his or her recommendation. Also, never use toothpaste for people on your cat! It may have chemicals in it that aren’t suitable for felines.

Get your cat used to the taste of the toothpaste by rubbing a small amount on the gums. Slowly introduce the toothbrush—this may take a few sessions—and gently brush, supporting and comforting your cat all the while.

Provide a Chew Toy

Chew toys will provide hours of fun for your cat, not to mention the benefits of scraping away tartar and promoting strong teeth. Ask your Farmington veterinarian for his or her recommendation on a quality, safe chew toy for your feline companion.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Certain cat foods are specially formulated to combat tartar and plaque. Combined with chew toys, regular brushing, and oral health checks, a quality diet will help rid your cat’s mouth of any maladies. Your Farmington veterinarian can show you a food that suits your cat’s needs.

 

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