What You Need to Know about Cat Dental Health - The Trupanion Blog
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What You Need to Know about Cat Dental Health

Cat dental health is incredibly important.

Cat dental health is an important factor of your furry friend’s lifetime health, as well as part of being a responsible pet owner. Whether you have a kitten or a senior cat, it’s never too soon to start thinking about your cat’s dental health and ways that you can keep them in optimum condition. Also, your cat may not let you know if they’re experiencing any discomfort. So, it’s essential to know when you should seek care for your cats. Fortunately, we sat down with Trupanion veterinarian Dr. Sarah Nold, to discuss what you need to know about cat dental health.

Cat dental health: important for your feline friend

What you should look for in regards to cat dental health.

The truth about dental disease

Dental disease is something no pet owner wants their pet to go through. While dental disease is common, finding your pet has it can feel uneasy, not really knowing what to expect, or how you can help your cat. “By the age of two, 70% of cats have dental disease,” states Nold. Likewise, dental disease is one of the more common diseases that are seen in cats. Consider a check-up soon after you bring a new cat home, so you can be aware of any issues and can establish a treatment plan for your pet if needed. Or better yet, prevent it from happening in the first place. For a resource on kitten care, check out this guide here.

Signs of poor cat dental health

It could be hard to know whether your cat actually needs medical care. “Cats are good at hiding pain, so in addition to a dental examination, at least yearly by your veterinarian, watch for subtle signs of dental disease at home,” points out Nold.

Consider common signs of dental disease in cats:

  • No longer grooming (dull or matted coat fur)
  • Reluctant to eat or drink
  • Bad breath
  • Hiding or acting less interested in human interaction

If you suspect dental disease, your veterinarian will look for the following on exam day: plaque, calculus, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), and broken or missing teeth.

Keep in mind, a trip to the dentists for your pet is different from your own.

According to Nold, “General anesthesia and dental x-rays are often necessary to perform a proper oral examination.” Naturally, your pet might feel uneasy or have anxiety about this, so being supportive and providing lots of snuggles may help them feel a bit more comfortable. Likewise, it can be a stressful experience for the pet owner. Consider communicating any concerns with your veterinarian prior to the procedure, to give you peace of mind.

How to improve your cat’s dental health

Proper dental care can be achievable for your kitty. For example, pet care items like dental chews and tooth brushing can be used to help maintain proper dental hygiene in your furry friend.

For example, “tooth brushing is most effective if started when a cat is young, in both preventing dental disease and making them more tolerant in the process,” asserts Nold.

Essentially, the earlier you can start the tooth brushing process the more likely they may become accustomed to the activity. Granted, it might not be natural for your furry friend, but at least they can become familiar with it, which can become less stressful over time. Further, always make sure you are using appropriate tools and pet-friendly toothpaste.

cat dental health provides optimum is an important factor for your feline friend's lifetime.

Cat dental health: optimum health and wellness for your cat

For optimum health for your furry friend, wellness and preventative care is absolutely necessary. By maintaining appointments with your veterinarian and creating a treatment plan for any concerns, your cat can become set up for success and enjoy family memories to come.

For more on cat dental care, read A Pet Owner’s Guide to Stomatitis in Cats

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