Dental Care for Kitties
Did you know that February is Pet Dental Health Month? Oral care is just as important for cats as it is for people! Read on as a local Isle of Palms, SC vet offers advice on keeping your cat’s mouth healthy.
Gum disease is quite common in our furry pals. This may not seem like a big deal at first, but it is actually quite serious. The bacteria from gum infections can travel to your kitty’s major organs, and can exacerbate some very serious medical issues, such as heart disease. Fluffy can also suffer from feline stomatitis, a very painful mouth infection. Other common issues include tooth resorption; abscesses; and cracked, broken, or misaligned teeth.
Your kitty can’t tell you if her mouth hurts, so it’s important to pay attention to her, and note potential symptoms. Drooling is often indicative of dental issues in cats. Bad breath is another red flag, as is facial swelling. You may also notice some swelling, tartar buildup, and/or bleeding around the gums. Your feline pal may also take longer eating, chew on one side of her mouth, start preferring softer foods, or lose her appetite. Behavioral changes, such as uncharacteristic grumpiness, withdrawal, and unusual vocalizations, are also common. Contact your vet right away if you notice any of these symptoms in your cat.
Caring For Fluffy’s Teeth
Believe it or not, people can brush cats’ teeth without winding up in the ER. However, there are a few caveats here. It’s best to start when Fluffy is young. That way, she will grow up accepting dental care as part of her usual routine. You may not have a lot of luck trying to get an adult cat used to the idea, but it’s worth a shot. Start by gently rubbing your pet’s teeth and gum while you are cuddling her. You can get a finger toothbrush, or wrap your finger in gauze. Dip this in tuna water to make it more enticing. Offer your furry buddy a special treat afterwards, to sweeten the deal a bit. If you can’t get your kitty to accept having her teeth brushed, ask your vet about other options, such as dental-formula treats and oral rinses.
Please reach out to us, your local Isle of Palms, SC vet clinic, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are always here to help!