Just how important is dental care for cats?
Cats walk on all fours making their teeth and mouth serve more purposes than they are supposed to.
First and foremost, they use their teeth and mouth for eating like humans do. They need those sharp teeth to masticate their food so they can swallow them in tender bits so as not to overwork their stomach during digestion.
Second, their teeth and mouth serve as their hands. Humans stand erect and have two hands free for other work like carrying and pulling stuff. Cats, on the other hand, need their teeth and mouth to carry things from one place to another, pull things and do what they are best at, tear things apart at playtime.
So, is it safe to say that cats have more to lose when they have teeth and mouth problems than humans do? Well, not exactly. It will be a great loss for both the owner and his cat.
But, cats’ dental hygiene is often neglected for the simple misconception that animals have tougher teeth as they are supposed to live in the wild without the luxury of anything except for what nature has provided, no tooth paste and no toothbrush. The only thing that cats really use to clean their teeth is the grass which is not enough.
Cats’ Dental Problems
While it is true that nature provided cats with tougher teeth, they are not free from decaying that can be brought about by tartar and plaque.
The buildup of tartar and plaque in your cats’ mouth may lead to more serious complications. One of the most common complications is periodental disease. Periodental disease, when ignored, can destroy your pet’s teeth and leave them toothless for the rest of their lives. Considering their dependency on their teeth, not only for eating but for other personal chores that would be devastating and will ruin the quality of life for your cat.
Tartar and Plaque buildup, if left untreated, have other worse complications. If this dental condition prevails and escalates, it could lead to kidney diseases and other potential organ failures.
All this information should lead us to the conclusion that our cats’ dental care and hygiene is a serious matter that needs some attending.
Cats’ Teeth Care
Though your cat is a natural self-groomer who seems to be cleaning every patch from whisker to tail, he needs a lot of human hands for his dental health.
The first challenge would be; how to make your cat open his mouth for you to be able to inspect it for gum disease, tartar, plaque buildup and discolored teeth. Your cat does not know that that you are only out to check on his dental condition. Surely, he will not welcome your curious fingers in his mouth to explore his teeth and gums. Your cat has to open his mouth voluntarily.
It may take you a whole day or even a month to find the out how you can get your cat to open his mouth for you. The technique will differ from cat to cat as every cat has his own personality. But, by mimicking and demonstrating what you want him to do, will do the trick eventually. Never, under any circumstances, should you force your cat’s mouth to open. The results could be very traumatic for both you and your cat.
When you do get your cat to open his mouth for you, your cat will need a regular brush and floss as we humans do in between trips to the dentist. Twice a week of brushing and cleaning will keep his teeth and gums healthy.
Just like in humans, foul breath is an early sign of dental problems. Other signs are licking, drooling and difficulty in chewing. The worse indications are red or bleeding gums, lesions and discolored teeth. These indications should make you set up that appointment with the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Only habit will make your cat tolerate a regular dental hygiene routine. Some may not even like at all ever as cats, unlike dogs, prefer to take care of their overall hygiene themselves.
Going to a professional grooming salon may work best for some cat lovers who may not have the time and patience to go to all the rituals of their cat’s dental hygiene.
The good news is that there are grooming salons like Petsmart that can take care of your cat’s dental care and other hygiene requirements.
Going to pet grooming salons have proven to be a very useful convenience for all pet lovers as they make available complete professional care and grooming possible. It’s also a good way to make sure that your cat gets to go outside the house. While humans need their time out, cats and all other pets need theirs too.