Just like humans, cats need their teeth in order to maintain proper nutrition. We spend hours of our life diligently brushing and flossing our teeth so that they always stay healthy, but caring for your cat’s teeth is equally important. Tartar is a form of hardened plaque that builds up on teeth and causes tooth decay. Moreover, for cats, the bacterial growth associated with tartar can cause significant health risks as these bacteria can enter the blood stream and lead to organ damage.
Most commonly, as tartar builds up on teeth it damages the gums allowing bacteria to enter the bone and eat away at the periodontal ligament. Eventually, this can lead to painful abscesses and ultimately the loss of teeth. For various reasons, caring for your cat’s teeth is an important part of your responsibility as a pet owner. So what can you do to prevent tooth decay and ensure the health and happiness of your beloved cat?
First of all, there are plenty of products on the market designed to promote healthy teeth and gums in cats. There are a range of dry cat foods, for example, that are designed specifically to reduce plaque build up and prevent the development of tartar. The kibble in this food is larger and therefore needs to be chewed before swallowing. These cat foods also often contain fiber that effectively removes plaque from your cat’s teeth.
Believe it or not, you can even brush your cat’s teeth. Non-foaming pet toothpastes are available at your local pet store as well as a range of chew toys that are designed to clean your cat’s teeth. Similarly, you can purchase a pet mouthwash or spray that destroys bacteria in your cat’s mouth. Finally, ensure that your cat has regular dental checkups with your veterinarian who will also conduct a thorough cleaning.