It’s extremely important to regularly care for your cat’s teeth at home in between regular veterinary dental care. Imagine going days, weeks, months or even years without brushing your teeth – bad breath would be only the beginning of the problems. This is no different for your cat and if you’re not currently caring for your cat’s teeth at home – you should start right away.
Cats may not accept brushing as easily as many dogs, so owners often don’t attempt to brush their cat’s teeth. You may have success with a finger brush as opposed to the toothbrush. If you absolutely are unable to brush your cat’s teeth, you may need to utilize a variety of techniques including veterinary dental gels, water additives or dental diets. Watch a video from the Cornell Feline Health Center about how to brush your cat’s teeth.
Wisconsin Veterinary Dentist, Dale Kressin, DVM, AVDC, says, “Research in veterinary medicine has shown that periodontal disease can spread to the heart, kidney and liver and create significant problems.” See more about Dr. Kressin’s home pet dental care recommendations.
“At home dental care is important to maintain your cat’s overall good oral health,” says Washington Veterinary Dentist, Allen Matson, DVM, AVDC. At Eastside Veterinary Dentistry, their staff also provides one-on-one pet dental homecare demonstrations to their clients.
California Veterinary Dentist, Brook Niemiec, DVM, AVDC, stresses the importance of home dental care in preventing and treating periodontal disease. “Next to professional veterinary dental cleanings, the most important aspect is home care. This will greatly increase the periodontal health of your cat, as well as decrease the frequency of professional cleanings.
Arizona Veterinary Dentist, Chris Visser, DVM, AVDC stresses the importance of any homecare efforts, “There are several home care oral hygiene options from which to choose, but keep in mind that anything you can do to help prevent plaque and tartar accumulation in your cat will pay big dividends.” Here you can see commonly used options for home oral hygiene that have been proven to be of benefit for cats.
“The more dental care you can do at home for your cat, the less that will have to be done by a veterinarian,” says Tony Woodward, DVM, AVDC. “Frequently the best approach is to combine several methods of control to achieve best results with cat home dental care.
According Tampa Bay Veterinary Dentist, Michael Peak, DVM, AVDC it’s important to remember that, “animals have no special ability to resist dental disease.” There is a common misconception among many people that cat’s mouths are different than our own and that they fight off dental disease on their own. Dr. Peak offers an excellent resource of steps for cat dental home care.
Chew toys may be a benefit in reducing tartar build up, but Houston Veterinary Dentist, Robert Boyd, DVM, AVDC urges dog owners to, “be careful when selecting chew toys for cats because some objects that are too hard can cause broken teeth. Only if the toy can be bent or dented, is it safe for a dog to chew.”
When choosing dental health products for your cats, Virginia Veterinary Dentist, Thomas Chamberlain, DVM, AVDC recommends looking at www.vohc.org for products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council so you are certain they are safe and effective dental health products for your dog.