2001-Tue Jan 24 10:11:49 MST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
One of the more pressing issues we veterinarians deal with is getting people to get serious about oral health in cats.
Nearly 70 percent of cats ages 3 and older have symptoms of
dental disease. Many of those cats will never receive any home dental care, and the condition of their teeth will worsen every year for the rest of their lives.
Over the years, I’ve seen countless feline patients with severe and painful mouth conditions, and let me tell you, they are a sorry lot. Some drool constantly. Some can barely manage to eat. Most suffer from mouth pain all the time. Think of yourself. Have you ever had a cold sore in your mouth or an infected tooth? Did you think to yourself, "This is nothing to worry about; it's no big deal"? Of course not!
Dental disease is incredibly painful, as well as detrimental to overall health and happiness — in people
In my opinion, this is the one area of home care in which pet owners fail their pets than any other. Teeth — even cat’s teeth — are not all that difficult to care for. But left untended, they quickly accumulate plaque buildup, which causes the gums to recede and bacteria to take up lodging in your cat’s mouth. And oral bacteria don’t stay put. Over time, they cause infections that enter the bloodstream by way of a cat’s mouth and spread throughout his body. These bacteria can damage your cat’s
kidneys, and compromise nearly every aspect of his health. This process sounds like it should be a rare occurrence, but it is incredibly common.
There are two keys to ensuring your cat doesn't suffer the effects of poor dental care. First, make sure your cat gets her
regular dental exam with her veterinarian and schedule an appointment to have her teeth cleaned and scaled so you have a clean slate. Second, start a program of home care. A lot of cat owners don’t think their
cats will stand for tooth brushing — and some of them are right. You know your cat’s temperament better than anyone, so don’t force the issue. Instead, try these steps:
Cats are simply not the “no-maintenance” pets many people imagine them to be. But preventive care isn't difficult and the payoff is huge. You can extend your cat’s life and make his days far more comfortable with just a little of your time by adding oral care to your pet’s life.
More on Vetstreet:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Want to choose the best food for your
pet? Here's why you shouldn't fear
preservatives or fall for marketing…
Electronic cigarettes may be growing in
popularity, but their higher concentrations
of nicotine can poison cats and…
Are you handling your pet the right way?
Our vet shares five things your pup wishes
you knew about picking him up.
We combed through 505,270 kitten
names to determine the hottest male
and female monikers of the year.
We scoured our database of 1.1 million
dogs to find out which male and female
monikers reigned supreme this past…
The laid-back American Wirehair’s crimped, coarse coat requires almost no brushing or combing.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.