Dental disease is the most common health problem we see in pets. Many owners will scoff at the idea of dental care for pets, believing that this is some extravagant notion. But in reality, dental disease is preventable. Because we keep cats as pets, they are not eating the “whole animal” diest they were designed for. The bones and fur/feathers of prey act as nature’s toothbrush. Without this daily scrubbing, pets can be prone to tartar and periodontal disease. Some cats seem to never accumulate tartar, while others will have dental disease at a young age. We suspect that the difference is related to their individual oral bacterial flora or chewing habits.
Hard food causes just as much dental tartar as soft food, or perhaps more. We recommend 5-10 dental treats in place of some of the regular food and/or daily toothbrushing with the C.E.T. mini toothbrush. For cats with some dental conditions, the dental treats will not be enough and daily toothbrushing will be necessary to maintain good oral health.
Although kittens do not necessarily need their teeth brushed, kittenhood is a great time to desensitize your kitty to the facial handling required, and to the texture of a toothbrush on the gums. From time to time or as part of a daily routine during petting, at naptime, or ahead of feeding, gently and briefly hold the head still and roll the lips up to rub the cums, check the front teeth, or slide the corner of the lips back and up to check the chewing teeth. Then immediately reward and reassure the kitty with petting, food/treats, or play. You can begin with this and slowly progress to introducing a toothbrush and you’ll find that 15 seconds of toothbrushing a day can go a long way.
Make sure to have your cat’s teeth checked by their veterinarian annually to stay ahead of any dental disease.