Tips to take care of your cat's oral health
The cat has the teeth of a carnivore, so it has evolved with characteristics capable of biting the prey with maximum efficiency and tear it with the least possible effort to ingest it.
The feline teeth are different according to their age and the increase in the life expectancy of the cat that lives as a pet makes the time that must last the teeth is greater. This makes them require certain specific care. Below, we explain a few tips to take care of your cat's oral health .
How is the cat's teeth
To understand the following tips to care for the oral health of your cat that we will give you below, you must first understand how the teeth of these cats. The total number of teeth of cats varies according to their age. Thus, the kitten's teeth are 26 and adult cats have 30 .
The teething of kittens differs from adult cats in that the latter have two molars on top and two molars on the bottom that are not on the "milk teeth".
Knowing this, you may wonder how to care for a cat's teeth.
Why keep the cat's teeth clean
The teeth of the cat are strong, but their health is threatened, so much so that two thirds of our cats older than 3 years suffer from an oral disease. Hence the importance of caring for the dental health of the cat. These are the main oral problems of cats:
- Dental plaque : is the origin of most dental conditions and is formed when the film that covers the tooth, which is formed by saliva and non-pathogenic bacteria, is increasing in thickness if it is not renewed properly.
- Sarro : veterinarians refer to it as dental calculus and is nothing else than a thickened dental plaque, that is, it has a large number of bacteria attached to the tooth and that over time have accumulated mineral salts (including calcium ) and large amount of pathogenic bacteria. This is one of the reasons why your cat smells his breath.
- Gingivitis : literally is the inflammation of the gums and is always associated, to a greater or lesser degree, with other disorders of the mouth. A very serious gingivitis can suppose the disappearance of the gum and with it the loss of teeth of the cat. You may also be interested in How to treat gingivitis in cats.
- Periodontal disease : it is a dental plaque that causes infection in the gums (pyorrhea). You must intervene as soon as possible for two equally important reasons: the cat's teeth fall and the pus of the infection reaches the stomach, from where the blood spreads throughout the body the bacteria it contains. To get an idea, some diseases of the heart originate in these bacteria of the oral pus.
Since tartar is one of the main problems in the oral health of your cat, you may wonder how to clean your cat's teeth to eliminate dental plaque. In this other article we explain how to eliminate tartar in cats.
How to take care of my cat's teeth
The health of the cat's teeth goes through the good hygiene of the mouth . If you do not know how to wash your cat's teeth, do not worry, because this can be achieved in several ways, most of the time in combination:
- Mechanical effect of the food : when the cat chews its dry food, the friction that occurs helps to remove dental plaque. This is known as the mechanical effect of the food and therefore the croquettes are adapted in size, shape and texture according to the age of each cat.
- Food components : some compounds help limit the deposit of tartar on the teeth. They are known as calcium chelators and specific foods for dental health are enriched with them. In most brands they use the English expression "oral care" to refer to them.
- Manual brushing: in addition to helping our cat to maintain its oral health by giving it a good feed, we can also contribute with good hygiene by brushing thanks to toothbrushes for cats. This is not always to the liking of the cat, so you have to start from very small to get used to it, before even starting to take the final teeth. To be effective, you have to be constant (twice a week) and use the elements designed for the cat, both brush and paste.
- Veterinary dental cleanings : as it is not usual to brush the cat's teeth periodically, it will be necessary to leave the teeth of the pet in the hands of the veterinarian. For this, the veterinarian will perform periodic reviews (at least once a year) in which he will assess the condition of the teeth and the convenience or not of intervening. Follow their advice because some feline diseases do not allow to carry out this intervention because it requires sedation of the cat.
Royal Canin is one of the brands of food for cats and dogs that has adequate food to care for the oral health of the cat .