Thursday, February 9, 2012

February Is Feline Dental Health Month

A Guest Post from

Protect Your Cat's Teeth and Health with Regular Feline Dental Care

The overall health of your cat depends on the health of his teeth and gums. In fact, dental disease is the leading cause of health problems in cats- leading to heart disease, kidney problems, and other conditions. Fortunately, routine examinations and proper dental care can prevent most dental problems in cats, especially when started early in life.

An estimated 70 percent of cats begin exhibiting signs associated with oral disease by their third birthday, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society, and poor oral health increases the risk of lung and heart disease and decreases quality of life.

One potentially serious condition, periodontal disease, is very common in cats. Periodontal disease is a progressive infection of the tissue that surrounds your cat's teeth. It begins as plaque and tartar accumulation but can quickly progress to gingivitis, a condition that involves inflammation, redness, and bleeding of the gums. If left untreated, periodontal disease destroys the tissue around the teeth, leading to pain and tooth loss. Preventing periodontal disease and other threats requires routine veterinary dental care.

Professional Dental Care for Cats:

Ideally, you should introduce professional veterinary dental care during your cat's first year of life. Your veterinarian will monitor the development of your cat's teeth and perform routine examinations and cleanings to detect and treat dental problems early. After your cat's first birthday, the American Animal Hospital Association recommends visiting your veterinarian every year for a comprehensive dental examination.

Home Dental Care for Cats:

Between office visits, it is important to take care of your cat's teeth at home. Regular brushing and a proper diet are essential for promoting oral health and preventing tooth decay. Brush daily or as often as possible using finger gauze or a toothbrush for cats. Pay close attention to the gum line and the spaces between teeth, and only use toothpaste made specifically for cats. If your pet resists brushing, gradually introduce the process over a period of days or weeks.

Use foods and other products designed to combat tartar and plaque buildup, such as CET Dental Chews or drinking water additives. These will go a long way toward protecting your cat's dental health between brushings. Examine your cat's mouth and teeth regularly to look for signs of gum disease, loose or broken teeth, or other problems. Smell your cat's breath often; breath odor is a good indication of your pet's dental health. Call your veterinarian for a prompt appointment if you discover anything concerning or have questions.

Some symptoms require immediate veterinary attention, including unusual growths in the mouth or throat, broken teeth, pus or blood in the mouth, refusal to eat or drink, or a foreign body lodged in the teeth, mouth, or throat.

Routine dental care and cleanings, comprehensive examinations, and proper home care will protect your cat's teeth and health. Speak with your veterinarian about developing a dental care plan for your cat.


  1. Good info , we get our teeths brushed
    Benny & Lily

  2. What a kawinkydink! Just this morning I made an appointment to have Cecil's teeth cleaned.
    Chloe is six months older than Cecil ( both are 4) and her teeth are perfect. The difference is, she eats mainly dry food and Cecil eats more of the canned. Cecil will not eat treats, Chloe will eat treats.
    After the cleaning, this momma is going to insist Cecil eats dry food and only small amounts of the canned! Wish me luck, he has a very persistent "voice".

  3. Dear Caren,
    Thanks for all advise and information.In my last VET appointment here, the doctor said I have good teeth, mainly if you think that I'm a senior cat (almost 9 years old). It's really important to take good care of our dental health!
    Luna - WE LOVE LUNA

  4. Um..I love teeth brushing. Okay, I actually love the toothpaste !


  5. Hmmm! This is a sore point! Austin has gingivitis, has always had it, but the vets over here do not seem to be worried at all? His breath smells too. When I suggest maybe brushing, he just looks at me strangely. Will have to change vets I think !! :(

  6. Great post today... Glad to read it while the boys are still young...

    pawhugs, Max

  7. Thanks for reminding us Miss Caren and Cody about taking good care of our "toofies" !! :)

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

  8. It's time to call our vet for periodic examinations at home. I loved the subject. Kisses

  9. Dental health is very important. We haven't tried the teeth brushing yet since we just have trouble with being picked up or handled at all. But it is a real good idea to do that. Great post.

  10. Mum says she would clean Hannah and Lucy's teeth but after the first time she would have no skin left on her hands!!
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

  11. We gets special dental food, but the hairy slobbery sisters gets theirs brushed every morning.
    Mommy tried to brush my teeth a couple of times. The blood loss was incredible.

  12. EK had to have his teeth cleaned at his last v-e-t visit. Now Mom has to brush his teeth.

  13. Great post, Caren! Although Katie might say otherwise... ; ) She thinks the toothbrush is for batting around on the floor.

  14. Do you brush the kids' teeth? :)

    I brush Ellie's probably 2-3 times a month but really NEED to work on doing it more frequently!

  15. We get our teeth brushed every day. Mum uses the old head from an electric toothbrush because they are small. We don't mind it too much.

  16. Really great info, Caren! Thank you for posting this! :)

  17. thanks everyone!!!

    Stacy I used to do it all the time but have become quite lazy!

    Guys i am sorry if I haven't been visiting or replying to comments....I am leaving for Florida tomorrow...won't be back til late Tuesday...may use sister-in-law's laptop once or twice to check in but won't be able to visit blogs until I catch up when i return. Sorry!!!!

    Have a great weekend all!

  18. I once tried to brush June Buggie's teeth..... and I'll never make that mistake again!