Good dental hygiene is as important for your cat as it is for you. You may not realize your feline pet is at risk for a variety of gum and dental diseases, as well as worse problems caused by untreated periodontal diseases. For instance, periodontal disease is now thought by some experts to be a leading cause of heart disease in pets. Chronic gingivitis and periodontitis in cats can lead to external root resorption. In fact, your cat may already be suffering. Check your cat for dark or discolored teeth, signs of cracks, fractures or broken tips, bleeding swollen or discolored gums, and uncharacteristically bad breath. If you find these symptoms, bring them to your vet’s attention as soon as possible.

Start brushing your kitten’s
teeth when they are young, the younger you start the easier for them to get used to the experience. Get a rubber finger cot and some feline toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste for felines. Cats do not need to brush their teeth as often as humans, so plan on brushing your kitty’s teeth an average of three to four times a week.

When you are brushing your kitten or cat’s teeth remember that their gums are sensitive and easily injured. Use the toothpaste on your finger and rub the top teeth for half a minute and the same for the bottom teeth. As your pet becomes used to the procedure you can transition them over to a feline toothbrush, available at your veterinarian’s office. Your cat thanks you.