We very rarely get to see our cats’ teeth so gum disease and tooth decay can be an underlying issue we are unaware of, so our pets suffer in silence. A good indicator of oral health is grooming. If your cat is looking a little shabbier recently it’s likely they aren’t grooming themselves as vigorously as they used to and that could be due to pain in their mouth. You may also notice them eating less and losing weight. If you have a lap cat you might even notice that they have bad breath. If you notice any of these signs it’s time for a vet trip.
So, what can we do to prevent this? Luckily there are actions we can take to prevent this. Firstly, what we feed our cat can help. Dry feed doesn’t stick to the teeth as much as wet food does and so there is less food on the teeth for the plaque-causing bacteria to feed on. Some dry foods (like Hills Science Plan Feline oral care) are even a specific texture which helps to clean the teeth as your cat chews.
Some of us may have fussier cats who won’t eat dry food though so then we have to look into plan B. Using a toothbrush isn’t always the easiest thing to do with a cat but most can be tempted by tasty cat toothpaste. Using a finger toothbrush is usually a good way to start as you have more control but you can use a normal style toothbrush which is specifically for pets.