Is It Necessary To Clean Your Cat’s Teeth?


Is It Necessary To Clean Your Cat’s Teeth?

When you choose to bring a cat into your family, you are prepared for many responsibilities. Keeping your feline friend healthy and happy will be one of your biggest priorities and there are many ways in which you can do this, from feeding her the right diet to ensuring that she gets adequate protection from contagious diseases. Nevertheless, there is one aspect of cat care that surprises many inexperienced owners, and that is the need to clean your pet’s teeth.

Your Cat’s Teeth are Very Important

Even though your cat has a tiny mouth, she packs an incredible 30 teeth into her jaw, and each is extremely important. She should have:

  1. Two upper and lower molars, which help her to chew her food.

  2. Six upper and four lower pre-molars, which are also used for chewing food.

  3. Four canines. Your cat uses these for killing and shredding their prey in the wild, in the case of a house cat, their kibble or wet food.

  4. Six upper and six lower incisors. These are used to help hold prey. However, these are also the teeth that are most likely to be lost through trauma or decay.


Although cats do not need teeth to survive, they, like her claws, act as a natural defense mechanism and she will feel vulnerable without them.


Feline Dental Health

Just like humans, felines are susceptible to a range of dental problems, from decay and damage to periodontal disease. The latter is the single most common oral health issue facing cats, and around eight in every ten cats over the age of three already has the symptoms of periodontal disease.

Preventing this condition from occurring is an essential part of keeping your cat healthy and happy. Unfortunately, the damage caused by moderate to severe periodontitis is irreversible. This means that the best you and your vet will be able to do is manage her condition and prevent the disease from worsening. Spotting the signs and getting treatment quickly is essential if you are to preserve your cat’s dental health.


Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

  • Persistent bad breath

  • Teeth that are very yellow or brown, particularly near the gums

  • Teeth that look broken or damaged

  • Swollen gums

  • Red or bleeding gums

  • Swelling of the face

  • Loose or lost tooth

  • Loss of appetite

The Dangerous Impact of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease may seem fairly innocent in its earliest stages when the symptoms are mild. However, if the condition progresses it can cause untold damage to your pet’s oral and general health as the infection passes into the bloodstream and to the major organs. This can cause your feline furbaby to develop conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Brushing your Cat’s Teeth can prevent Periodontal Disease

Regular brushing of your cat’s teeth is the best way to help keep periodontal disease at bay and ensure that her oral health remains as good as possible. This is because brushing removes the bacteria that accumulates on her teeth when she eats, eradicating it before plaque develops. It is this plaque that, left untreated, spreads under the gum causing periodontal disease.

Brushing your cat’s teeth may sound like mission impossible, but with a little time and practice most cats can learn to not only tolerate the sensation of having their teeth brushed, but many also enjoy it. It provides a good bonding opportunity for you and your kitty, just remember to make it a positive experience by offering lots of love and praise.

For a demonstration on the best way to brush your cat’s teeth, or for more information about the importance of feline dental care, please do not hesitate to contact our knowledgeable and professional team.