Every cat owner wants their feline to stay healthy so they can enjoy a happy and fulfilling life. Although most keep up with their cat’s veterinary appointments, grooming demands, and medications, many overlook their oral care. A cat’s dental health is more important than many pet parents realize and can affect their quality of life.
Penny Paws is here to explain the importance of cat dental care and how to maintain their oral hygiene. We offer exceptional veterinary care across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. If you need an experienced veterinarian in DFW, contact Penny Paws.
The Importance of Dental Care for Cats
It’s easy to overlook a cat’s dental health since it’s typically not on many pet owners’ minds. However, it’s an essential part of owning a cat and improves much more than their oral hygiene.
Many wild cats clean their gums and teeth by gnawing on grass or bones. However, domesticated cats usually don’t utilize these cleaning methods and require the owner to clean their teeth or take them to a professional service. Failing to maintain your cat’s dental health can cause several issues ranging from bad breath to oral cancer.
In fact, gum disease is the most prevalent health issue in cats, regardless of their age.
Cats are prone to numerous dental issues, with some only affecting felines. For example, tooth resorption, also called feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORL), is a cat-specific oral disease that erodes a feline’s teeth beyond repair. Taking your cat to a feline dental clinic will help prevent tooth resorption or identify it before it becomes a significant issue.
Four Reasons To Maintain Your Cat’s Oral Health
Cat dental care is an important part of cat ownership and ensures they stay happy and healthy. Below are just a few reasons to maintain your cat’s oral health.
1. Eliminates Bad Breath
Most people don’t know that healthy cats don’t have bad breath. Even if they eat smelly foods like tuna daily, they won’t experience rancid breath if they have optimal oral health. Bad breath often signifies an underlying dental problem like tooth decay or an infection.
Having your cat’s teeth and gums cleaned regularly will ensure they maintain neutral-smelling breath no matter their diet.
2. Feline Dental Problems Cause Severe Pain
Anyone who’s had tooth abscesses or significant gum issues will tell you it’s extremely painful. Cats experience similar pain when a tooth or gum issue arises but don’t express their agony.
Felines rarely show anguish and hide their pain due to ingrained instinctive behavior. This makes it difficult to identify problems that cause physical suffering. The only way to tell if your cat experiences pain is a change in temperament, but that’s not always accurate.
Attending routine feline dental checkups will prevent painful dental problems and ensure your feline friend stays healthy.
3. Dental Problems Can Cause Other Health Issues
Some dental problems can adversely affect your cat’s oral health, as well as other parts of their body. For example, gingivitis can become so severe that it generates infections within your cat’s bloodstream, lungs, and bones. These infections are often life-threatening and cost hundreds or more to treat.
Some dental problems can lead to serious illnesses that jeopardize your cat’s well-being. These illnesses include:
- Kidney disease
- Autoimmune diseases
- Heart failure
Routine cat dental care will prevent oral issues that cause other health problems later on. Although feline teeth and gum cleaning is relatively expensive, it’s much cheaper than treating severe infections and health conditions.
4. Weakened Jaw and Loss of Teeth
Poor dental care can cause significant tartar buildup that deteriorates your cat’s jaw and teeth. Their structural integrity will continue to diminish over time, causing pain, jaw fractures, and missing or broken teeth. It can also make it difficult for the cat to eat efficiently and without pain.
Brushing your cat’s teeth and taking them to routine dental appointments will preserve your cat’s dental health, ensuring they stay healthy and robust for years to come.
How Often Does a Cat Need Dental Care?
Although it’s best to maintain weekly to bi-weekly at-home feline dental cleanings, determining how often to take your cat to a “kitty dentist” isn’t always easy. Every cat has different oral health needs, causing their professional dental care frequency to fluctuate due to:
- Their age
- Genetic predisposition to oral health issues
Giving your cat a microbial test will help you determine your cat’s dental care frequency. These tests provide valuable insight into your feline’s oral health, allowing you and your vet to decide their dental care frequency. They also provide information about your cat’s halitosis and gum disease resilience and their tooth resorption vulnerability.
How To Evaluate Your Cat’s Oral Health
Cat owners can evaluate their feline’s gums and teeth in a variety of ways. Checking your cat’s breath is a simple way to identify potential health problems since a healthy cat maintains neutral-smelling breath regardless of their diet. If their breath smells foul or strange, consider taking them to a dental clinic as soon as possible.
Also, your cat’s teeth should be white and free of chips and stains. Their gums should appear pink and shouldn’t bleed, swell, or have any blemishes like lesions or sores. Gently opening your cat’s mouth to inspect their dental structure will help you uncover and resolve potential issues before they take hold.
Contact Penny Paws Animal Clinic for Exceptional Feline Dental Cleaning in DFW
If you need professional cat dental care in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, contact Penny Paws. Our experienced veterinarians will help your feline friend maintain optimal oral health while providing exceptional medical services to ensure they stay healthy throughout their life. We have several convenient locations across DFW and will provide the medical care your cat needs at prices you can afford.
From professional dental cleanings to emergency veterinary services, Penny Paws is always here for you. Give Penny Paws a call at (817) 993-1234 and schedule an appointment in Dallas-Fort Worth today!