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Factors Contributing to Your Cat's Oral Health

27th August 2023 Print

As devoted cat owners, we strive to ensure the well-being of our furry companions in every aspect of their lives. While we shower them with love, attention, and plenty of toys, we often overlook an essential aspect of their overall health – oral hygiene. Studies have found that 50 to 90 percent of cats over four develop some form of dental disease. 

The good news is you can prevent several oral health problems and maintain healthy teeth and gums with some effort. To do so, it's important that you explore the factors that contribute to your cat's oral health. Consider the following tips to keep those smiles gleaming.

Dental Hygiene Routine

Introducing a dental hygiene routine early in your cat's life can make a world of difference. Start by gently introducing them to the concept of tooth brushing. Using a specially designed cat toothbrush, finger brush, and cat-friendly toothpaste, begin by gradually brushing their teeth for short periods each day. Patience and persistence are key here. 

Professional Veterinary Care

Regular visits to your veterinarian are essential for your cat's oral health. Schedule routine dental check-ups to ensure any potential dental issues are caught early. Professional dental cleanings performed under anesthesia can effectively remove tartar, plaque, and bacteria that accumulate on your cat's teeth and below the gum line. Your vet can also identify and address any underlying dental or gum diseases that may require treatment.

Diet and Nutrition

Your cat's diet plays a crucial role in maintaining its oral health. It is vital to feed them high-quality, balanced cat food that meets their nutritional requirements. Certain cat foods are specifically formulated to promote oral health, such as those designed to reduce tartar or plaque formation.

Another great way to improve your cat's oral health through food is by switching to a raw cat food diet from a reputable brand. Raw cat food is typically tougher and requires more chewing than processed food. Chewing on raw meat and bones helps naturally scrape away plaque and tartar buildup on a cat's teeth. This mechanical action can assist in keeping the teeth cleaner and minimizing the risk of dental issues such as gum disease and tooth decay. Additionally, chewing raw food can stimulate the cat's salivary glands, leading to increased saliva production. Saliva acts as a natural cleanser for the mouth, helping to rinse away food particles and bacteria that can contribute to oral health problems.

A raw diet can reduce or eliminate the intake of carbohydrates and sugars, common in many commercial cat foods. Carbohydrates can stick to a cat's teeth, providing a breeding ground for bacteria and leading to dental issues. A raw food regimen can help prevent plaque formation by eliminating or minimizing carbohydrates from the diet. This can be particularly beneficial for cats prone to dental problems.

It is important to note that transitioning a cat to a raw diet should be done gradually and under the guidance of a veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to ensure the diet is nutritionally balanced and appropriate for the cat's specific needs.

Dental Treats and Toys

Consider incorporating dental treats and toys into your cat's routine to encourage good oral health. Dental treats are designed to promote chewing, which helps reduce plaque and tartar buildup. Look for treats approved by veterinary dental organizations, and ensure they are appropriate for your cat's age and size. Additionally, toys that require gnawing or chewing can help maintain good oral hygiene by stimulating saliva production and reducing plaque.

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