Your cat’s dental health is just as important as your own! Follow this guide on how to clean your cat’s teeth to provide your feline friend with the right dental care.

How to care for your cat's teeth

1. Visit Greencross Vets for a dental check-up

You wouldn’t go for years without seeing a dentist, and neither should your cat. The best place to start when providing your cat with the dental care they deserve is booking them in for a dental checkup at your local Greencross Vets. Vets are proficient and thorough when checking the mouth, teeth and gums of cats. “We talk to the owners and share advice on how to manage their cat’s teeth at home, or how to clean their teeth or change their diet. If it’s something that might need a dental scale and polish or tooth extraction then we would provide an estimate for the procedure and any specific and individual recommendations for that cat,” says Dr Adam Sternberg from Greencross Vets.

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2. Feed a dental diet

It’s important to feed your cat dry food that has dental benefits as these promote mechanical cleaning and help protect their teeth from disease. These foods are designed with a special shape and texture to ensure that your cat chews the food to provide the contact time needed between the teeth and kibble for good oral care.  Look for food that has the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal on the packaging as these have passed vigorous clinical trials and are proven to help control plaque and tartar on the teeth of dogs and cats.

Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal

If your cat swallows their dry food too fast and does not take adequate time to chew, talk with your local Greencross Vets for ways to slow them down. In addition, if your cat eats mostly wet food then there’s no physical abrasion when they chew. Over time, a diet of wet foods alone can lead to gingivitis and even loose teeth so make sure you feed them a mix of wet and dry food so they can reap the benefits of both.

3. Feed dental treats and chews

Not only are treats a delicious reward for your pet, they can also be used to clean your cat’s teeth. Dental treats are formulated with a texture that helps to scrub your cat’s teeth as they chew, preventing plaque and tartar from building up. Further, the ingredients contain essential vitamins and minerals that benefit your cat’s health and promote fresh breath. While dental treats should not solely be relied on for dental hygiene, they are a useful addition to your cat’s home dental care program.

4. Use a pet toothbrush

Brushing your cat’s teeth every day is a great way to ensure their dental health. It’s important that you begin brushing your cat’s teeth from when they’re a kitten so they are used to being touched around and inside their mouth. Using a beef or chicken flavoured toothpaste can make this process more agreeable for your cat. A great cat dental care tip is to let them taste the toothpaste first, and then squeeze some on a small finger brush to rub their teeth. You can then gradually build up to using a pet toothbrush if appropriate.

Don’t forget about your cat’s gums either. Gingivitis is when the colour of the gums becomes red and inflamed, just as with humans. Your cat’s gums should look pink and healthy, not irritated, sore and painful. An important part of providing your cat with the best dental care is to massage their gums to stimulate good oral health. Paying attention to your cat’s gums now will help prevent plaque, and hence tartar, down the track.

5. Add a water additive or teeth gel

Another element you can include in your daily dental care routine is water additives. Pour some into their drinking water to promote healthy teeth and gums and to fight bad breath. In addition, there are a range of cat dental care products that may assist in cleaning your cat’s teeth, and encourage oral hygiene including clean teeth gels that can be applied directly to your cat’s teeth without any brushing required.

By implementing a regular dental care routine for your cat, you can keep their teeth clean and gums healthy. Book a dental care checkup with your local Greencross Vets for a tailored dental health plan for your cat today and visit your local Petbarn or shop online to pick up all the items you need to give your cat the care they deserve.