Just like people, cats’ teeth need to be looked after to ensure they stay in tip-top condition. Here’s what you can do to take care of your kitten’s dental health.
Start your kitten’s dental care routine when they are young to prevent dental disease in the future. As your kitten starts to settle in with you, they should start to become accustomed with having their mouth examined. This will help you maintain their dental hygiene and make it easier for the vet to inspect their teeth and mouth further down the track. Once they are comfortable with this, you can put a regular dental routine in place using the guide below.
Brush their teeth
When brushing your kitten’s teeth, you need to use a specific cat-friendly toothpaste. Using a chicken- or beef-flavoured option will help your pet see brushing as a reward. First, let them taste the toothpaste then, using a soft finger toothbrush, gently rub the paste over their teeth. Start slowly and work your way up to brushing their teeth. Brushing every day is recommended to ensure your kitten’s has good dental health.
Don’t forget about their gums
Tooth decay almost always starts with gingivitis, which is angry red gums. Your kitten’s gums should look pink and healthy, not irritated and sore. An important part of looking after your kitten’s dental care is to massage their gums to stimulate good oral health.
Look to their diet
Incorporating a dry food into your kitten’s diet is very beneficial for their teeth and gums as it helps to prevent the buildup of plaque and hence tartar. You can also consult your Greencross Vets about incorporating other foods that provide mechanical cleaning such as dental treats that have the seal of approval. Just be careful to not overfeed them. Caution must be exercised when feeding raw bones, and you must never feed your kitten cooked bones, as they may splinter.
Spotting dental issues in kittens
If you see your kitten rubbing their mouth with their paws or licking their food rather than chewing, consult your local veterinarian. These are often indicators that your kitten is teething, but can also indicate dental disease. You should also watch out for drooling, sore mouths, sudden decreased appetite and bleeding gums. If you are concerned about your kitten’s dental health, schedule a checkup at your local Greencross Vets.