It's common knowledge that a daily routine of brushing and flossing will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy, but not all cat owners know that their furry friend's teeth also need some maintenance. If you don't look after your cat's teeth, he or she could develop gingivitis, also known as gum disease. Here are four things you need to know about your cat and gingivitis.
Why do cats get gingivitis?
Cats get gingivitis for the same reason people do: a buildup of plaque on their teeth and gums. Plaque is a soft, sticky substance that is left behind after eating, and if it's not removed, it hardens into tartar, which can only be removed with a professional dental cleaning. Tartar is full of bacteria, and these bacteria irritate your cat's gum tissue. This irritation can lead to inflammation and infection of the gums, known as gingivitis.
What are the signs of gingivitis in cats?
Normal, healthy cat gums should be light pink. If your cat has gingivitis, his or her gums will be red and swollen. They may also bleed when your cat eats or when you try to brush their teeth. The condition is painful, so you may also notice that your cat doesn't want to eat or play with chew toys.
Do you need to brush and floss your cat's teeth?
You need to brush your own teeth twice a day and floss once a day, but fortunately, you don't need to clean your cat's teeth quite that often. Brushing once a day is recommended, but brushing every other day is also alright if you have a very busy schedule or an uncooperative cat. You don't need to floss your cat's teeth.
Do you need any special tools?
Make sure to choose a toothbrush that is designed for cats. Finger toothbrushes or dental sponges are are also available, and you may find them easier to use. Using human toothpaste can upset your cat's stomach, so buy a toothpaste that is specially formulated for cats. Some cat toothpastes have added seafood or chicken flavorings to make cats more cooperative with the process.
Gingivitis is an uncomfortable condition for your cat, but fortunately, it's preventable. You can keep your cat's gums healthy by following a regular oral hygiene routine and by taking your cat to the veterinarian regularly to get their teeth checked and cleaned. If you notice signs of gingivitis in your cat, make sure to get them treated right away by a cat dentist.Share
20 July 2015
Animal emergencies happen quite often, and I have seen a lot of different injuries at the veterinary office I work at. Vehicle incidents, falls, and fights with other animals can all cause these injuries. Some of the most surprising emergencies I see though, are when pets eat substances that make them ill. Dogs and cats can both get sick by ingesting flowers, essential oils, and certain types of food items that humans eat. I even see some animals that become ill when they eat shoes, towels, and their own toys. I know that the vast majority of pet owners love their animals dearly. Most medical emergencies are purely accidental. You can easily save your precious feline or canine from harm as long as you know how the most common injuries occur. The articles posted here can help you with this, so start reading to make sure your pet remains healthy.