Not every owner brushes a cat's teeth, rightly believing that wild animals do not go to the dentist and do not have toothbrushes. However, brushing your cat’s teeth is a desirable, though not mandatory, procedure.
Cat oral hygiene rules
A kitten, like a man, is born toothless. By 2 weeks he has the first incisors, and by 8-12 weeks he gets a complete set of milk teeth. Their replacement with permanent ones takes place from 3 to 5 months, and by the half-year the kitten cuts out all its teeth, which finally form by the age of 9 months.
During the period of rotation of the teeth, you can not change the cat's diet, but you need to supplement it with products containing a lot of phosphorus and calcium. A change of teeth is usually accompanied by aggravating symptoms:
- inflammation of the lymph nodes;
- runny nose with high fever;
- inflammatory processes of the eyes;
- apathy and weakness;
- increased irritability;
- soreness of the oral cavity.
An adult cat should have 30 permanent teeth, growing in place of 26 milk teeth: 4 canines, 12 incisors, 10 premolars (6 from above and 4 from below) and 4 molars. You need to be accustomed to regular brushing from 4-6 months of age, when the cat has already grown and adult teeth have strengthened sufficiently. They are cleaned daily or every other day, based on the capabilities of the owner.
Why does a cat brush teeth
No cat can be considered absolutely healthy if her teeth or gums hurt, as dental problems will sooner or later affect her body condition. Of course, wild cats do not care for their teeth and do not use the services of dentists - nature does everything for them.
Predators tear carcasses with teeth and gnaw bones, hard fragments of which serve as a natural abrasive that cleans away any dental deposits. Domestic cats do not have such an opportunity - more and more people feed their pets not natural, but refined food, poorly adapted to remove plaque.
Important! Aching tooth or painful gums interfere with thorough chewing, which first affects the work of the gastrointestinal tract, and then on other internal organs.
Meanwhile, a person worried about the health of the animal will find time for simple preventive measures, including:
- regular examination of the oral cavity (at home or in the clinic);
- periodic brushing of cat's teeth;
- the right diet.
During preventive cleaning, tartar deposits do not occur, which contributes to the occurrence of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
How to brush a cat’s teeth at home
Accustoming to manipulations unpleasant for the animal begins as early as possible. An adult cat who is not familiar with oral hygiene is unlikely to approve of your desire to penetrate her mouth.
The cat’s mouth and teeth are examined once a week or once a month, paying attention to the following symptoms:
- gum condition;
- enamel color;
- smell from the mouth;
- stains, deposits or deposits;
- reaction with slight pressure on the teeth.
About an hour before the examination, the cat is fed, and proceeding to it, the animal is stroked and gently talking. Do not look into the jaws of an overly excited or aggressive cat until it calms down.
Signs of good dental / gum condition:
- enamel shade from white to cream (sometimes with yellowness);
- pink (without wounds and bleeding) gums;
- habitual bad breath (not very pleasant, but not disgusting);
- lack of excessive salivation;
- no pain when pressed.
The brushing of a cat’s teeth takes place almost like in humans, but, unlike the second ones, it should not be delayed. First, the molars are gently but quickly cleaned, and then the other teeth are crossed as much as possible along their surface back and forth and up and down.
Teeth Brushing Methods
To begin with, the pet must get used to the fact that your fingers are near his mouth and even penetrate inside. You will need medical gloves, a little gauze and wet food, in which you need to dip your finger.
- Take the kitten in your hands, stroke and calm.
- Let me sniff a gauze-wrapped finger dipped in jelly.
- While the kitten is licking the jelly, try quickly and repeatedly touching your teeth / gums with your finger, but do not allow yourself to bite.
- Move your finger deeper every day, slightly scratching their teeth and gums.
- As soon as the kitten gets used to your touch, change meat jelly to toothpaste.
Before introducing toothpaste, you can wipe cat's teeth with a damp cloth or swab. This is a short procedure, performed on the surface of the enamel delicately and quickly.
It is interesting! Such tactile training continues until the cat is completely accustomed, after which the accompanying tools (brushes, nozzles or sticks) are used. Make sure that dental care does not cause discomfort to the cat.
In order to quickly master the procedure of brushing your cat’s teeth, visually “break” its jaw into zones and treat one such zone in one go. Then, with a frequency of once every 2 days, clean the upper and lower jaw. After some time, you will learn how to quickly and completely process the mouth of a pet in one "session". At the end of the procedure, reward the cat for patience with her favorite treat.
If the animal has entered your house as an adult and does not have the necessary hygiene skills, replace brushing your teeth with antibacterial irrigation. Disinfectant liquid is sprayed from the spray after evening feeding: this significantly reduces the number of pathogenic microbes in the mouth, automatically preventing the formation of plaque.
If the teeth are already covered with plaque, which after a while usually transforms into tartar, use hydrogen peroxide (3%) or baking soda. Peroxide gently wipe the tooth enamel so that the solution does not get on the gums.
Means and devices
Need I remind you that a toothpaste designed for animals is sometimes used as a gentle abrasive, sometimes supplemented with antiseptic fluids or herbal decoctions.
A cat's teeth are cleaned, armed with devices such as:
- delicate bristle toothbrush;
- soft silicone nozzle;
- disinfectant wipes;
- cotton buds;
- gauze / bandage wrapped around the finger.
Important! When choosing a toothbrush, correlate it with the volume of cat's mouth. The tool should be proportionate to her, so as not to cause discomfort to the cat. In addition to the size of the toothbrush, pay attention to the quality of the bristles: it is better if it is natural and relatively soft.
Coarse hairs can injure the gums, which will hurt the animal and discourage the desire to participate in such an execution. In general, choosing the right accessories for brushing a cat’s teeth, one should proceed from its behavior and the current state of the oral cavity.
When to contact a veterinarian
They go to the clinic when the cat has obvious problems with the oral cavity, including tartar deposits, disgusting smell, sore gums / teeth with each meal.
Gum irritation often signals the onset of gingivitis, which leads to irreversible periodontal pathologies and tooth loss. When examining the oral cavity, the doctor will not only pay attention to the condition of the gums, but also check whether there are any growths or tumors in the mouth.
It will also be interesting:
The most common diseases that are found in cats:
Removal of tartar is carried out in most clinics in the country and has long been familiar in the list of services of veterinary dentists. Doctors note that the causes of dental diseases are most often:
- mechanical damage to the tooth or enamel;
- mineral metabolism disorders;
- inflammatory processes in the gums;
- premature erasure of crowns;
- wrong feeding (including food contaminated with fungus).
No brushing will save a cat from tooth ailments, if for several years the owner has given her a harmful unbalanced food, devoid of vitamins and minerals. Industrial diets have already appeared on sale to support feline tooth health.. These foods contain special components that dissolve plaque. In addition, the increased hardness of the granules causes the cat to move its jaws more intensively, preventing dental deposits. It is necessary to constantly change the water, which also acts as a natural sanitary means, washing away the remains of the meal from the animal’s teeth.