As cat’s age they become more susceptible to dental health problems. In fact, research shows that it is one of the most common reasons for owners to take their beloved felines to visit their veterinarian. There are various reasons for this, but ultimately the years of wear and tear on her teeth will have caused damage and quite probably, the development of periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory oral condition that is also known as gum disease and dental disease. It occurs when plaque that accumulates on her teeth as a result of the interactions between oral bacteria and food debris starts to spread onto the gums. This causes irritation and eventually infection that can trigger pain, swelling, bleeding and other problems. However, the most serious consequence of periodontal disease lies in her overall health and well-being. This is because studies have proven there to be a direct link between periodontal disease and the development of serious health conditions that could affect your cat, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. And with her health already being compromised due to her advancing age, she stands far less chance of successfully fighting these conditions.
To help you help your cat have the best dental hygiene possible, and avoid the pain, suffering and associated conditions that could compromise the remainder of the life, here are our top tips for maintaining your feline’s oral health.
Brushing your senior cat’s teeth is essential
The very best way to support your cat’s dental hygiene is to make sure that you brush her teeth every day. This may sound like a tall order, particularly if you haven’t been brushing them with any regularity before. However, it is important that you find the time and technique to fit this into your day-to-day routine as it is the only way of removing the plaque and tartar that will cause your senior kitty to develop periodontal disease.
Find a point in your day where you can dedicate ten minutes to cleaning your cat’s teeth. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a toothpaste designed especially for cats. Never use human toothpaste as this is toxic to pets.
Consider a dental diet
There are such things as prescription dental diets that especially formulated to protect the health of your cat’s teeth through the ingredients that they contain. These can significantly reduce your cat’s chances of developing periodontal disease which, as we know, is a major threat to the longevity of his teeth and his health. Ask our veterinarian which dental diet would be best for your senior feline and follow their advice.
Take your cat for regular dental check-ups
Virtually all veterinarians offer dental services which will help to keep your cat’s teeth as healthy as possible. These range from simple check-ups, to assess the condition of her teeth and mouth and ensure that there are no significant problems developing, to professional cleans. These are carried out by our vet when your cat is asleep as a result of being given a general anesthetic and will give our vet complete access to perform a truly thorough clean of your cat’s teeth. With the experience and special tools that they have, the dental cleaning our vet will perform will be far superior to anything you can do for your cat yourself in terms of brushing.
If you would like more support and advice in the best ways to support your senior cat’s oral hygiene, please do not hesitate to contact our offices in Birmingham, AL where our team will be delighted to help you.