Keeping Your Cat’s Teeth Healthy
Jessie, the fresh-breathed dog: So, I’ve told you a bit about taking care of your dog’s teeth, but what about your cat’s teeth? Here are a few simple suggestions that can get you started.
Smell your cat’s breath. If it smells unpleasant, it can be indicative of an infection of the gums and/or the bone.
Pull your cat close to you. Talk quietly to him, and, from his back side, tip his head back just a bit.
With your thumb and index finger, gently open the side of his mouth. Be sure you have good lighting.
Look for any signs of yellowing (plaque) or darker material, which is tartar, on his back teeth. Be sure to check for any cracked or broken teeth. When observing the gums, they should be pink, not fiery red or pale pink.
Do the same thing with the front teeth as indicated above. Then, move to the other side of the mouth.
Be sure to check your cat’s throat, too. If it is red or has a cobblestone-like appearance, it could be a sign of stomatitis, which is a very serious and quite painful condition most typically associated with senior cats.
There is a chance your cat might fight you on all of this. If so, don’t force anything. Just stop and try again another day. If your cat cooperates, reward him with a chew treat. (Think: dental chew) Pretty soon, your cat should get used to this procedure, and you should aim to make it a monthly ritual. Be sure to have your veterinarian check your cat annually or twice a year if your cat has sustained dental problems in the past.
Thanks to cats.about.com for this great information!