Take care of those pearly whites

Pet parents often tend to overlook their pet’s teeth and dental health. But as a wise and responsible pet parent you should keep your pet’s teeth strong and healthy.

Joan Henderson
Joan Henderson

Kittens are born without teeth but their teeth begin to appear after approximately 14 days. Kittens have twenty-six teeth and, in time – approximately after 3-4 months, adult cats develop thirty teeth. Unlike human babies it does seem that kittens are not bothered by the change from their baby teeth to adult teeth and it is a blessing for the kitten’s pet parent.

Rarely do adult cats have broken teeth, but sometimes due to chewing something very hard or bony food items they may chip a tooth. Generally, this does not create much of a problem for the cat. As a pet-parent be vigilant and keep an eye on your pet. If you notice a small chip, go to the veterinarian and allow him/ her to check out the condition of the remaining tooth. If you let the chipped tooth remain as it is, it might result in a bigger crack or cause damage to the entire tooth.

Sometimes the removal of the remaining tooth is necessary and the veterinarian can do this by giving your pet and anesthetic. It might cause just a slight bit of discomfort to your cat, but the effects wear off soon after.

Happy & toothsome when their diet is wholesome

Diet has a lot to do with sustaining healthy teeth in our cats. So feeding soft, sloppy food should be restricted to help cats keep their teeth strong and clean. From time to time a piece of meat or a chicken leg can be added to the diet but always keep an eye on the cat – especially if they are given a chicken leg. Some dry food helps to keep the teeth clean but, again, do not make them a part of your pet’s everyday diet.

Say goodbye to tartar woes!

Funny cat is playing with toothbrush in the bath tub

One major dental problem that occurs in cats is tartar and, from personal experience with my own cats, the signs are – a foul smell, the cat starts to drool, refuses food that’s hard to chew, and may get agitated as well. You can use a small toothbrush to keep your pet’s teeth clean. But a lot of felines aren’t friendly to this idea, so tread carefully. Do not use human toothpaste for your pets. Either use pet-friendly toothpaste or a small amount of salt (damped).

Be cautious when you take your kitten out to roam. She might get in to fights with other cats and sometimes the biting and scratching can cause damage to a tooth. As I have stated in the past I totally prefer cats to be safe inside the home and only go outside have some fresh air and exercise. Using a collar and leash helps prevent the cat from jumping over the next door fence.

Being a pet parent of a cat brings us a lot of joy and happiness; but, we are responsible for their well being and taking care of their teeth is part of
the deal.

(Joan Henderson is a retired all breeds cat judge from Melbourne, Australia)