02 Mar How Diet Affects a Cat’s Oral Health
Have you taken a look inside your cat’s mouth lately? Around 70% of cats have periodontal disease by age two. Periodontal disease is caused by an excess of plaque build-up on your cat’s teeth and gums. Bacteria in the plaque creates a dangerous situation for your cat’s oral and overall health. Other than regularly scheduled cleanings with your veterinary dentist and regular brushing at home, what can you do to help maintain optimal dental health for your furry friend?
Our team at Animal Dental Care and Oral Surgery in Loveland believes your cat’s diet is one of the major factors in keeping her teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime. Keep reading for more information on how diet affects a cat’s oral health.
When it comes to creating a diet that is good for your cat’s dental health, there are several important choices to make. Will you give your cat soft food or dry kibble—or both? If you give your cat kibble, what kind kibble should you buy and what size? Larger pieces of kibble can reduce plaque built-up on your cat’s teeth by scraping it off the tooth’s surface as your cat chews. Special prescription dental diet foods come in this larger size. This type of kibble is larger than the kibble you buy on the shelf—and contains fibers that clean the teeth.
The best variety of these special dental-care foods are those that carry the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal. These kibbles have been tested for their effectiveness in removing plaque and certified by VOHC. Even switching to a VOHC certified food once per day can make a difference. Talk with your veterinary dentist today about the benefits of prescription dental diets and if this option is right for your fur baby.
There are a wide variety of cat dental chews to select from— which are designed to scrape tartar off of the teeth while your cat chews. A single dental treat every day will help reduce plaque build-up. Check the ingredients in your cat dental chews to make sure they don’t contain sugar, as this adds significantly to the issue of tartar build-up and periodontal disease.
What Else Can I Do?
Along with educating yourself on dental diet kibble and dental chews, and choosing the right one for your cat, what can you do to encourage her optimal oral health? The best way to prevent periodontal disease in your cat is always to brush her teeth daily. Purchase a soft-bristled toothbrush or finger-brush designed for cats, along with cat toothpaste.
Slowly introduce your cat to the idea of tooth-brushing and be patient. Once your cat is comfortable with having her teeth brushed, make sure to brush every day. If your cat is resistant to tooth brushing, continue giving her dental food and chews to help curb plaque build-up.
While daily dental home care is a vital part of caring for your cat’s oral health, it still does not replace the need for regular visits at least once a year to your veterinarian for a comprehensive exam and dental cleaning under anesthesia. This is the safest way to be sure your cat does not have any painful conditions lurking below the gumline.
Call Us Today
Without treatment, most cats suffer from periodontal disease, but your cat doesn’t have to be one of them. Prevention is key, and a healthy diet should be a major factor in your cat’s dental care plan. If you’d like to talk with one of our veterinary dentists about how diet affects a cat’s oral health, call Animal Dental Care and Oral Surgery in Loveland at (970) 800-1106 today or contact us online.