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Shopping for pet toys is always fun, whether it be for dogs or cats! Squeaking, crinkling, jingling, or bouncing seems to be a big part of the decision making process. One factor you might not consider with buying a toy or chew is whether it can help with plaque buildup? As board-certified veterinary dentists in Colorado, we are here to say that no dental toy or treat can replace daily brushing and annual cleanings, but there are a lot of benefits they can add to our dental home care routine for cats. 

 

When Do Cats Like to Play? 

 

Cats can often be difficult to purchase toys for. Our feline friends tend to be pickier than their canine counterparts. They also have specific times of the day where they are active and playful, and other times of the day where they act like they have never played in their lifetime. Morning and evening are the most common times to engage your kitty in play activity, or just keep an eye on when you see your cat the most active. And some cats’ play times can depend on the work hours of the pet parent. 

 

Choosing Safe Dental Toys & Chews for Your Cat

 

It is important to remember feline safety when buying or making any toy. Ribbon and string can be dangerous for kitties if they swallow them. If a toy is too hard and your feline loves to chase and pick it up with her mouth, tooth trauma can occur. 

Most dental toys on the market are geared towards dogs, but one company, Petstages, is making some dental-specific toys with catnip infused into them. One example of these toys has a mesh material that is said to gently clean soft plaque as the cat chews on it. 

They also make a Catnip Plaque Away Pretzel, which is made of pressed mint and catnip leaves. It is lightweight and easy for kitties to bat around and safe to chew on. There is a Kitty Chew Wheel that has soft, food-safe rubber, infused with catnip oil to help attract their attention and promote chewing.

 

Kong Toys for Cats

 

You may have thought these chews were just for dogs, but Kong toys can be another great option for chewing—even for kitties! You can put treats inside the kitty kong to encourage your cat to bat it around and engage in some play. Or try placing a spoonful or 2 of Gerber Stage 2 chicken baby food inside for them to lick out and this may invite them to do a little chewing after it is all gone. 

 

Make it Fun! 

 

Whether you have a kitten or an adult cat, training them to accept oral care can benefit you both. If you can find a treat your cat loves, make it fun! Work on it a few times a week. You can even get a soft baby toothbrush and let your kitty chase it as you wave it around on the floor, maybe they will flop on their side and want to chew on the bristles! Dip it in tuna or clam juice, rub it in a bit of catnip, this may really entice them to start wanting their teeth brushed. 

 

Cat Dentist in Colorado Springs

 

Once you’ve found the dental toys your cat loves best, don’t forget to schedule regular oral checkups and dental care. Our feline friends are experts at hiding their pain and often don’t show signs of dental disease until advanced stages. If it’s been a while since her last exam with dental radiographs, schedule an appointment with Animal Dental Care and Oral Surgery in Colorado Springs today. We also have two convenient locations in Loveland and Castle Rock for pet parents in Colorado no matter where you live.

 

 Photo by liang wang on Unsplash (2/10/2021)

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