Between 50-90% of cats ages four and up have dental disease. Unfortunately, that means the odds are your cat may be experiencing some dental problems. These DIY cat dental care tips will help.
Why Cats Have Dental Problems
First, it’s good to understand why cats experience dental problems. Put simply, cats have been domesticated, but before that they ran wild. They hunted prey and lived off of their catch. Today, our feline friends spend most of their lives indoors, eating processed food. Typically, that food comes in the form of dry kibble or canned food.
The feline diets of today don’t have bones or cartilage that prey would have. That’s important because it means our cats aren’t getting their teeth cleaned naturally anymore. But don’t fret—their humans can help.
Common Dental Problems
According to Cornell Feline Health Center, the top three feline dental diseases include gingivitis, periodontitis and tooth resorption. Gingivitis means a cat’s gums are red and swollen, likely due to plaque stuck on the teeth.
If gingivitis gets out of control, it can lead to periodontitis. Sadly, this dental condition becomes permanent over time, leaving kitty’s teeth weakened because of excess bacteria. With tooth resorption, the tooth itself decays from the inside out. It can even lead to a cat’s teeth falling out completely.
Clearly, these dental problems are something that should be avoided. That’s why DIY dental care is so important.
DIY Dental Care for Cats
If your cat will let you, consider brushing her teeth with pet-friendly dental toothpaste and a toothbrush. However, this might not be realistic for many felines. If that’s the case, you do have some other DIY dental care options.
One option is to invest in some kitty-friendly dental chew toys that will remove some of the plaque. You could also give your feline friend food or treats that are specially made to care for her dental health.
Another easy way to take care of your cat’s dental health is by using a spray or gel specifically designed to clean his teeth. This dental hygiene method is much less invasive than a toothbrush, so your kitty may be more likely to tolerate it. Just be sure to choose a spray or gel that contains natural ingredients that are safe and that have been shown to clean teeth.
Some excellent natural ingredients to look for that clear away nasty dental bacteria include grapefruit seed extract and propolis extract. And some ingredients, such as grape seed extract, can even build up gum tissue as well as teeth.
Your Cat’s Dental Health
Good dental health is critical for good overall health in cats. Understanding why cats may develop dental disease and finding ways to DIY your cat’s dental care are important parts of being a responsible pet owner.