Did you know that kitties can suffer from painful dental issues? Dental problems are quite common in cats. Unfortunately, they are often overlooked, even by the most loving pet parents. A local Mesa, AZ veterinarian discusses caring for Fluffy’s little choppers below.

Common Issues

Gum disease is one of the most common problems we see in cats. In fact, as many as 90 percent of furballs over age 4 are afflicted. Although gum disease isn’t painful in its early stages, it can eventually lead to tooth movement or loss. It’s also been linked to some very dangerous medical conditions, such as heart disease. Other kitty dental woes include abscesses, misalignments, and cracked or broken teeth. Feline stomatitis is another common problem. This one is very painful for our furry friends! It’s also not unusual for cats to have tooth resorption. Ask your vet for more information.

Signs

Your furry little friend can’t tell you if her teeth hurt, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for warning signs. Some common ones are swelling, bad breath, drooling, and tartar buildup. Your pet may also dribble food, start preferring soft foods, or start chewing on one side of her mouth. Fluffy may act grumpy or withdrawn. You may also notice changes in her vocalizations or eating habits. Keep in mind that many of these red flags can be caused by a variety of illnesses. If your kitty is displaying any of these signs, or any other uncharacteristic behavior, contact your vet right away.

Home Care

We know, brushing your cat’s teeth sounds a bit dangerous. However, it can be done, without ending up in the ER! It’s best to start when your furry pal is a kitten. Pick a time when Fluffy is feeling relaxed and cuddly. Start by just petting her, and softly rubbing her face and head. Then, start gently rubbing her teeth and gums. Offer lots of praise, and perhaps a yummy treat. The next stage is to incorporate some pet toothpaste. You can use a finger toothbrush, or just wrap gauze around your finger. If your feline friend just isn’t having it, ask your vet about other options. Dental-formula treats and chews can be very effective! Oral flakes and rinses can also help.

Do you know or suspect that your cat has dental trouble? Contact us, your local Mesa, AZ veterinary clinic, today!