Did you know that February is National Pet Dental Health Month? While it is important to share/ shed awareness of this important subject, it’s even more important to take care of your pet’s dental health all year long as it prevents many diseases and health problems. It also can help you save money on vet bills – you won’t need to take your cat for a professional dental cleaning that is done under full anaesthesia.
Why do cats need their teeth looked after?
Food can build up on our pets teeth and if not looked after – it can lead to plaque buildup. And if that is left untreated, it can lead to gum diseases and health problems. It may even result with tooth loss (my first cat had to have all of his teeth removed due to a gum disease, it costed us about $1500 and a lot of stress for the poor kitty – I didn’t know anything about dental care for pets back then)
Also, a bonus point – their breath won’t stink 🙂
Are “dental care” / “oral health” kibbles worth the hype?
I was told by my vet that a good way to care for my cat’s teeth is to feed them a special kibble – one that is harder and has small pieces of toothpaste in it. But is it really good? Unfortunately, no. Imagine that instead of using a toothbrush to clean your teeth, you decide to use cheetos. Would it make it better? It’s the same way with using kibbles or “dental treats” as a teeth cleaning tool.
So what is the best way to clean your cat’s teeth?
Just like there is no better way to look for our dental health than brushing our teeth – the same rule applies to our feline friends. There are lots and lots of products you can get to do that but one thing I would highly recommend is a good flavoured toothpaste. I myself have bought a couple of them and my cat didn’t even want to get near them.
One that I have success with is Virbac CET Enzymatic Toothpaste (the poultry flavour) – it can be considered a little more expensive, considering the amount you get. But my cat LOVES it and thinks it’s a treat. This toothpaste has special enzymes to help with the plaque buildup. It really is the only one I had success with.
If the thought of brushing your cat’s teeth is worse than the thought of going to the dentist yourself, there are also special dental wipes to use. I personally didn’t have success with them – maybe because there are no chicken flavour wipes? But I do know that lots of people have success with them.
Other helpful things for cat’s dental health
There are a couple food items you can give to your cat to support his dental care. Note, those are just additions, they won’t replace brushing the teeth.
Rabbit ears (with hair) – make sure that they aren’t bleached. The hair acts as a natural toothbrush and additionally helps with hairballs!
Bones – my cat LOVES whole sardines, chicken necks, and chicken feet so I add either of them to each of his meals. Just ensure that the bones you give to your cat are not too big/ too small to prevent choking or other health hazards.
Check out my post on current deals and offers to see if any of above items are on sale!
Another important thing to note is that if your cat is fed kibble, it’s not advisable to give him bones, as kibbles change the pH level of stomach acid and the cat might not be able to properly digest the bone, leading to indigestion, upset stomach and vomiting.
Check out those really helpful YouTube videos to learn how to train your cat to enjoy brushing their teeth, as well as how to properly brush your cat teeth.