February is Pet Dental Month
Yes, even our pets need dental care. Without dental care numerous ailments can and will occur. If you have trouble starting out with brushing and massaging your cat's teeth and gums then let your veterinarian show you. Otherwise, go for it. It's not that hard and both you and your cat will quickly get used to it.
Have your veterinarian check your cat's teeth yearly; even get him to do a cleaning once a year if possible.
In the meantime, check your cat's teeth regularly for chipped teeth, soreness or wonders on the gums. Get your cat used to having her teeth cleaned on a regular basis. This can help ward off infection and tooth decay.
Start this gum and teeth cleaning routine already when she is a kitten. She will get used to it pretty quickly. Put some gauze on your finger and very gently massage her gums and rub her teeth. You can later on start using a real CAT toothbrush and CAT toothpaste. Do NOT use human toothpaste or a human toothbrush. You could do damage to the gums.
Take time to regularly massage your cat's gums.
The issue is this: cats rarely get cavities, but they do get gum disease. Over the years this will lead to bad breath, infection, receded gum line, and loss of teeth.
A loss of appetite could have a symptom of gum disease, or teeth problems. Sore or infected teeth keep humans from eating, and it does the same to your cat. If she is too sore, she will not eat.
Surprisingly, indoor cats may be more likely to have dental problems because the cat does not get to eat grass (natural dental floss for cats), and because, if your cat does not eat small animals, it does not get the benefit of the bones acting as a deep tooth cleaner and plaque remover.
Try to feed your cat a diet that consist of dry food, at least, some dry food. This also helps the teeth and gums.
Although cats can get stomatitis from many viruses, it can also be caused by dental problems. If in doubt, check it out with your vet.
So, for a summary:
Prevention is always better than a cure, so take the time to regularly massage your cat's gums and teeth
Never use human toothbrushes or toothpaste. Instead, your veterinarian or pet store should supply and be able to advise you on these.
And remember, always talk with a professional. This article is written to educate, and not to diagnose.