7 Tips for Maintaining Your Cat’s Teeth

While your cat might be great at self-cleaning when it comes to his coat, his teeth are an entirely different matter.

It’s important to perform regular checks and maintenance to keep your cat’s chompers in his mouth all the way to old age. If you’re unsure of how to go about it, here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Take a Whiff

A cat’s breath smelling a little fishy is actually pretty normal, but that doesn’t mean it should smell like rotten fish. If you notice a funky smell, that could mean that tartar is starting to build up and it should be brought to the vet’s attention ASAP. Once a week or so, take a whiff of your kitten’s breath and make sure everything smells normal, unpleasant as it may sometimes be.

Brush Those Biters

It’s perfectly acceptable to brush your cat’s teeth. In fact, you should do it on a regular basis. There are specialized toothpastes on the market formulated for cat teeth, so check with your vet to see if it’ll work for your furry friend and head to the market to pick some up. Whatever you do, absolutely never put human tooth paste in your cat’s mouth—it’s dangerous and potentially fatal.

Check the Gums

You can usually notice tartar build up on teeth without much effort, but you should also be paying attention to your cat’s gums. They should be pink, not red, and free of any signs of swelling. If you notice inflammation, let your veterinarian know immediately. Gum disease is a serious problem that can lead to tooth loss and an inability to eat properly.

Monitor Behavior

Cat’s with tooth and gum problems tend to show signs of the wear and tear happening within their mouths. If you see blood on your cat’s dry food, pus, excessive drooling or pawing at the mouth and troubles with chewing food, your little guy might need help. Keep an eye out for any odd behaviors when he’s having dinner.

Give a Chew

A lot of people associate chew toys with dogs, but cats love to gnaw on things too. They can even munch on bones to help clean their teeth like their canine friends. Make sure you find a chew toy the right size for your cat and, if you decide to use a bone, find one that won’t chip in his mouth and cause him to choke or cut himself.

Feed the Right Food

Some cat food is specifically designed to help combat tartar and gum disease, so look into this with your vet and set your kitten up on a healthy diet that won’t hurt his mouth, like Honest Kitchen Grace and Prowl. Even allergies can cause issues inside a cat’s mouth, so if he’s got any problems with wheat or grains look for a product that is natural and healthy.

Start Young

Get your cat started on a teeth cleaning regimen while he’s still young, or you might have troubles getting him used to brushings and cleanings once he’s an adult. Cats don’t like to be handled as well as dogs, so it’s important to make sure your furball is fine with your fingers near his mouth, else he might use them as a chew toy instead.

Meet the Author: Ben Kerns

Ben Kerns is a freelance writer, photographer and outdoor adventurer based out of San Diego. When he’s not busy working you can find him hopping across the world looking for new places to climb big rocks. He’s also fanatically obsessed with funding his outdoor obsessions for as little money as possible. This stuff gets expensive.

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