Your vet will be able to spot any problems during your cat’s check-up, but until then, here are some things to look out for:
- Bad breath
- Yellow and brown tartar deposits on the teeth – normal teeth should always be white
- A red line along the gum line (gingivitis)
- Difficulty eating
- Bleeding gums
A GOOD BRUSH
There are 3 parts to taking care of your cat’s teeth:
- Regular tooth brushing or using a dental wipe
- A special food that works like a toothbrush
- Regular check-ups with your vet – every 6 months or AT LEAST once a year.
Although not easy, this is the best method for keeping your cat’s teeth as healthy as possible. It is best to start them getting used to the process from a young age.
Daily is ideal, but as often as you can is better than not at all. A special toothpaste must be used as human toothpaste contains fluoride which is toxic to our pets. Ask your vet or vet nurse what he or she would recommend and get them to show you what to do.
In addition to tooth brushing or instead of, you can use a special food. Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d is created with a unique structure and size that helps reduce plaque, tartar and gingivitis. Regular dry food does not remove plaque. This is the simplest way of making sure your cat gets some form of ‘brushing’ each day.
REGULAR CHECK UPS
Having at least once, but ideally twice, yearly check ups with your vet is the best way to be sure of your cat’s dental health. Your vet will grade their teeth and depending on that, they may advise a dental procedure. Low grades just require a nice scale a polish, much like we have at our dentists. Some conditions and higher dental grades, however, require more complex dental procedures involving extractions. During cat dental months Sydney Animal Hospitals are offering free dental checks with our veterinary nurses.
CATS GENERAL HEALTH
As well as seeing your vet regularly for their dental health, they will also have a full physical examination to ensure they are in good general physical health. Cat’s are very good at hiding illnesses and can often hide away in your home or outside when they aren’t feeling themselves. They receive much fewer veterinary checks than dogs due to this. However, they do show some subtle signs which we would like you to be aware of so that you can take the best care of your cat possible. If you see any of the following signs please contact your nearest Sydney Animal Hospital for advice:
If you see any of these subtle signs of illness in your cat, it’s time to visit your veterinarian:
- Inappropriate elimination behaviour or litter tray use
- Changes in interaction
- Changes in activity
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Changes in food and water consumption
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Changes in grooming
- Signs of stress
- Changes in vocalisation
- Bad breath