Does your cat have bad breath? If so, this could be due to a build-up of plaque, which can lead to advanced Periodontitis and other nasty illnesses.
Now I grew up with Moggies and personally the thought of cleaning a cats teeth is both nuts and quite frankly daunting. Then I did some research when I got my first Ragdoll and was surprised to learn how important it is and that by not cleaning them you are potentially putting your cats overall health at risk.
It is estimated that 80% of all cats over the age of three years have dental disease. After each meal, plaque forms on your cats teeth. Gradually this plaque hardens to form calculus, which is yellow or brown in colour. The calculus surface is ideal for more bacteria to grow. This can lead to inflammation of the gums called gingivitis.
Left untreated, gingivitis results in the detachment of gums from the teeth. This is the first stage of Periodontitis. With professional de-scaling, you can stop your cat’s gums receding and its teeth being destroyed.
If dental problems are left untreated they can lead to larger systematic damage. Oral bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause issues with the heart, liver and kidneys.
Cat Teeth Cleaning
I wasn’t keen on this I have to say! However, as with everything practise makes perfect and both my Ragdolls got use to it. It has become part of their daily routine. Below is the method I use:
- Be prepared. Have everything you need to hand. This should include finger toothbrushes, Logic Oral Hygiene Gel with the cap removed, a piece of paper towel and an old towel.
- Wrap your Ragdoll gently in the old towel and apply a small blob of paste to the finger brush.
- Open your cats mouth and rub the small brush in circular motions. Some people prefer to use gauze rather than the brush but I find the brush easier.
- Wipe any excess from the cats mouth and have lots of cuddles.
It is easier if you start this routine when your cat is young, ideally still a kitten. They will get use to it quicker.
What To Clean Your Cats Teeth With?
Cleaning your cat’s teeth with Logic Oral Hygiene Gel helps control plaque formation and bad breath. It contains a complex enzyme that improves your cat’s salivary system and attacks the bacteria in the mouth. A finger toothbrush will help with the paste application.
DO NOT USE YOUR OWN DENTAL PRODUCTS ON YOUR CAT. THEY ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR THEM AND MAY CAUSE SICKNESS.
Preventing Dental Problems & Bad Breath
- Have your cats teeth checked at least once a year by a vet
- Start a daily routine at home straight after your cat’s teeth have been professionally cleaned
- Check your cat’s teeth and mouth regularly for signs of oral hygiene problems. These are listed below. If you notice any of these things, take your cat to the vet.
- Brush with Logic Hygiene Gel, which can be started from 12 weeks old.
Oral Hygiene Checklist
- Bad breath
- Inflamed gums
- Yellow teeth
- Excessive Salivation
- Toothaches – which can be very painful and may stop a cat eating.
To raise awareness of oral hygiene in cats, I Love Ragdolls will be running a competition. See the competitions section of the I Love Ragdolls website for more information.
The advice and tips contained within this website are based on the experiences of Sam Wonder. She has looked after cats for over 20 years. Whilst this article and others is written with the Ragdoll in mind, generally the information will still be applicable to all feline varieties.