Tips for Taking Tartar in Cats
It may be that you have ever seen dirt in your cat’s mouth or have even noticed bad breath. This is due to the accumulation of tartar in their teeth, because with them happens exactly the same thing as with us with regard to oral problems.
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In this article of YourCatCareguide we will give you some tips to take the tartar in cats and, moreover, we will inform you about what is tartar and how to prevent it.
What is tartar and which cats are most prone to it?
As we refer to in the article with tips for taking tartar in dogs , tartar is composed by calculations formed by residues in the teeth of our pets. These accumulating residues form the calculi of tartar, a mixture of bacterial plaque, food scraps and mineral salts that accumulate throughout the life in the mouth of our cats daily. Tartar is created mainly in the space between the teeth and the gums. If it is not treated in time, it extends to the remaining oral structures, affecting them and even leading to infections and more serious secondary diseases.
Like any other disease, it is preferable to prevent tartar and its consequences than to have to treat our furry friend with problems in the mouth, since they can only be solved totally subjecting the cat to a general anesthesia to carry out a professional mouth cleaning done by the veterinarian, in addition to the necessary drug treatment in each case.
All cats may suffer from tartar and its consequences, but some depending on their health or age are more likely:
- Cats from the age of three usually accumulate tartar . This is because at the age of three they have long been accumulating the aforementioned elements necessary for the production of tartar. If we do not help her to eliminate these harmful elements accumulated in her mouth, in a short time we will notice symptoms and we can detect diseases and problems derived from the accumulated tartar.
- Depending on the quality of the feline’s teeth it may be that from a very young age he has had tartar. It is the same with people, because if the individual’s teeth are genetically poor in the protective outer layer called enamel, the debris will be easily adhered to the surface of the teeth and problems will quickly develop. The care of the mouth of the animals that suffer from this genetic defect is very important, since they themselves can not provide the necessary and constant cleaning, being very complicated to keep your mouth healthy without the proper accompaniment.
What consequences can Tartar have for the cat?
Bad oral hygiene and the accumulation of tartar in our pets can lead to many problems and diseases. These are the most common:
- Bad breath or halitosis : It is the first symptom that usually warns us that it is producing accumulation of tartar in the mouth of our cat. It is a bad odor from the decomposition of food residues accumulated between the teeth and the gums. You can detect a certain distance from our pet when the problem begins to be advanced. We should consult our veterinarian to do an oral review of our cat and advise us on how best to help treat halitosis and prevent the formation of tartar, since if we do not, in a short time the problem will continue to worsen and may lead to other diseases.
- Gingivitis : This disease begins to occur when the presence of tartar in the mouth of our domestic cats begins. The gums become inflamed, reddened, and as the days go by they retract and finally the root of the affected tooth is discovered. This can be quite painful for them and we should provide you with the treatment prescribed by our trusted veterinarian when we detect any symptoms. If we do not do so soon, the root of the exposed tooth will deteriorate rapidly and reabsorb. When the bond between the tooth and the jaw or jaw bone weakens so much, it ends up giving the total loss of the affected tooth and exposure of the bone to secondary infections.
- Periodontal disease: This disease fits in the two previous ones and continues advancing in the deterioration of the buccal structures of the animal, reason why the remaining dental pieces continue deteriorating, beyond its roots, the jaw, jaw, etc. When the dental pieces that have been affected are lost, secondary infections occur in the gums and bones of the jaw and jaw. What starts with tartar, halitosis and gingivitis ends up being a very serious problem that can cause the death of the animal. In addition, cats suffering from this disease can stop eating easily, in fact it is one of the symptoms that most alert us to the behavior of an animal affected by periodontal disease. The only way to combat this disease properly is to detect it as soon as possible, perform a professional mouth cleaning along with an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory treatment, as well as an adequate follow-up. All this should be done by a veterinarian, as professional oral hygiene should be performed under general anesthesia and with appropriate instruments, and only a veterinarian will know exactly what the appropriate treatment will be.
- Secondary infections : All problems and diseases described above if not treated in time and properly end up causing serious secondary infections in our furry friends. These infections are usually very serious, can lead to cardiac, intestinal, liver and kidney problems, so they are at risk of death. Secondary infections that begin in the gums or bones of the jaw or jaw cause abscesses that continue to progress through the tissues of the mouth and ultimately affect the nose, nose and eyes of our pet.
How can we prevent Tartar in domestic cats?
As we mentioned earlier, it is better to prevent Tartar and the diseases that derive from it than to allow our feline to suffer from them and have to treat it. These problems in our furry friends can be prevented by following some oral hygiene guidelines and maintaining good health . As we do with ourselves, a good dental brushing, a mouthwash, checking what food we eat among other things that can help us avoid tartar and all that implies. You see, in oral health we are not quite as different as our four-legged friends.
Preventing the onset of tartar will not only eliminate the possibility of a series of diseases and their consequences, but also avoid great pain to our friend and even avoid anesthetics and treatments with medicines.
Some ways to prevent the onset of tartar are:
- Daily brushing: We should brush our partner’s teeth daily as we do with ourselves. It is best to get them used to small children so that they adapt and the process is simpler. You should choose a suitable toothbrush and a special toothpaste for cats. But forward we tell you in detail how to carry out this dental brushing on your pet.
- Toys and Special Prizes : There are toys, biscuits, bones and special rations that simply by playing or chewing, our cats wipe their mouths themselves and in a very simple yet rewarding way for them. These premiums and toys are made up of abrasive elements for the plaque that forms on the surface of our cat’s teeth. Thus we have succeeded in avoiding the formation of tartar, and in that of having it, we help to soften it and to eliminate it. Some of these materials are rubber or rope toys, bars, strips, biscuits, ration with oral care action and bones, which we can find for sale at pet stores and veterinary centers.
- Maintaining good physical health: It is essential that our friend always have good health and if we have symptoms of anything we take him to the veterinarian. To maintain good health it is essential to offer our cat an adequate diet that is healthy and balanced. In addition, we should try to get enough exercise to stay nimble, active, and healthy. All of this will help us keep many diseases and problems away from our four-legged companion.
- Note of symptoms : As a prevention of problems and more serious diseases, it is essential that whenever you detect any symptoms that may indicate problems in our cat’s mouth, go to the veterinarian immediately. Some of the most common symptoms and behaviors are:
- Excessive bad breath. Halitosis is not only caused by accumulated tartar, gingivitis or periodontal disease. Therefore, it is very important to go to the vet when you detect halitosis on your cat. There are other diseases, such as those of the digestive system that can cause bad breath. In addition to diabetes, kidney problems and parasitoses are other problems that can cause this bad breath in our pet.
- Abundant salivation.
- Scratching your face or mouth often with your paws and against objects such as sofas, walls, furniture, etc., without seeming to start with something that may be bothering you.
- Depression (lack of desire to eat, play, move, etc.).
- Stop eating or change the way you do.
- Lack of teeth we know that there was relatively little time were there.
- Tartar between the gums and the dental pieces.
- Loss of quality of teeth with discoloration, breakage of teeth, etc.
- Gums swollen, bleeding and reddened.
- Nodules, polyps or abscesses in our cat’s mouth.
- In advanced cases of periodontal disease we observed nodules and abscesses under the eyes.
Advice for preventing and taking tartar from cat’s mouth
At YourCatCareguide we want to give you useful advice so that you can help your faithful companion to prevent diseases in the mouth and to fight them if they have appeared:
- To accustom him to brushing his teeth. It is much better if we can do it every day, but if it is not so, with an average of three times a week is enough to keep the tartar away. The easiest process to get our feline to get used to a daily brushing of his teeth is to start teaching him from an early age. When still a puppy we must pass a sterile gauze wet with water and wrapped around our finger gently by the surface of the teeth every day. Later on, when you’re used to it, we should start teaching you how to brush your teeth and use your special cat toothpaste to familiarize yourself with them. Then we should use the brush instead of the gauze and the paste of the teeth instead of the water. We should do the same, smoothly pass through the surface of the teeth every day. In the beginning, you can make more clean brushings and gradually make them longer as your partner gets used to it. As cats swallow their toothpaste instead of spitting it out like we do, we should use a special folder for cats sold at pet stores and at veterinary centers. It is a toothpaste that does not contain fluoride, which is highly toxic to them and therefore we should never use a toothpaste for humans. In addition, there are different flavors designed to make the binder pleasant for domestic cats. If we prefer not to use toothpaste we can use chlorhexidine that is sold in spray in veterinary centers and in specialized stores. This product is like our mouthwash used to cleanse, disinfect, soften calculi of tartar and improve breath.
- Teach your feline friend to have good eating habits . We know that many cats like to eat pâtés, mousses and other soft food tins, which are therefore delicious but not the best for dental health. We should think that moist and soft food accumulates very easily in the corners of cats’ mouths and it becomes complicated to eliminate these remains. Therefore, it is best to get used to our companion animal to eat dry ration that will help to clean the teeth by scratching the surface of these. From time to time, as a prize we can offer you cans of soft food, but never as basic or unique food.
- Toys and special prizes . These are balls, ropes and other toys, bars, bones, strips and feed, among others, with abrasive components for the bacteria of the dental plaque. You can buy them or you can do them yourself at home. These types of toys and prizes are usually liked by our pets, so they become ideal for their complete fun, food and dental care. Rope toys are very useful, since chewing them our cat will be doing the same as we do with the dental floss, but we should watch over it in the meantime to make sure you do not swallow the wires by accident, so if you see that the toy rope is already in poor condition, you should replace it with another new toy.
- Professional mouth cleaning: In the case of tartar if we accumulate enough and see that we can no longer eliminate it with the normal brush, toothpaste or chlorhexidine, with a diet or with toys, etc., we have only to consult a veterinarian, because it is necessary to intervene to stop the process in time to develop other more serious secondary diseases as mentioned earlier in this article. If it is already a periodontal disease we should also begin the treatment to cure it with a good professional dental hygiene. The veterinarian should perform a mouth cleaning to our cat always under general anesthesia, with the help of an anesthetist and a veterinary assistant. With this process will eliminate tartar, food residues, plaque and mineral salts, with instruments specific to them like the ultrasounds that serve to fractionate the plaques of tartar without injuring the enamel of the dental piece. During the process if there are some very damaged dental pieces they can get lost because they are irrecoverable. These teeth remain in the mouth because they have adhered to the tartar, but for some time ceased to be functional and if we let them stay there will eventually produce nodules and abscesses followed by infections.
- Enjoy the general anesthetics to which you have to submit your cat for obligation. It may be that due to other health issues or simple sterilization, we are forced to submit our animal to a general anesthetic. As we already know, it is not healthy to be under general anesthesia, so if you think your partner needs dental hygiene performed by the specialist, it will be responsible to discuss this with your veterinarian to know if in the same operation you can perform a mouth cleaning professional.