1) Smell your cat's breath. Cats are smaller animals so it can be difficult to smell their mouth from a few feet away, unlike dogs. The smell of her breath should not be offensive, if it is, she may have gum problems that should be looked at by a veterinarian. Stinky breath can also signal digestive problems.
2) Check gums thoroughly. At the same time that you check her breath, you can check her gums too. You will have to gently push the lips back to get the best view. The gums should be firm and pink and white; red colors and swelling can pinpoint dental problems.
3) Know the symptoms of mouth problems. Your cat's teeth should be clean and free from brownish tartar, and none should be loose or broken. Watch for any of the following signs that could indicate problems in her mouth:
• Dark red lines along the gums
• Red and swollen gums
• Ulcers on gums or tongue
• Loose teeth
• Difficulty chewing food
• Excessive drooling
• Excessive pawing at the mouth area
If you cat is showing any of these signs, you should bring her to a veterinarian right away. Even though the problem could be small, it is best to rule out serious problems like gingivitis and gum disease. Avoiding these symptoms could lead to tooth loss, inability to eat and even internal conditions such as kidney disease.
4) Use a dental cleanser such as a gel, spray or tooth paste and brush.
5) Give your cat chew toys or dental chew treats. All cats love to play and need to satisfy their natural desire to chew. Chew toys can do the trick, while also making her teeth strong. You can also use a dental cleansing treat such as Greenies Dental Treats.
6) Keep on top of her diet. Some cats are more susceptible to mouth problems than others. There are special cat foods for cats with dental issues. You can ask a veterinarian to recommend the best food for your pet.
By following all of these steps, you will be well on your way to keeping on top of your cat's dental health.
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