CHARLOTTE – To address the significance of oral health care for fur babies, the AVMA sponsors National Pet Dental Health Month every February. In honor of this, we will be doing a series of articles about dental health starting this week with a focus on cats.
While pet parents love their tiny tigers for their fierce, independent nature, it can also lead to the myth that cats do not need veterinary assistance because they take care of themselves. In the wild this is true, but our domesticated felines need help with their overall health, including dental care.
Although wild cats usually clean their teeth by chewing on bones or grass, our indoor kitties often don’t have a suitable replacement for this. Also, our feline friends cannot tell us that they are in pain verbally, and will rarely show that they are through their behavior. Statistically, most cats (80%) 3 years or older will have teeth and gum problems. This is thought to happen mostly from the accumulation of bacteria, debris and plaque from the food they eat. As our kitties age, this coating of germs hardens to form tartar. This tartar can irritate their gums and eventually cause gingivitis and potentially tooth loss in severe cases.
So, what can pet parents do to protect their cats from painful dental diseases? The key is prevention and early detection. Ask your veterinarian about dental cleanings and the top ways you can help clean your fur baby’s teeth at home.
Passionate Paws Animal Hospital is a proud member of the Union County Chamber of Commerce.