Oral Health for Cats
Healthy Mouths Start at Home: 5 Ways to Promote Oral Health
1. Brush 2-3 times a week. Brushing a cat’s teeth is the most effective method of keeping teeth and gums healthy. Brushing teeth will help control plaque build up, which needs to be removed from a cat’s teeth before it mineralizes into tartar.
It’s best to introduce a dental hygiene regimen slowly, ensuring a comfortable and happy experience for all. For more information, refer to our How to Brush a Cat’s Teeth page. Or, stop by one of our stores, our knowledgeable staff will be happy to help you find the dental health options that may work best for your cat.
For a demonstration of how to brush a cat's teeth, visit the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Feline Health Center.
2. Provide Chews, Treats and Toys. Although cats do not fully chew their food, some may also respond to raw bones or cat specific chew treats. Safe chews and toys can keep plaque from building up on the teeth and prevent bad breath.
Many treats are available that aid in dental health. Some include ingredients to promote digestion and fight plaque, but things as simple as treat size and shape can help promote healthy teeth and gums.
For more information on chews and treats, visit one of our store locations and talk to one of our staff members or pick up a copy of our brochure, "Chewing Basics". To ensure safety, always supervise a cat when giving them new toys or treats.
3. Introduce Supplements for Oral Health. Intended to promote proper digestion and fight plaque and tartar, there are a number of supplements that help to keep teeth clean. Made with ingredients such as seaweed and cheese enzymes, dental supplements are available in a handful of forms including powders and liquids. Visit a Mud Bay near you to learn more about dental health solutions through supplements with our brochure, "A Short Guide to Digestive Supplements", or simply ask one of our knowledgeable staff members for more information.
4. Feed Foods that Promote a Healthy Mouth Environment.
Dental Formulas. A few dry cat foods are formulated specifically to support dental health. The larger kibble size encourages chewing, which may create a gentle scrubbing action on the teeth. Most dental formulas also include ingredients that promote a healthy mouth environment.
Raw Foods. Raw foods often improve the mouth and dental health by delivering nutrition in its most natural, digestible forms. Raw chicken necks work great as nutritious dental chews for many cats. More information about raw foods can be found on our Raw Food Basics page.
Hairball Formulas. Eliminating chronic hairball problems can greatly improve a cat’s oral health, since stomach acids present in vomit can erode tooth enamel. For more information about hairball prevention, please see our Hairball Management and Healthy Mouths page.
5. Schedule routine check-ups with a veterinarian. Regular professional care and dental check-ups from veterinarians are essential to maintaining the health and happiness of cats.
For more information about dental health for cats, visit our Cats and their Teeth page.
Please visit any of our stores, we’ll be happy to help you help your dog or cat.
We’re not veterinarians. Mud Bay staff are well educated, and our writing is well-researched, but neither the advice of a Mud Bay staff member nor reading Mud Bay's written materials can substitute for visiting a veterinarian. We offer carefully chosen, natural solutions, but we believe that veterinary conditions should be diagnosed and treated by professionals.
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS), 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age three, often indicated by bad breath, a change in eating habits, pawing at the face and mouth and depression.
Besides causing receding gums and tooth loss, bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and over time, damage the heart, liver and kidneys.
Regular professional care from a veterinarian and daily home care are the best ways to attain healthy mouths in cats.
For more information and a conversation about dental health for cats, stop by one of our stores.