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5 Signs of Cat Dental Disease

Have you ever wondered why wild animals, despite their raw diet, never need dental care or medical care? Well, actually they do but we never know about it nor have we seen a lion or a tiger knocking at our door asking for help before. In fact, most zoos sedate these wild animals for medical and dental checkups each year and in one occasion a lion’s fang was pulled out due to cavities that if left untreated could make him writhe in pain. Your pet cat experience similar things that wild cats experience out in the wilderness, albeit less severe, but things like dental disease are common among them.

How to Know if Your Cat has Dental Disease

Dental diseases like gingivitis and periodontal disease can put your pet cat in a lot of discomfort, but because cats can’t talk and they don’t have hands, they can’t let you know or show you that their teeth hurt. However, you can spot signs and symptoms of a dental disease in cats in their subtle movements, behaviors and general body language. Here are five ways to identify them:

1.) Bad Breath

Normally cats should not have bad breath, but if you can smell their breath from 10 feet away, then there’s definitely something wrong with their dental health and you should probably call your vet to make an appointment right away. If your cat’s breath smells like fish or rotting meat, then it’s even worse and you need to treat this situation as an emergency and go to the veterinarian immediately.

2.) Unusual Feeding Behavior

Sometimes you will notice the changes in your cat’s behavior, especially during meal times. You may find that your cat may eat funny which is not his/her natural behavior before and at times she may only eat on one side of her teeth, or the cat may drop some food while eating and come back to eat it again after chewing her first bites. You can try to check under her whiskers to see if there’s some discoloration in the gums, plaque, tartar or even bleeding gums and you take your cat to the vet right away.

3.) Gradually Losing Interest in His/Her Food

Later on if the dental disease hasn’t been discovered yet and it got worse, you will notice that even though your cat is hungry, he/she will shy away from the food bowl. Or she may take a few bites but won’t finish her meal. When this happens, don’t wait to find out what’s wrong with your pet cat, rush her to the veterinarian as soon as you can. She may need immediate dental treatment to make her feel comfortable again and regain her appetite.

4.) Sensitivity in the Mouth Area

The cat may also be a bit more sensitive and won’t allow you to touch his/her face, especially in the mouth area. This translates to pain, but again the cat will not make a fuss about it as they are shy creatures by nature. Therefore it is up to you to carefully observe your cat and look for the signs and symptoms of dental disease, then give them the proper medical care that they need.

5.) Excessive Drooling

In some cases, cats will salivate a lot and you may pass it off as them being hungry; however, aside from excessive drooling, loss of appetite and funny eating mannerisms will also show in their behavior. These are signs of dental disease and should be brought to the attention of the veterinarian right away.

Treatment and Prevention

Once your cat has been diagnosed by the veterinarian, then he will immediately start dental treatments by cleaning and scaling the cat’s teeth (this is done under anesthesia). The plaque and tartar are first removed and then the cat’s teeth will be treated with a sort of mouthwash solution to get rid of bacteria in her mouth. If the vet discovers some heavily damaged teeth, then he may remove it to prevent further tooth decay. The best way to prevent dental disease is to reduce the rate at which plaque and tartar builds up on the teeth. You can use water additives such as the Dental Fresh mouth wash for cats that has been proven to reduce the accumulation of plaque and/or tartar. Brushing your cats teeth regularly with a toothpaste specifically designed for cats should help prevent dental disease as well.

Do you have cats? Do you need someone to check in on them during the day while you are at work? Or while you are on vacation? TAILored Cat Services is here to help! Our professional cat sitters will check in on your cat, clean their litter box, feed them and keep your feline friends active by using the toys provided. To learn more about our services, visit our cat sitting page or call us at 425-923-7791.