Posted on: 30 November 2017
Most pet parents know that in order to maintain good oral hygiene for cats, it's necessary to brush their teeth on a regular basis. However, just doing this may not be enough. If your cat has one of the following three risk factors for poor oral health, you may want to step up your game and make a bigger effort to keeping your kitty's mouth healthy. Read on to learn about these three things that can make your cat more likely to have poor oral health.
FIV & FeLV
Feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia are two disorders that can increase your cat's risk for a whole host of problems, including oral health issues. Cats with either of these diseases are more likely to experience stomatitis. Stomatitis is a condition in which cats can experience long-term dental disease even when their teeth are well taken care of by a pet parent. The exact mechanism behind stomatitis isn't understood, but it's believed to be an autoimmune response that the body has when it's dealing with a chronic virus like FIV or FeLV.
If your cat has stomatitis, it can not only put them in a great deal of pain but it may be necessary to have teeth removed. Your veterinarian can diagnose this disorder during your cat's next check-up.
Believe it or not, certain breeds of cats are more susceptible to dental disease than others. Siamese cats and Orientals are particularly at risk for developing dental disease. The exact reason behind this is unclear, except that genetics may be to blame. The same collection of genes that give Siamese cats their traditional markings and inclination for chattiness could also carry a higher risk for dental disease. If your cat belongs to one of these breeds, you should plan on seeing a vet for dental check-ups more than a typical pet parent does.
Lastly, what your cat eats can play a big part in their oral health. Many pet parents choose to feed their cats nothing but wet food. There are some benefits to the idea - cats typically get more protein and are less likely to become dehydrated, which may help to prevent kidney disease. However, wet food is also more likely to cause tooth decay and gum disease. Hard kibble helps to scrape away bits of tartar from the teeth.
If you don't want to feed kibble or hard treats to your cat, make sure that you continue to brush their teeth on a regular basis. You may also want to add a water additive to your cat's water supply to help reduce the amount of plaque and gum disease-inducing bacteria in your cat's mouth.
Dental disease can be avoided even if your cat has all three of these risk factors. Work with a veterinarian at facilities like Northwest Animal Hospital to create a treatment plan that will seek and reverse gum disease and tooth decay before it becomes severe.Share