If tartar remains untreated, periodontitis can develop, which can have serious consequences for the health of your cats. The gums gradually separate from the tooth, causing it to lose its hold and, in the worst case, fail. Fortunately, tartar can be prevented in cats. It's easier said than done, but it's not impossible.
Preventing tartar in cats: oral hygiene
Be very careful when caring for your cat's teeth and sensitively get your pet used to oral hygiene. Ideally, you should start brushing your teeth when you are a kitten - your veterinarian will be happy to show you how to do this. First, gently rub your darling's fingers over your lips, then gently on your gums and teeth the next day. Always praise your cat if it does not resist treatment. Then get used to the cat toothpaste before using a special cat toothbrush.
Important tip: If your animal friend does his best to avoid brushing your teeth, you should avoid oral hygiene. Older cats in particular can usually no longer get used to it, and coercion puts your cat under stress and you risk scratches and bites, which could catch fire. Nevertheless, it is advisable to check the teeth of your fur nose occasionally - if there is a lot of plaque or even tartar, the veterinarian can help you remove it.
Nutrition tip: dry food or perch against plaque?
Dry food is often recommended when people want to prevent tartar in cats. There are even special dry foods or chewing sticks that are shaped to rub off the plaque when chewing. However, this is controversial to say the least.
Critics of dry food nutrition argue that chewing the crumbs creates a chyme that sticks to the teeth and tends to favor plaque. In any case, dry food for cats is not recommended as the main food, since they were originally desert animals and naturally drink little water. The low moisture content in the dry food can therefore lead to a lack of fluids and consequently to constipation, urinary crystals and renal insufficiency.
In return, barfen is considered extremely cheap for dental health. It has been observed, for example, that free-roamers, who often eat a mouse, suffer less from tartar than domestic cats. Apparently the structure of muscle meat, tendons and cartilage creates what is said to be dry food, but without forming a sticky chyme. At home you can achieve this near-natural diet through bartending. However, you should not switch the feed to raw meat overnight. Firstly, your cat has to get used to bartending first, secondly, beginners can do something wrong and should carefully inform themselves beforehand. To begin with, you can find tips in our guide "How to Carry a Cat: 4 Things You Should Know".
Practical dental care products for cats
Regular dental care is also very important for cats. Special snacks that provide the teeth with nutrients ...
Most important measure: mouth control
Tip: Regardless of whether you want to prevent tartar in cats by brushing your teeth or with food, a regular mouth check should never be missed. Check to see if you can see symptoms of tartar in cats and, if necessary, see your veterinarian to have your teeth cleaned professionally. This is necessary at the latest when you notice yellowish to brownish discoloration, bad breath or inflamed gums in your room tiger.
Tooth restoration at the vet
Once tartar has formed, only the veterinarian can help with professional tooth cleaning and tooth restoration. Important: Never try to remove tartar yourself. You could do more harm than good, and your cat can also hurt you with fear or pain. At the beginning, the doctor will take stock of which teeth are affected by the tartar and whether teeth may need to be extracted. To do this, he checks the mouth and takes an X-ray, if necessary, to identify deeper dental problems. Your cat may need to be given antibiotics if, for example, periodontitis or severe gum disease has already developed. Otherwise, the bacteria could enter the bloodstream during treatment.
The actual procedure is then carried out under anesthesia. Under certain circumstances, this is already necessary for the diagnosis if the cat does not want to be looked into the mouth under any circumstances. The veterinarian carefully removes the tartar with an ultrasound device and pulls badly damaged teeth if necessary. The cleaned teeth are then polished so that new dental plaque cannot form quickly. Your cat may need to continue taking antibiotics or analgesics for follow-up treatment.