Today’s episode is part 1 of a 3 part feline dental series and is focused on basic feline dental care. Dental disease is the number one feline health problem seen by veterinarians and is the largest single cause of health problems in cats. A domestic cat does not do all the things involved in killing fresh prey that a cat in the wild does. Pulling the meat off the bones and chewing large chunks of meat contribute to keeping a wild cat’s teeth clean and strong. Domestic cats who eat commercial food need other methods of cleaning their teeth and home dental care is all too often overlooked by pet owners.
In this episode, Arloa interviews Dali, a certified veterinary dental technician from Houndstooth, about overall feline dental care. They discuss the importance of dental care and brushing, how often to brush, signs of feline dental issues to look for when examining your cat’s teeth, signs of a healthy mouth and the impact of diet on feline dental health.
In addition to causing oral problems such as gingivitis and tooth decay, poor dental hygiene can contribute to other, very serious internal cat health issues such as liver disease, kidney infections and heart damage. According to Dali, “The bacteria in the mouth doesn’t stay in the mouth. It tends to circulate in the bloodstream and it can lodge in the heart and kidney and liver. So it can suppress the immune system and cause internal organ problems.” Dali recommends feeding a fresh, preferably raw, meat diet instead of commercial kibble for optimal feline dental health.
The next episode will demonstrate how to brush a cat’s teeth at home and the best tools to use. Episode 11 will discuss what to look for when selecting a professional dental hygienist and/or a dental veterinarian and will also discuss the differences in anesthetic dental cleanings vs. non-anesthetic dental cleanings.