Cats Teeth And How To Look After Them, Prevent DiseaseKeith
How many teeth do cats have?
As with humans, cats are born with no teeth. At 2/3 weeks old their 26 milk teeth start to show through their gums. The milk teeth start to fall out when the kitten is around four months old and kittens have a full set of 30 permanent teeth by the time they are 6/8 months old.
Keeping your cat’s teeth clean
Like humans, cats need to have a daily oral care regime. It’s important to clean your cat’s teeth in some way daily to remove the plaque that clings to their teeth. If the plaque is not removed and is left in contact with the tooth, it will go hard to make tartar in a few days. Tartar cannot be brushed away and can lead to the start of gum problems which can cause pain and discomfort. Feeding your cat a mixture of dry and wet food delivers food with a variety of tastes and textures which cats enjoy. The additional benefit of feeding dry food is that the dry kibble creates abrasion on the surface of the teeth which can help to clear plaque away which helps to clean their teeth.
How to brush your cat’s teeth
The best way to clean your cat’s teeth is to brush them every day. Tooth-brushing is the best way of removing plaque from their teeth and most cats will take to it if it is built up to gradually. Cat toothbrushes and specially formulated cat toothpaste is at most pet retailers.
Cats are stoic creatures and they have evolved to hide pain meaning gum problems are not always known to you. Having your cat’s mouth checked regularly by your vet is a great way to keep on top of their oral health, but here are some signs that you can look out for:
Spotting the signs of gum problems in cats:
- Bad breath: cats should not have bad breath
- Drooling /salivating: cats should not excessively drool, this can be a sign of a problem in the mouth Redness or inflammation of gums: Lift your cat’s lip and check the gums, they should be pink, any redness or swelling where the gum meets the teeth is not normal
- Redness or inflammation of the gums: Lift your cat’s lip and check the gums, they should be pink, any redness or swelling where the gum meets the teeth is not normal
- Changes in eating behaviour as listed below can be signs of discomfort in the mouth, you might notice that your cat is:
- Reluctant to eat
- Holding her head to one side when eating
- Spitting food out
- Leaving dry food
- Less willing to play: sometimes cats with pain in their mouths will become more lethargic, they may shy away from your hand with their head preferring to be stroked on their back