Greetings to cat families everywhere! Today, i want to touch on the subject of your senior cat’s teeth and the issues that usually can be expected at this stage in their lives. Going to explore the care and treatments that can be applied and of course, what foods and how to feed for what dental problems your senior cat may be facing. I will speak of the does and don’t’s when it comes to your cat’s mouth and teeth as well.
Common dental problems:
Dental abscesses. Infections.Trauma (to gums, mouth and teeth) and wounds. Cancer, periodontal disease, odontoclastic resorptive lesions (dental decay),plaque and tartar, broken teeth. Sometimes a cat will have an allergy to the tartar buildup and this will cause a stomatitis in all the mouth called “feline stomatitis syndrome” where there’s no cure and will leave your cat toothless. But have no fear! They will still be able to eat soft food and even kibble!
Visible signs of mouth and dental issues:
You take one look at your cat one day and you see they drool, food spilling from their mouth, weight loss, they won’t eat, they seem to be in pain (refer to another post of mine with the cat pain chart),your furry friend wants a kiss but their breath is atrociously nasty! Clearly missing pieces of or whole teeth absent. If you can get close enough and have the trust of your senior pet, you will notice that gums may be red and swollen up and bleeding if you pass a cotton swab all along their gum line. You might also notice spots and ulcers.
Predispositions to dental problems:
If your cat is a senior and they are a breed that has smaller teeth. Cats over the age of 3:50 to 80% of dogs and cat’s have been estimated to have a dental disease. Those with FIV. Or FeLV. If your cat is old, the wear and tear and the changes in the cat’s immunity and strength come into play for sure!
Some causes to dental diseases:
The food that your cat will eat weighs in the balance. If it’s too soft, it will stick to the teeth and if it’s dry kibble, there’s lots of carbs in it so it will get stuck between the teeth and advantage the growth of bacteria. Maybe your furry friend went places and ate stuff that wasn’t exactly kosher while outside.
It’s always best for a long life to leave your purry friend indoors so they avoid infections, broken teeth chew on things that will more than scratch the teeth and gums. Poor dental hygiene is a culprit too.
Care of teeth and gums of your cat:
Therefore it is recommended getting their teeth and gums brushed a minimum 2-3 times a week and ideal every day! Special treats exist to help your cat to clean up their teeth. Yes! Cat treats they can chew on just like the dogs! There is also the toothpaste with flavors like chicken and fish.
To achieve this with your old buddy, you must start slowly and progressively.
1-Use your finger to gently rub toothpaste on the cat’s teeth and gums. Short periods first and thank and praise your kitty and pet them or give a reward after for “being nice”. Do not use baking soda cause it is a health hazard and they WON’T appreciate it!
2-Once they are habituated, continue with a toothbrush. They’res many to choose from! Fish form or other toy form that you can even stick catnip in it! They’res finger toothbrushes too that slip on your finger and you brush away! There is even tooth wipes and cleansing pads now! Avoid human toothbrushes that can hurt your cat’s gums!
3-Brush gums and front teeth for the lower jaw and front and back for the upper jaw. Why not back for the lower jaw?Cats tongue is said to be just perfectly rugged for auto-cleaning this part. But then, you inspect your elder cat and you be the judge!
4-Cats that are 7 years and older:Dental exams every 6 months. Your cat might need x-rays to detect problems and cleaning under anesthesia from time to time. Although there are risks to your cat “going under”, we’ve got new and short acting anesthesia that is done by injection, make this option more secure for your pet. Ask what type the vet uses and how the effects are easily reversed.
Tartar removal is also every 6 months to a year.WARNING! do NOT detartar your cat yourself with any instrument!
You might then want to help your cat’s dental health by giving vitamins and supplements such as zinc, calcium and phosphorus. Or other things like seaweed that will take off plaque like this for example:
I have read that you can give, as a bonus, probiotics and digestive enzymes to support your cat’s gastrointestinal and general health and immune system which certainly will give a boost to their teeth and gums!
They recommend the Q10 vitamin too to prevent periodontal disease in the mouth of the mouth but this one goes waayyy beyond helping the health of the mouth!
See this website for more juicy details!:
Other supplements that have got a good reputation in oral health and squelching the bad breath of your cat are:Spirulina, silica and horsetail. And there’s much more like this supplement:
So my cat had dental surgery:Now what?
Post surgery, it can take 1 to 2 weeks for your cat to recover from a tooth extraction. They will eat wet food, baby food or you can moisten up the dry food so as to make it soggy for your pet. Some may needs a full liquid diet for a prescribed time from your vet.
Feeding might be tailored by your vet to promote healing and they will probably counsel you to feed them about 2 hours post op. This with avoiding certain foods and treats and some vets will recommend real meats instead of the usual cat food because there are no carbs and it don’t stick between the teeth. Chunks only, no rawhide and hard foods or chew toys as they can rip sutures and cause unnecessary pain to the cat.
You will monitor your cat for symptoms that are worrisome such as:Drooling, redness, swelling,pain,bleeding,post-op site is hot to touch or cat has a fever. You will determine if your senior cat is still sleepy 24 hours after a general anesthesia. If so, get your emergency vet number on speed dial! You can also check if breathing well and if has urinates well post-op.
Furthermore, since your cat is a senior, there is a heighten risk of side effects and complications. They may become delirious or cranky, lose appetite until the anesthesia wears off completely up to 24 to 48 hours after!Typically, though it’s supposed to be 12-24 hours after.
If they ate and have not fasted long enough before the surgery, they can vomit and this can aspirate into their lungs.
Thoughts to leave you with:
Now you know more about your senior cat and dental issues and now got the tools to take good care of the feline member your family. You can rest now that you know what to expect and be secure in knowing you will not need to get dental implants or dentures for your cat!
Yes!I said dentures! They have them in Britain under “Animal Solutions” from students that nicknamed themselves “fangs a lot”! See this story:
And about implants:
Till next time! I wish that you and your furry companion can both take a big “bite” out of life!
Puurfectly at your disposal,