Cats can actually get Gingivitis. It is a type of periodontal disease and this is how it works: plaque builds up on the teeth and can then harden into tartar. This causes your cat’s gums to swell and gives them discomfort. Their teeth loosen up and it becomes harder for them to eat, etc. They will also get bad breath.
You can brush your cat’s teeth daily to help prevent this disease. This may sound tedious, and depending on your cat, it may be totally unworkable. But, if you can do it at least two times a week this would help your cat a lot!
Start with a gradient approach: First you need to get cat-friendly toothpaste. You can ask the Doc about this. Once you have your toothpaste, put a little on a toothbrush. (You can also just use a small gauze, put it around your finger and spread the toothpaste on the gauze.) As good as you can, do circles over your cat’s teeth. Just do a couple teeth and then call it a day. Do a couple more teeth the next day or in the next few days until you’ve got the whole mouth.
Your cat does need to see a vet to get a full dental cleaning at least once a year (some breeds require more than annual visits, so check with Dr. Adney next time you see him). However, to keep your cat even healthier, brushing their teeth on a weekly basis will go a long way!
As a note, there are special treats you can get for your cat that will help with dental cleaning. The Day and Evening Staff will be happy to help you on deciding the best care for your cat. You can call them at: (727)-785-7200.