Tag Archives: cat dental care

Choosing food for your feline – the more meat protein & moisture, the better

Tabby cat eating food from a bowl

For cats, the key words in choosing their food are PROTEIN and MOISTURE.

A cat’s digestive system is very different from a dog’s.  So do not assume that what’s good for your dog is also good for your cat.

While having a good protein-based diet is important for dogs, it’s especially important for cats.  Cats have higher requirements for proteins – and the amino acids found in proteins — than dogs.  A diet deficient in proteins can cause a wide range of health issues.  (Please note: Cats that have been diagnosed with kidney disease may be put on a protein restricted diet by their veterinarian.)

Do NOT reduce the protein in your cat’s diet on your own; always consult with your vet!

In addition to protein, cats need LIQUID.  Sources include wet or canned food as well as water.  Cats are notoriously poor drinkers so a quality dry food diet should be supplemented with canned or wet food.  Without adequate moisture, cats can be prone to urinary infections and are at increased risk of kidney disease later in life.  (Also look for foods that contain cranberry which promotes good urinary tract health.)  It is also helpful to add additional drinking areas.  I have two locations in my house with one of them being a drinking fountain.

The dry food provides the ability to “graze” throughout the day and also helps reduce dental tarter and plaque buildup.  Hard treats are also good (in moderation of course).

AS ALWAYS, CONSULT WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT YOUR PET’S OVERALL HEALTH AND WELLBEING.

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Products that can prevent dental disease in your CAT

171_PawsitivelyHealthy_Dental_Health_Jan16_Flyer (2) CAT

Just like with dogs, there are some good products out there to help reduce plaque and tarter on cats’ teeth.  They include dental sprays and gels, chews and treats, and toothpaste for brushing. Click here for some of my favorites and a shopping list for your pet.

And just like I’ve pointed out for dogs, these products do NOT replace the need for regular veterinary exams.  Cats, like dogs, can get:

  • Broken and loose teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Oral and facial cancers
  • Root problems (why your pet needs dental x-rays!)

In addition, cats can get a SEVERELY PAINFUL dental problem called RESORPTIVE LESIONS.  These lesions often appear as red dots on the tooth and they can eat away at the rest of the tooth and root.  Teeth with the lesions are often very weak and prone to break.  Cats with resorptive lesions often have a difficult time eating and will drool or their mouth will “chatter” due to the pain.

So regular dental care for your cat is particularly important. To me, the best thing about oral care products is that they get pet owners to be more observant and take a better look at your pet’s mouth.

So while you are brushing your cat’s teeth – or wiping on that gel, be sure you to take a look at your cat’s mouth.  If you spot redness or something that doesn’t look right, contact your vet.

See us talking about pet dental care on Fox 2

This morning, Dr. Andrea Putt, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital, and I went on Fox 2 / Detroit to talk about the importance of canine and feline dental care.

This is also the topic of our workshop coming up on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016.  THERE IS
STILL TIME TO REGISTER – CLICK HERE!

Here is a link to the video on the Fox 2 website: http://www.fox2detroit.com/good-day/93121133-video

dental care fox 2 segment

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Here we are in the Fox 2 “ green room” waiting to go on live TV.  This is  me  with Niko. We are going to show viewers what the symptoms of dental disease look like in a cat.

Niko, who was recently adopted at age 13, is showing signsof dental disease and will be going in for a dental cleaning soon.

The dog in the picture is Esthme along with her person, Beth. Esthme was on camera having her teeth brushed by Dr. Putt.

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Get the most from our Canine and Feline Dental Disease Workshop

We are hoping that you can join us on February 18 for our next Pawsitively Healthy workshop, Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease.  Click here to register.  Our speaker is Andrea Putt, DVM, of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital.

Elsewhere in this blog, I talk about some signs of dental disease in your dog or cat.  Take a few moments to see if your dog or cat will allow you to look at his/her teeth and gums.  A friend of mine routinely rubs her hand around and puts the tip of her finger into her cats’ mouths to get them used to this.

If you are able to take a look at your dog’s or cat’s mouth, try to take note of what you see.  Are gums read?  Do teeth look yellow or brown?  Does your pet flinch in pain when you do this?

If possible, see if you can take a picture of what you see. Do NOT force it.  But if your pet will let you, you will have something to show Dr. Putt at the seminar.  While she cannot diagnose dental disease from a photo, it will provide a starting point to see if your pet should be seen by a veterinarian.

Below is a photo that my friend took of her cat’s mouth.  Again, my friend gets her cats used to having their teeth checked by routinely touching and playing with their mouths. So this was an easy picture for her to take!

Emma Cat Teeth
This is picture of a friend’s cat, Emma. Emma is at least 16 years old and had her teeth cleaned a year ago. Still, she is starting to show signs of some tartar build up, the beginning of dental disease.

Dental disease, easy to prevent, is a major health concern

Andrea Putt conducting oral exam on dog Andrea Putt, DVM, conducts an oral exam on Penny.

The facts about dental disease might surprise you.  I am not a veterinarian, but I do know that dental disease in pets:

  • Is easily preventable
  • Is prevalent even in young pets
  • Can lead to more serious health issues

Some pet owners might think that dental exams and cleanings are only to reduce “doggy or kitty breath.”  They are actually one of the most important things that you can do for your pet to reduce the natural build up of tartar and plaque that lead to dental disease.

First and foremost, dental disease in your dog or cat can be EXTREMELY painful and affect appetite and activity levels. If left untreated, dental disease can also lead to serious illnesses including:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Infection of the heart, lungs or kidneys
  • Heart failure
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis and spinal diseases

February is National Pet Dental Health Month.  Celebrate it by coming to our workshop, Preventing Canine & Feline Dental Disease on February 18, 2016.  The speaker will be Dr. Andrea Putt of Commerce Village Veterinary Hospital.  Dr. Putt will talk about how you can spot the signs of dental disease in your dog and cats – and what you can do about it.

Click here to register.