More Cat Care Information:
Cats aren't exactly able to brush their own teeth to keep them in good health, which is why the majority of them have oral problems of some sort later in life. Feline gingivitis is one of the most common problems that they suffer from. This condition occurs when there is inflammation of the gums.
|General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home|
|You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.|
|General Cat Care #2: Feeding|
|An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).|
Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.
Bacteria is found in every cat's mouth. Problems with gingivitis in cats develop whenever this bacteria is allowed to accumulate. Bacteria in the mouth combines with old food particles and eventually turns into plaque. If the plaque isn't removed in a timely manner, then it will turn into yellow tartar.
Cats that aren't fed a proper diet can easily experience oral problems. Proper nutrition isn't enough to keep cat gingivitis at bay though. Owners need to care for their feline's teeth, ideally cleaning them after each meal.
There are various types of bacteria that can cause feline gingivitis. It isn't always caused by bacteria though, as viral infections can also lead to the condition. One of the most common diseases that causes it is cat panleukopenia.
Gingivitis in cats causes a wide variety of symptoms. Whenever your cat tries to drink or eat anything, he will experience oral pain. Thanks to the pain, many cats stop eating like they're supposed to and become anorexic. Excessive salivation is also a common occurrence. As the condition progresses, the teeth may start to decay or develop cavities.
|General Cat Care #3: Grooming|
|Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs|
|General Cat Care #4: Handling|
|To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.|
|General Cat Care #5: Housing|
|Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.|
Feline gingivitis also causes the gums to become red or swollen. The slightest contact can cause them to start bleeding, so you'll need to be careful when cleaning your kitty's teeth. Bad breath is also a common problem for cats with this oral condition.
If you take your cat to the veterinarian with some of these symptoms, he will take note of them and also ask you exactly what you're feeding your cat. Stomatitis causes some of the same symptoms as gingivitis in felines. Therefore, he may need to take a biopsy of the tissues in the mouth in order to make a definitive diagnosis.
The first thing that needs to be done to treat feline gingivitis is to remove all of the tartar that has built up on the teeth. Owners will also need to start taking care of their pet's teeth and gums better. Brushing the teeth on a daily or regular basis is very important.
Bacterial infections can easily develop thanks to gingivitis in cats. That's why cats with the disease are generally prescribed antibiotics. Antibiotic pills are usually less effective in treating these secondary bacterial infections than antibiotic creams or ointments that are applied directly to the problematic areas.
The aforementioned treatments will effectively get rid of milder cases of cat gingivitis. Felines that experience chronic problems may need more advanced treatment in the form of surgery though. It's best that treatment begins before tooth decay sets in since treatment will be more difficult at that point.
Feline gingivitis can be devastating to your cat's oral health. This is especially true if it is allowed to progress into periodontal disease. These issues can largely be prevented by regular brushing and occasional professional cleaning. Don't forget that proper nutrition plays a large role in preventing gingivitis in cats too.
|General Cat Care #6: Identification|
|If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.|
|General Cat Care #7: Litter Box|
|All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).|