Oral Cat Care

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Looking after your pet’s dental hygiene is a primary responsibility of any pet owner, so begin your cat tooth care today instead of waiting till next February. In case you are wondering why February is mentioned, it is because two mega associations, The United States American Veterinarian Medicine Association or the AVMA, and the American Veterinary Dental Society or the AVDS, have decided to do something special during the month of February.

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.

These two groups tagged what used to be the month for couples as the Cat Dental Health month where they both develop and carry out steps in preparing pet owners like you toward how to care for the oral needs of your family pets every day. These two acknowledged groups know how important it is to take good care of the oral needs of your family pets. Their ardent desire is to dedicate a month in the year for the oral care of your pet, whatever that pet may be.

Were you aware that about 85 percent of mature pets have dental diseases? Were you also aware that this is one of the most common causes of health related problems with cats? If you don’t pay attention to those oral ailments, more problems may surface. If not treated effectively, harmful elements like bacteria from the oral cavity can spread throughout the bloodstream. This in turn could infect other essential organs and ultimately lead to the death of your beloved cat.

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.

A cat’s teeth should be cleaned everyday, and you have to take this as your obligation. This may not be easy for you to do alone, so utilize another member of the household to gently hold open your cat’s mouth so you can then clean its teeth comfortably. Your feline friend may not like the procedure at first but it is for their own good. If your cat has their claws, you’ll want to wear some protective clothing while they get used to the process.

Starting this as a kitten is best as then it’s not a big thing. If starting later in your cat’s life, both of you will have to get acquainted to the process. To make it a little easier for your cat, try using a fish flavored toothpaste. It makes sense to be in touch with your vet regarding the oral care of your family pets. When visiting your vet, they will check your cat’s gum and teeth to provide any additional recommendations, if required.

Oral care for your cat should begin as kittens to prevent future ill health as the cat ages. If you have endured painful teeth, you can relate to the pain your cat must be experiencing when there are tooth problems. If not taken care of, your cat could be prone to heart, lung, liver and kidney problems. Effective oral care will help to ensure that your cat grows older gracefully and in good health. By taking the required actions, you are preparing your family pets to have a less painful life as they mature.

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).
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