Most cat owners have had the experience that if you dangle a piece of floss in front of your cat, they’ll treat it like a string toy. Cats don’t seem to take their dental hygiene seriously. That’s when you have to step in and offer some help. Cats, like humans, can develop health issues when their mouth, teeth and gums aren’t taken care of. Here is how you can influence your cat to have better dental health. How to Tell If Your Cat Has a Problem Cats aren’t forthcoming about health issues, unless they leave a hairball on your pillow case. You’ll have to do some investigating on your own to see if your feline companion is watching out for their teeth. Check their breath – Your cat’s breath won’t be minty-fresh; a mild-odor is normal. But if it smells like 4-week old worn sweat socks forgotten in the bottom of the clothes hamper, you have a problem. A gum infection or advanced cavities will create a strong odor in their breath. Check their lips and gums – Push back on your cat’s lips and look at the gums as far back in the mouth as you can. The gums should be pink, not red or white. There should be no sign of redness or swelling. The teeth should be free of tartar which will show up as chunks of brown material on the teeth near the gums. If you haven’t lost any fingers, yet, use them to probe around the cat’s mouth to look for the following signs: ulcers on the tongue or gums loose teeth oozing from the gums at the base of a tooth dark red lines or blotches on the gums sores on the cheek tissue Any of these signs means a trip to a vet that specializes in cat dentistry (such as one at Cat Care Clinic). These are serious dental issues that can cause your cat pain and difficulty eating. Don’t tell your cat that they are going to the feline dentist, though. They don’t like going to the dentist any more than you. Preventing Cat Dental Issues In the wild, cats chew on bones and grass which help to keep their teeth clean. In your home, they eat processed food out of a bowl that says “Cats Rule, Dogs Drool” on the side. The domesticated cat needs a little help with their dental hygiene. Get your cat into the daily habit of taking care of their teeth, which like most cat things, means you do all the work while your cat acts uninterested. If you start them as a kitten, you can...

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