To minimize the need for professional dental scaling procedures and to maintain optimal oral health, AVDC recommends daily dental home care from an early age in cats. There are several home care options from which you can choose from. You should choose something that both you and your cat are comfortable with and are able to keep the effort up with year round.
Brushing Teeth is the gold standard of dental care. You should brush teeth at least 3 times a week, with daily brushing prefered. Cats are tricky and even though brushing is considered the gold standard a different home care option may be best. The key to success is to be patient and gradual in your approach.
Avoid human toothpastes. Cat approved toothpastes come in multiple favors, such as mint, poultry, seafood, etc.; so find one that fits for your pet's taste. You can use abrasive gauze, finger brushes, or toothbrushes designed soft and angled to assist in brushing the back teeth.
Several “dental diets” have been shown to be of benefit in decreasing dental disease. North Scottsdale Animal Hospital recommends Hill's Prescription Diet t/d, a VOHC approved diet, for either your cat.
Ideally it should be their primary diet if there are no other health issues as it allows for the greatest efficacy. However, you can just add it to their diet, or give the food like a treat.
The video below shows a screwdriver test done on t/d kibble vs other brands. It is a great visual of how it removes tartar from your cat's teeth.
Chew treats can be helpful if chewed daily, and some even contain anti-tartar ingredients. At NSAH we carry:
CET Chews for cats helps keep breath fresh and teeth clean. Freeze-dried fish component contributes abrasive texture that helps clean teeth (comes in poultry or fish flavors)
*Any product that has a VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) seal is a good dental home care product to use.
This organization tests the safety and effectiveness of dental products, and products are independently studied by boarded veterinary dentists. Please check out their website for a full list of great dental products. http://www.vohc.org/accepted_products.htm
*Another rule of thumb is, if it can bend or crumble easily, it is safe for the cat to chew on.