The Cat's Meow Blog
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Your Cats Oral Health!
February is national pet dental health month. Dental disease is the most common health issue in pets, and it affects 68%of cats. Just like in people bad oral health can cause pain, abscesses, tooth loss, or even organ damage. We can help your feline friend with regular check-ups to find and stop existing conditions from getting worse. Signs of dental disease include; inflammation of the gums, bad breath, dropping food while eating, pawing at the mouth, and discolored teeth. Think of your cats' teeth like mini icebergs, there is a lot going on below the surface. 70% of feline dental disease occurs below the gum line. Periodontal disease develops above and below the gum line. Plaque and tartar build up on the tooth causing inflammation of the gum. It can advance to severe bone loss. When bone loos occurs, pockets begin to form between the gums and the teeth. These pockets become a source of infection and suck bacteria under the gum where it doesn't belong. If not maintained, extreme infections can lead to extraction. Professional dental cleanings are recommended to help prevent severe infections. During there procedures we examine the entirety of the mouth from cheeks to teeth and make note of any abnormalities. We begin by, scaling the tartar off the teeth and polishing them for a smooth finish. We then take dental x-rays. This is where evidence of periodontal disease would appear. Once we take full mouth x-rays, we extract any diseased teeth. Home care is very important after a professional dental cleaning. Brushing your cats teeth is the gold standard of home care, but it's not a very popular idea among cats (not to mention owners). There are certain foods and treats that have the VOHC seal of approval. This means that the product meets certain criteria that helps reduce plaque and tartar from reforming on the teeth. If you're worried about your feline friends mouth, please call and schedule their oral exam today!
By: Maggie (Vet Assistant/Weight Coach)
"What greater gift than the love of a cat"
Is My Cat Fat?
We hear this question a lot. As Americans, we have become accustomed to believe that a chubby kitty is normal. While all kitties are adorable no matter their weight, that extra spare tire can cause a number of illnesses and medical conditions. Just like in people, too much abdominal and chest fat can cause difficulty breathing, stress on the heart and joints. If you’re concerned about your feline friend, here are some tips to help keep your kitty fit and trim.
First, is a good high quality food. Purina Pro Plan (or Purina One), Hill’s Science Diet, and Royal Canin are of the best brands out there. These companies put A LOT of research into every food they make. They offer dry and canned food in several varieties for those finicky felines. Contrary to popular belief, canned food is BETTER for weight loss. One can of wet food has 75% more water than one cup of dry food and therefore contains fewer calories. Since canned food is more water, you can actually feed more than you would think which helps those “starving” kitties. Remember, if you choose to change your cat’s food, it is VERY important to do a slow transition to the new food. Cold turkey switching from their old food to the new food can cause GI up sets, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
Should I free feed or meal feed? There is no wrong answer here; it actually depends on each individual cat. Some cats are “grazers” and others are “gorgers”. No matter what category your cat falls in, always check the back of the food bag for the feeding guide. This helps owners easily estimate how much to feed their cat by their weight. These amounts are normally for a 24-hour period, so make sure to split the amount into at least two meals if you meal feed. An exception to this is if your cat is having difficulties losing weight. If this happens, contact us so we find the exact amount you need to feed to jump start their metabolism. Hope these tips help keep your kitty in tip top shape! We love our patients and want to see them live long healthy lives.
By: Maggie (Vet Assistant/Weight Coach)
“What greater gift than the love of a cat”