Dental disease in cats is an epidemic. By the age of 3 years old, more that 70% of cats will suffer from a dental issue.
Being proactive about our cat’s dental health is key. It is the best way to ensure that a brewing issue is addressed before suffering becomes obvious.
Unfortunately, obvious suffering isn’t as obvious as you might think for cats. They instinctively hide their pain because they are prey animals and do not want to appear weak. For that reason, annual dental check are so important help avoid a dental issue.
Between exams, we must use our powers of observation to catch any subtle clues that our cat has mouth pain.
Signs of Dental Disease in Cats:
- Drooling. We’re not talking about the drooly drips that happen when your cat is making biscuits or enjoying some snuggle time. Thick or mucous-like drool that can indicate a dental issue and should be checked by a vet.
- Head shaking while eating. Watching our cats eat can help identify discomfort. If you notice your cat only eating on one side of his mouth or shaking his head between bites, it’s possible that it’s painful to eat.
- Bad breath. If you stick you nose in a healthy cat’s mouth, it won’t smell like roses. However, if you are noticing that you are smelling your cat’s breath more often (without sticking your nose in his mouth), it’s time for a vet check.
- Loss of appetite. This can indicate any number of issues. But especially when it comes to dental disease in cats, a loss or decreased appetites needs to be addressed.
These signs can start suddenly or seems very subtle. By paying attention to our cat’s mealtimes, committing to annual exams that include a dental check, and doing our best to implement proactive dental care, we can help our cats avoid the terrible suffering of a painful dental condition.