“Human, are you feeling any better today?”
“Yes, Bagheera, thanks for asking.”
“What did the human in the white coat do to you yesterday?”
“He took out a couple of my teeth. He took out the ones we call the wisdom teeth.”
“Do felines like me have wisdom teeth and will I need to have them taken out?”
“No, Bagheera. But feline dental care is an important part of keeping you healthy.”
“Don’t even think about it, human. You will find out how sharp my teeth are if you try to stick that funny brush into my mouth.”
“I won’t do that, even though experts in feline dental care say it’s the best way to keep your mouth healthy. But there are other things I can do to make sure your teeth stay in good shape.”
Humans with felines learn to detect health problems in their furry companions, but one area that they do not know much about is feline dental care. This is why 85 percent of adult pets have periodontal problems, and dental disease is the largest source of health problems in cats.
You humans are willing to stick that brush in your mouth and move it around a couple of times a day. We felines are a lot less willing to do this, and so many humans, including mine, do not brush our teeth. But you can check our mouth to make sure our teeth and gums are healthy. What you can do is lift open our mouths, and check to make sure that the gums look healthy and that the teeth do not show signs of excessive plaque.
Another sign that you should seek the help of a human in a white coat is if our breath smells bad. You humans have a term “dog breath” but you do not have a term “cat breath.” So if a cat’s breath is reminding you of the smelly breath of a dog, then it is time to take us to the humans in the white coats.
With proper feline dental care, we will be able to keep our teeth through our senior years. I will make sure my human take care of my teeth — how else will I bite him if he does something that annoys me?