Periodontal disease isn't just something that can affect humans; it can also affect our furry companions, such as cats and dogs. Specifically, periodontal disease is a form of gum disease that, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss and even heart problems. Fortunately, there are several steps that cat owners can take to help prevent periodontal disease in their feline friends.

Brush Your Cat's Teeth Regularly

The single best thing you can do to protect your cat's teeth and keep its gums healthy is to brush your kitty's teeth regularly (ideally once every few days). Of course, most cats are naturally reluctant to have anything placed in their mouths that isn't food; this is why it's good to get your cat used to tooth-brushing from an early age. Still, even adult cats can be taught to tolerate tooth-brushing with a gentle touch and some tuna-flavored toothpaste.

Try a Dental Water Additive

Okay, so it might not be feasible to physically brush your cat's teeth without getting bit and scratched up. This doesn't mean you can't take other steps to protect your kitty from periodontal disease. Consider buying a water additive from your local pet store; these additives are flavorless, but can help to keep your cat's teeth and gums healthier. You might even notice that your kitty has better breath.

Schedule Regular Cleanings

Did you know that your veterinarian can perform dental cleanings on your cats? Consider scheduling one in addition to your cat's next wellness exam, but talk to your vet about it first. Many cats need to be sedated in order to receive the necessary dental treatment, so you'll want to make sure that your cat is in sound enough physical health for the sedation itself. During a dental cleaning, plaque and tartar build-up (which can cause gum disease) will be removed from your cat's teeth.

Give Your Cat Dental Treats

Finally, make dental care fun for your cat by giving it dental treats. You can find these at just about any pet store; these treats are designed not only to taste great to your kitty, but to help clean the teeth and freshen breath. For cats that don't allow tooth brushing and aren't viable candidates for veterinary dental cleanings, these treats can be an excellent way to protect against periodontal disease. By taking these precautions, you can keep your kitty happier and in overall better health.

To learn more, contact an animal hospital like Marcum Road Animal Hospital