Ever bite into an apple and notice one of your front eeth is sticking out of it?
Or chomp down on a piece of taffy
only to have it tear
out a filling? These
are surprising — and
painful — events.
Trust me, I know. I’ve
been through both
of these situations
that prompted me
to immediately see
a dentist to relieve
the ache and repair
your cat has a dental issue. He
doesn’t have a veterinary dentist
on speed dial. And as a species
with a reputation for being both
predator and prey, he is not keen
on alerting anyone — even you, his
most trusted human ally — that
he is in a weakened, vulnerable
state due to mouth
pain. Even though he
might prowl strictly
indoors, he doesn’t
want to show any sign
of weakness to avoid
drawing the attention
of any predator —
real or imagined.
Dental issues are
more common in cats
than most people
realize. According to
the American Veterinary Medical
Association, about 70 percent of
cats develop some degree of gum
disease by the age of 3. Yes, you
read right: the young age of 3.
That’s why you must take on
the role of pet detective and look
for any clues that your cat might
be experiencing a dental issue.
And a key “crime scene” occurs at
mealtime. Be on the lookout for
these serious clues:
; Your sweet cat suddenly
swats you when you attempt to
pet his head.
; Your feline foodie now stares at
his filled food bowl and walks away.
; Your normally neat eater is
littering your kitchen floor with
pieces of kibble.
; Your steady eater is taking
twice as long to finish his meal.
; Your cat seems to have
difficulty swallowing food or treats.
All these clues can point to the
fact that your cat might be dealing
with a dental issue like a broken
tooth or infected gum. Or worse:
He might be coping with stomatitis,
or a life-threatening disease, such as
hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease).
Many of us brush our teeth at
least twice a day and gargle with
mouthwash. We book
semi-annual visits to our
dentist to undergo cleanings and
professional exams. We would not
consider going a week without
brushing our teeth — yuck!
Sadly, that’s not the case for
our cats. Without our help, they
are at serious risk for developing
tartar buildup, gingivitis, and
abscesses. They can suffer tooth
loss, incur oral tumors, and even
develop infections that can
spread to their lungs,
heart, liver, and kidneys,
THE FINICKY CAT BY ARDEN MOORE
Your Cat’s Sudden Boycott
at Mealtime Might be due
to DENTAL PROBLEMS
About 70 percent
of cats develop
of gum disease
by age 3,
according to the