Healthy Smiles Are Pawsome!

A healthy mouth is important to the overall health of a kitty. The mouth plays 2 very important roles. First, it is where all of the food that will provide a cat’s energy (and ability to repair and build new cells) will enter the body. Second, it is a place where the cat’s immune system must be functioning at maximum capacity. Most harmful intruders entering the cat’s body will do so by entering the mouth. Therefore, the cat’s body can do itself a favor by stopping intruders at the front door.

What are the best ways to make sure that a cat’s mouth is as healthy as it can be? Make sure that your cat is having their mouth checked by a veterinarian regularly (usually annually or biannually). Also, take the time to care for your cat’s mouth at home. Check their teeth and gums (especially in the back of the mouth) for redness or inflammation in the gums and plaque build up (yellow or brown) on the teeth. You can brush your cat’s teeth at home using a toothpaste that is approved for use with cats.

Here are a few other interesting cat dental health facts:

  • Kittens have 26 temporary teeth, but adult cats have 30 permanent teeth.
  • Those hair-like structures on your cat’s tongue are called “papillae.”
  • Oral diseases, like stomatitis, are common in cats with diseases that affect the immune system such as FIV, Feline Leukemia (FeLV), and Feline Calicivirus (FCV).
  • Of all domestic animals, cats have the fewest teeth.
  • A cat’s canine teeth (the two long teeth in the front) have only 1 root. The first symptom of a chipped/broken canine tooth is sneezing!

Fact Sources: Drs. Foster & Smith , The Cat Hospital of Chicago

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  • Words from the word list on the right are hidden within the puzzle. The words may be spelled forward, backward, or on a diagonal.
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Does your cat have a healthy smile?