The Importance of Dental Care for Cats
The Importance of Dental Care for Cats
May 08, 2024 - Antelopepets

When we think of the things a cat might need, our brains usually jump to the basics: treats, toys, and a wet or dry food that they won’t turn their nose up at. That said, many pet owners often don’t realize that they’re missing a key component to their cat’s wellbeing: dental care. 

Studies done by Cornell have shown that 50-90% of cats over the age of four currently suffer from various stages of dental disease, making a solid dental regimen all the more important to them. But if your cat seems reluctant to accept tooth brushing time, you might find yourself frustrated and unsure of what to do. Don’t worry, we’ve put together a blog filled with everything you need to know about dental care for cats — including tips and tricks to make caring for their teeth so much easier. 

Common Dental Problems in Cats

Almost every dental issue a cat might face in its lifetime stems from the development of plaque and formation of tartar on the teeth. If those words sound familiar, it’s because us humans have to be mindful of plaque and tartar, too. But while we can make the conscious choice to take care of our teeth every day, our cats don’t exactly have that luxury. 

When a cat’s teeth aren’t properly cared for, common dental issues like gingivitis, periodontal disease, and tooth resorption can occur. These conditions can vary in severity but are still serious and require attention to prevent them from causing long term damage. 


Inflamed gums are usually one of the first signs that something is amiss in your cat’s mouth. As plaque accumulates on the teeth and travels deeper into your cat’s mouth, their immune system will try to fend off the bacteria, resulting in what we commonly call gingivitis. Fortunately, gingivitis is easily preventable with proper attention and care! 

Periodontal Disease

When left untreated, gingivitis often forewarns the development of periodontal disease. Periodontal Disease causes weakened teeth and bone as well as constant gum inflammation thanks to spreading bacteria. While gingivitis can be treated, the impacts of Periodontal Disease cannot be reversed. Because Periodontal Disease often becomes a lifelong condition, it’s important to recognize the early signs and provide your cat with preventative measures. 

Tooth Resorption

Tooth resorption is an incredibly painful condition that occurs when the tooth begins to break down and reabsorb itself. Because cats aren’t usually prone to developing cavities, if you notice a hole in your cat’s teeth, they might be experiencing tooth resorption and it’s important that you schedule a vet appointment for a closer examination. Depending on the state of your cat’s teeth, the vet might opt to fill in the hole — similar to how cavities are filled in — or extract the tooth. Either way, your cat’s discomfort should hopefully be lessened!

Five Ways to Make Taking Care of your Cat’s Teeth Easier

  1. Get them acclimated to the feeling of having their teeth brushed
  2. Supplement their dental regimen with dental chews. Our favorites are made by Ark Naturals and feature a toothpaste center
  3. Make tooth brushing time a positive experience with lots of rewards
  4. Take them to their yearly teeth cleaning
  5. Check their teeth regularly and contact your vet if anything looks wrong