Your cat can not eat well? It may be just one of the main symptoms of toothache in cats – here’s what to know.
Like its owner, the cat can also suffer from toothache: this problem can arise for different causes, including of course also poor oral hygiene. It is true that felines are very clean animals, but we humans must also do our own to keep its mouth always fresh and clean. Here’s everything you need to know about cat teeth and how to prevent and treat toothache in your cat.
A few hints of cat teeth
But how and how many are the teeth of our beloved feline friend? It is necessary to distinguish between a first phase (the ‘dairy’ or deciduous one) and a second (the definitive one). As for the signs inside the trunk of a tree, it is precisely from the teeth that we start to define the age of a cat whose origins we do not know.
In the first phase the teeth are 26 (13 per arch): 3 upper and 3 lower incisors, 1 upper and 1 lower canine, 3 upper and 2 lower premolars. At the final stage, 4 molars are added to the mentioned teeth (two for each dental hemiarch). And it is precisely the molar that makes the difference with human teeth: if in fact we chew food using these teeth, in the feline they have a very reduced function compared to our case. In fact, their way of eating is to divide food into more or less large pieces, which can get stuck in the teeth.
Toothache in the cat: the signs not to be underestimated
How do we tell if the cat has a toothache? They certainly don’t complain like us humans, but they still show unusual symptoms. Usually it is based on the fact that the cat has great difficulty eating and sometimes avoids the time of the meal, but also on the fact that he can suffer from bad breath, a sign that something between the teeth can be rotted. Not all owners are able to recognize dental problems as soon as they are born, but it would be advisable to keep under control the health not only of the teeth but also of the gums.
But these are not the only important signs to recognize: here are others.
- inflamed gums,
- gingival bleeding,
- lack of appetite
- irritability and aggression.
It is obvious that a cat that cannot eat or rest well will be more nervous and agitated. Understanding and solving the dental problem, however, is not only enough to solve feeding problems but also to avoid the spread of infections that could be deadly.
Dental problems of the cat: all possible causes
A necessary premise is that among the main causes of toothache in cats caries is difficult to find: in fact, in felines they are not large consumers of sugars, so most often they develop tartar but not caries on their teeth. Let’s see together what can be the main causes of these dental problems of the cat.
- Accumulation of plaque and tartar: causes inflammation and bacterial infections even very serious. Bacteria cause plaque and the latter, accumulated on the teeth and attached to calcium, forms tartar (black, rough and very difficult to remove).
- Systemic diseases: kidney failure in cats, diabetes in cats.
- Autoimmune diseases: lupus erythematosus and granuloma.
- Viral diseases: infectious rhinotrachytis, leukemia in the cat and infectious peritonitis.
- Crooked teeth.
Care and prevention of toothache in cats
First of all, good dental hygiene of the cat and periodic checks by the veterinarian can prevent or catch in the bud several causes previously listed. It is also possible to prevent them with food: chewed food in fact allows you to eliminate traces and residues of other gruel between the teeth (we consider that wet gruel and croquettes can easily get stuck). Even the use of catnip can be a valid ally in the fight against bad breath and to reassure an agitated cat. Only in the worst cases and when the veterinarian deems it appropriate, the cat will have to undergo tooth removal surgery.