Clean canines will make your cat smile

Your cat's smile isn't just about fresh breath and sparkling teeth. It's also about keeping your cat healthy and in tip-top shape so you can enjoy snuggles and nuzzles for years to come. Discolored teeth and bad breath may seem a little icky, but did you know that they can often be indicators of poor cat oral health and may be linked to other conditions that can become serious if left untreated?

Periodontal disease is one of the most common cat health conditions, affecting up to 70%† of cats over three years old. If you leave your irresistibly cute cat untreated, he or she may experience severe pain or tooth loss. So don't be afraid to show your cat love by checking its teeth regularly. It's not going to hurt, we promise!

First, lift your cat's lips away from the gums and press a finger firmly on a spot over an upper tooth. In healthy gums, the white color of the finger imprint on the gum will return to pink when you take your finger away.

Next, after some good nuzzles, inspect your cat's teeth for yellow to dark brown tartar build-up, which can eventually lead to loss of teeth and may diminish of overall cat health.

The last step in keeping your cat healthy as can be is starting an oral care routine. This should include brushing your cat's teeth regularly with a specially designed pet toothbrush and toothpaste and treating your furry friend with cat treats, such as TEMPTATIONS™ Treats for Cats are approximately 2 calories per piece Dentabites®, specially designed for oral care.

It may take some patience to get your cat used to a tooth brushing, but it's worth it! And he or she will forget all about it after hearing the shake of the TEMPTATIONS™ bag.

† Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition