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Dental Health Care

One of the most common problems in any cat breed is that some will show signs of oral disease by the time they reach three years of age, or even sooner.  Many veterinarians recommend that you should brush your cat's teeth several times a week, preferably every day, beginning when they are a kitten.  Never use toothpaste for humans as it can upset your cat's stomach.  There are a number of flavored toothpastes for cats, some of which include poultry, seafood and malt flavors.  Tika loves the poultry flavor, although other flavors are equally appealing.  Get your cat used to the flavor of the cat toothpaste for a couple of days first before trying to brush its teeth.  A finger brush will do fine.  It is also a good idea to feed your cat plaque and tartar control foods and treats.  Ask your local veterinarian what he recommends.

Alternatives To Declawing

I cannot stress enough the importance of cats keeping the claws that they were born with.  Cats need claws to stretch, play, exercise and mark territory.  In fact, many reputable veterinarians outright refuse to declaw cats on the grounds that the operation is cruel, disfiguring and may cause the cat a great deal of both physical and physiological suffering.  The surgery involves severing the nails up to the first joint where bone, ligaments and tendons are removed.  After the operation, the cat may have recurrent infections, suffer damage to its nerves, have problems balancing and may suffer from chronic back and joint pain.  In some cases, the nails can actually grow back through the inside of the paw, not necessarily visible to our eyes, but causing a great deal of pain.  The operation may traumatize the cat so much that its personality could change.  The cat could resort to biting more often as a defense and might even refuse to use its litter box, out of pain to the paws, or to mark its territory with urine.

Some mutually satisfying alternatives to declawing include:



Provide a scratching post made with cardboard, carpet, sisal, wood, or something your cat enjoys scratching.


If your cat likes catnip, rub some onto the scratching post every few days and hang toys around it to keep your cat interested.


Keep the scratching post nearby to where your cat likes to sleep.  Cats like to scratch and stretch after they wake up.


Carefully trim you cat's nails with proper nail clippers on a weekly basis.

To keep your cat from scratching off limits furniture or to keep your cat out of houseplants, you can apply a special non-toxic sticky acrylic based tape to the area on the your cat has chosen to scratch.

You can also apply non-toxic nail caps for cats.

For more information, click on Cat Links from the menu.


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This site was last updated 10/11/03