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Cat dental health is often overlooked, likely because our cats are so independent and we assume they mostly take care of themselves. But a healthy dental routine for your cats can have a significant impact on their overall health and lifespan.

What are the health issues associated with poor cat dental health?

In addition to causing dental problems such as, odor, buildup, bacterial infections, and gum damage and disease, poor dental health is actually directly linked to very serious overall health issues in cats. Severe dental infections can lead to heart failure, kidney failure, liver damage, a suppressed immune system, and the malfunctioning to other essential organs.

How do I know my cat needs a dental cleaning?

If you cat has never had a dental cleaning, or if it has been over a year, our veterinarians advise you to bring the cat in for a free dental exam. Once here, we can evaluate his or her teeth grade (explained below) and advise a dental care plan.

What are teeth grades?

Our veterinarians grad your cat’s teeth to better help establish a treatment plan.

Grade 0_CatGrade 0 Cat Teeth:

Little to no plaque or tarter build-up
No evident calculus accumulation
Firm, healthy, pink gums

Grade 01_Cat Dental

Grade 1 Cat Teeth:

Some plaque and tarter build up
No evident calculus accumulation
Gums may appear red or swollen

Grade 02_Cat Dental

Grade 2 Cat Teeth:

Evident plaque and tarter build up
Calculus build up
Red, swollen, possibly bleeding gums

Grade 03_Cat Dental

Grade 3 Cat Teeth:

Severe tarter build-up
Severe calculus accumulation
Severe gingivitis
Red, swollen, bleeding gums

Grade 04_Cat Dental

Grade 4 Cat Teeth:

Severe tarter and calculus build-up
Severe gingivitis
Red, swollen, bleeding gums
Likely infection
Loose teeth

How do I make sure I am taking care of my cat’s dental health ?

There are actually several things you can do to monitor cat dental health.

Become familiar with your cat’s mouth. Check for particularly bad odor and discoloration of the teeth, gums, and mouth. Also, pay attention to any difficulties your cat is having eating and chewing.

Practice at home dental care. This can include feeding cat food designed to promote dental health, tooth brushing, and dental treats or water additives to keep cat teeth clean and healthy. For tips, visit our page on at-home dental care for pets.

Schedule a free dental exam at Perrin-410 Animal Hospital so that our doctors can evaluate your cat’s teeth and advise you on a treatment plan.

Contact Us

Perrin-410 Animal Hospital


8365 Perrin Beitel Rd. San Antonio, TX 78218

Clinic Hours

Monday - Sunday: 7 AM - 11 PM Every other Saturday and Sunday: 7 am to 3 pm