Took Mr Fat Cat in for his yearly check today and was told that he has quite bad gingivitis He is around 3.5 years old.
I've been sent away with some beef toothpaste, a toothbrush, some powder to sprinkle on his food, an appointment for dental treatment in 10 days time and a huge guilty conscience. I hope he won't need any gnashers removed. I had no idea you were supposed to brush cat teeth?!
Wet food has now been banned.
He doesn't appear to be in any pain. He eats well, doesn't drool or paw at his mouth. He does have bad breath though.
Please help me feel like less of a terrible cat parent.
It's not your fault at all. No sane person attempts to brush a cat's teeth, unless it is a very laid back cat indeed. And dried food isn't necessarily better than wet, and is much, much more likely to cause urinary blockages, which can be fatal and is worse than gingivitis.
The cat is very young for this to have been caused by the type of food or whatever. It is much more likely to be the result of an old infection. For example bad cat flu early in life can lead to gingivitis quite young, as can other health problems. Or it could just be genetics.
I'd be surprised if you can reverse it with food and brushing. It may need to be extractions. But, whatever, this is definitely not your fault and your cat has seen a vet and it will be sorted somehow. So you are in fact being a good cat mother.