Cat Dental Care : Stop The Plaque Attack
Not gonna sugarcoat it: cat teeth cleaning isnt cheap! .
That makes the saying prevention is the best measure a literal gem of advice and it all starts with removing plaque from your cats teeth.
Plaque is a sticky, clear substance that naturally forms after your cat eats. When plaque isnt removed, it hardens into tartar within a matter of days.
Removing plaque from your cats teeth is the KEY to keeping your cats teeth and gums in good health, preventing tartar buildup, and avoiding the sting of expensive cleanings.
How Much Does It Cost To Clean A Cat’s Teeth
The cost for dental cleanings can vary considerably, depending on the extent of the dental disease whether extractions are required geographic location and your pets age, weight and any underlying conditions , Dr. Richardson told The Dodo.
The average cost can usually range from $200 to around $1,500, and you can get an estimate from your vet to find out how much it would cost for your cat.
You should also budget for a pre-operative exam to ensure your pet is healthy and ready to undergo anesthesia, Dr. Richardson said.
Teeth cleanings arent covered by most pet insurance plans, but you can usually get a wellness plan add-on that covers routine vet visits and preventative care.
dental coverage many other insurance plans will only cover care for certain teeth!)
Dental cleanings are typically not covered by pet insurance, although some plans may include them as part of a wellness package , Dr. Richardson said.
You may run into additional costs if your cat has a cavity or needs a tooth pulled. But if his tooth issue is caused by an injury, treatment to fix it may be covered under an accident-only or accident and illness pet insurance plan.
Dental issues caused by a specific injury may be included in some plans, Dr. Richardson said.
How Often Should I Get My Cats Teeth Professionally Cleaned
It would be best if you got your cat a professional cleaning once per year. Your vet can use special tools to help them remove any buildup on the teeth and gum line.
At home, you should keep up with routine care, brushing roughly three times per week. Brushing your cats teeth isnt a substitute for annual cleanings.
Read Also: Aphelandra Squarrosa Cats
Gels And Water Additives
Okay, so the fourth thing that we can use to keep cats’ teeth clean is, we can use oral gels or water additives. Now, these are things, in the case of oral gels, are something you dab into your cat’s mouth, on their teeth or gums. Ideally, you’d rub it in but you don’t have to. Just popping in and there is all that’s needed. In the case of water additives you actually add the liquid to the water, and then when your cat has a drink it sloshes around their mouth. We tend to recommend something called Maxiguard Oral Gel. And that does seem to make a difference in just slowing down the formation of plaque into tartar. It reduces that tartar formation.
And so, what happens in normal dental disease is you get a film of plaque forming on the teeth. In a day or two that then, starts to develop into tartar. And that tartar is what you see when you see the kind of yellow brown deposits on the surface of your tooth. Once that’s there, then that starts to cause problems with the gums. It starts to cause destruction of the bony socket. And that’s when we get irreversible dental disease. So, if we are stopping the formation of tartar, then that’s really going to help.
These gels and water additives can work in a number of ways. They will either help clean their mouths, by reducing the bacterial load,. Or they will actually stop the chemical reaction of tartar formation.
Feline Dental Cleanings In Mandeville
Teeth cleaning is an essential part of every cat’s healthcare routine, and while your furry friend is unlikely to thank you right away, it will pay off in the long run, and it is one of the simplest ways to help keep your cat healthy because dental care is a critical component of your pet’s long-term health plan.
Because of a lack of brushing and professional cleanings, many pets have poor dental hygiene, which can lead to gingivitis or even gum disease. Cats, in particular, are predisposed to periodontal disease, making it critical to maintain your feline happy and healthy with frequent check-ups and tooth cleanings.
Your veterinarian will examine your cat’s oral health at annual checkups, but there may come a time when your cat requires a proper cleaning since, cats may develop plaque buildup on their teeth if they are not regularly cleaned. If this plaque is allowed to solidify and develop tartar, it may be highly painful to the gums and may result in tooth loss. Not only that, but poor oral health can lead to heart or renal problems in your cat, so it’s important to be firm about brushing time.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CAT NEEDS A DENTAL CLEANING?
Regular inspection of your pet’s mouth is crucial to detect dental disease in its early stages, therefore in order to avoid these potentially fatal consequences, keep an eye out for symptoms of tooth decay or disease.
- Bad breath
- Pawing at the face and/or mouth
- Difficulty chewing
- Loose or broken teeth
- Dropping food from the mouth
You May Like: How To Train A Kitten To Not Bite
How Often Is It Necessary To Clean A Cats Teeth
The recommended frequency of cleaning your cats teeth depends upon several factors such as:
- existence of other health conditions
Regardless of signs or symptoms, your cat should have a dental checkup annually at a minimum. While you should be looking at your cats teeth periodically yourself, it is easy to miss the types of problem signs that a trained and experienced veterinarian will pick up on. It is significantly easier to address and resolve dental issues that are spotted early, compared to dental issues that go unnoticed and are allowed to further develop. Therefore, a proactive approach to feline dentistry is recommended.
Many cats will allow you to brush their teeth. You should brush your cats teeth daily with specially designed brushes and feline hygiene products. Our technicians are trained to provide instructions on how you can brush your cats teeth at home. Let us work with you to ensure the best possible dental health for your cat.
Certain Treats Can Actually Help Reduce Tartar
Not all dental chews and treats for cats are equal. Make sure that any products you choose to use are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council . Approved products have met a standard of effectiveness and gone through clinical trials.
Some examples of VOHC-approved products for cats include Greenies, Dentalife by Purina, and Dentabites from Whiskas.
Tartar-control treats and chews alone are not sufficient for effectively cleaning your cats teeth, but they can be used in moderation alongside a daily toothbrushing routine and a healthy diet.
You can even try using healthy chews and treats as a reward for good behavior while getting your cat used to having their teeth cleaned.
You May Like: Blue Buffalo Grain Free Cat Food
How To Brush Your Cat’s Teeth
If your goal is to ease your cat into a new toothbrushing routine,, the most important thing is to keep them relaxed and clam throughout the whole process. Here are the steps to brushing your cat’s teeth:
Some cat owners are successful in cleaning their cat’s teeth using a finger brush, others use a soft gauze. Another approach is to apply dental gel to your cat’s teeth with a soft implement and let it do the work itself.
Feed Dental Treats And Chews
Not only are treats a delicious reward for your pet, they can also be used to clean your cats teeth. Dental treats are formulated with a texture that helps to scrub your cats teeth as they chew, preventing plaque and tartar from building up. Further, the ingredients contain essential vitamins and minerals that benefit your cats health and promote fresh breath. While dental treats should not solely be relied on for dental hygiene, they are a useful addition to your cats home dental care program.
Recommended Reading: Shirts With Kittens On Them
Professional Cat Dental Care
Professional cat teeth cleaning is essential for removing tartar and keeping your cats teeth and gums in good condition.
Rigorous and diligent tooth brushing and preventative care arent sufficient for cats. Professional dental cleaning by your veterinarian is an important part of their care.
Even some younger kitties need professional dental cleaning from time-to-time. We cant simply ask our feline side-kicks to open wide while we set to work. Therefore, cats need a general anesthetic for a complete oral examination and thorough clean.
There are a few reasons for this:
- Your veterinarian needs to be able to fully visualize your kittys mouth. This allows for a thorough inspection of any cavities or evidence of gum disease.
- The many nooks and crannies in cats teeth take time to clean properly. Patience isnt a well-known trait in most kitties.
- The anesthetic allows the protection of your kittys airway as well. A special tube is placed in your pets airway when under anesthetic. This tube delivers anesthetic gas and oxygen. The tube also prevents any debris during the cleaning process from being aspirated into your kittys lungs. Inhaling debris increases the risk of your pet developing pneumonia. Sedation is rarely enough for a thorough clean unless your kitty cannot undergo anesthesia for health reasons. This is because, unlike anesthesia, sedation doesnt provide the same airway protection.
What Should I Feed My Cat To Avoid Dental Issues
Similarly to humans, providing cats with a healthy and balanced diet will limit the chance of dental problems. Although diet alone will not control plaque, specially formulated dental diets may help to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Avoid feeding them sugary treats. Although sugar isnt poisonous to cats, it has no nutritional value and can erode enamel, leading to tooth decay and even dental disease. Instead, take a look at what to feed your cat in our guide.
You May Like: My Cat’s Whisker Fell Out
Annual Dental Checkups For Optimal Feline Oral Health
The next time you’re booking a checkup for your cat with you vet, be sure to ask them about including an oral exam. This will give your veterinarian the chance to evaluate your cat’s oral health as well as their general physical health. They can let you know afterwards whether your feline friend requires professional dental cleaning or surgery.
Coconut Oil And Kelp Diy Cat Toothpaste
Coconut oil contains natural antioxidants, and its antibacterial.
Seaweed helps soften plaque and tartar. This makes it easier to scrape off.
Most cats love the taste of coconut oil because its rich in fatty acids. Youll have no problems rubbing this on your cats teeth.
Many cat dental care products contain seaweed.
You can DIY cat toothpaste easily with just these two ingredients.
If youre unable to rub your cats teeth, add a very small pinch of kelp to your cats food instead.
Buy coconut oil and sea kelp from Raw Paws Pet Food. Use code CATICLES15 for 15% off your first order.
Or you can buy from Amazon: coconut oil and kelp.
Read Also: Blue Cat Food Reviews
Give Your Cat A Plaque
I have no shame in saying it: I opted for the easy, new-school route in caring for my cats teeth. I simply put a water additive into his water bowl each day for the same benefits of brushing in way less time. Its tasteless, odorless and my cat is none the wiser about what Im doing for his health.
OK, shameless plug: I love Oxyfreshs Fresh Breath Pet Oral Care Solution because its powered by their PROVEN ingredient Oxygene® that fights plaque and bacteria.
Apple Cider Vinegar To Remove Tartar From A Dogs Teeth
A high-quality apple cider vinegar is a very popular product that many households will probably already have in their home. Although it has a number of properties that are useful with dogs, in this instance, we will be using it to quickly and easily remove tartar from your dogs teeth.
Similar to the Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Liquid Tartar Remover covered above, all you have to do is add a few drops to your dogs water. Add one teaspoon to thirty-two ounces of water and put the mixture into your dogs drinking bowl. As your dog drinks its water, the apple cider vinegar will be washed over its teeth and gradually break the tartar down.
Although this will work, it tends to be much slower than using a specifically designed product such as Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Liquid Tartar Remover.
Recommended Reading: How To Draw A Cat Head
You May Like: Stop Cat Scratching Door
Dont Ignore Bad Breath
That mild fishy scent known as “kitty breath” may seem normal to pet parents, but if your cat has bad breath, this is a strong indicator that they have dental problems.
If left untreated, your cats breath is only going to get worse. When an animal has bad breath and is drooling, the cause is often related to gum disease and/or tooth decay.
Occasional bleeding gums are nothing to become too alarmed about, but if your cat has a combination of bleeding gums and bad breath, and these symptoms are accompanied by drooling, then your cat likely needs a deep cleaning or even a tooth extraction.
Develop A Daily Dental Care Routine
Just like us, our cats need a daily oral health and dental care routine to ensure their teeth remain as clean as possible. Its a good idea to get your kitten used to having their teeth brushed when they are young.
Get your vets blessing to do this first, since even kittens can have oral health issues that will need to be resolved before you can brush their teeth.
Youll probably have more success if you gradually ease your cat into this routine. Wait until hes calm and relaxed, and take these steps:
Also Check: Blue Buffalo Flaked Cat Food
The Pawsitives Of Cat Dental Cleaning
- Bad breath is often the first warning sign of gingivitis in cats. A mild, fishy scent is normal. Anything stronger than that is not.
- Pain: Inflamed gums hurt!Sadly, its a cats instinct to hide its pain, so you may not even know if your cat is suffering.
- Cat Teeth Problems: As gum disease progresses, the teeth can actually pull away from the gums, leading to tooth loss.
- Shorter Lifespan: Bacteria from periodontal disease can travel from the cats mouth to the bloodstream, affecting organs like the heart, liver and kidneys. Thats why periodontal disease is known to decrease a pets lifespan by 25 years!
Signs Your Cat Is Due For A Cleaning Or Might Have A Mouth
Here are some signs that your cats gums or teeth may be at risk:
- Bad breath: The bacteria that causes plaque will also cause foul, stinky breath in cats.
- Blood on dry food: Inflamed gum tissue will often bleed, and you will likely notice this first on dry food, toys, and other items your cat bites or licks.
- Pus or swelling: If you see any pus or swelling in your cats mouth, its a sure sign that you need to get their teeth checked out and cleaned.
- Red gums: Healthy gum tissue is pink, but redness indicates inflammation or infection.
- Excessive drooling: Most cats dont drool very much, so if yours is drooling a lot, it could point to a mouth-related issue.
- Trouble chewing food: If your cat seems like they lost their appetite or theyre avoiding eating, oral pain or discomfort could be causing it.
It wont always be obvious that your cat is suffering from dental problems, especially if they just began. Incorporate the best practices weve talked about into your cats routine so you never leave your cats oral health up to chance.
Also Check: Blue Buffalo Freedom Cat Food Reviews