or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Dental Care
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Dental Care

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Do you take your cat to the vet for regular dental care?

The last few times I've taken my 6-year-old kitty in for shots or regular visits, the vet mentions that we need to have his teeth cleaned. There have been cats in my family for my entire life, and growing up I have no recollection whatsoever of my parents ever even considering such a thing. Were they particularly neglectful, or is feline dental care unusual?
post #2 of 6
It's certainly not unusual but often most people don't think of having to brush their cat's teeth and feline dental care tends to be the most neglected health need. I know growing up my parents never brought the family cat in for a dental cleaning but nowadays it's a lot more common.

None of my cats has had a dental cleaning but I do check their teeth and gums quite often to check for tartar build up and regularly give them tartar control treats. With some cats this is not enough and they need to have a cleaning done by their vet periodically.

If your vet recommends a cleaning then it's probably time. Cats can get periodontitis that is caused when food build up remains on the teeth, it hardens to what is called calculus that begins to build up under the gum line. It's a painful and progessive disease that causes immflammation and eventually tooth loss.

If you catch it early it's much easier to take care of and you save your cat alot of grief. Maybe you can talk with your vet about establishing a regular dental routine with your kitty to keep dental cleanings from being a frequent thing.
post #3 of 6
Actually, the dental care for cats is a serious issue. Many people don't know they need to consider brushing kitty's teeth, and it can lead to great problems down the road. Both potentially in terms of pain (cats hide it so well half of their teeth can be rotten with exposed nerves and you might not know) and in terms of illness related to rotten teeth. There have been many painful and sad stories here.

There is a page about dental care and brushing cats' teeth on The Cat Site:


And here's a link to someone who didn't know about brushing either:


I'm glad I had the chance to learn very early into my cats' lives about the need to brush. We started by massaging their gums, and then we use one of those brushing things for cats that you stick on the end of your finger.

Good luck!
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the information! I think I will schedule an appointment for his initial cleaning.

I'm having nightmares picturing us trying to brush his teeth, though! He is a big, strong cat!
post #5 of 6
It will definitely take time and patience! We were lucky and started early - but even then it took time. After just a few days of rubbing his gums, Sheldon didn't mind the brushing at all. Lazlo hates it, and we still have to get it done with lots of praise and treats along the way.

...But apparently they can have teeth problems just like we do, and I don't want my kitties to ever have to know that pain. I just thank the people who posted, so that I could learn from their experiences.

post #6 of 6
Also along with brushing(btw GOOD LUCK!!) you can try a diet that is made to help prevent tartar build up on teeth. I've heard some good reviews from Hill's T/D which you can get from your veterinarian.

It helps to, since your cat probably only sees the vet for an exam maybe twice a year, to look at his teeth on your own and to know how to spot an early problem. Bad breath is one sign, though it doesn't always mean they have dental disease though. Look for red and swollen gums, a yellowish brown crust along the gum line, bleeding gums, pain when you touch the gums or mouth and any tooth that is discolored.

If you notice any of those signs it's probably best to bring him to the vet for a dental exam. Once again good luck with the tooth brushing!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Dental Care