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Does Anyone Brush Their Cat's Teeth?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I posted a thread a couple of weeks ago about my almost 17 y/o Sophie needing her teeth cleaned, but I'm still very concerned about anesthesia. Have been reading up on brushing your cat's teeth, and wondering if anyone does that? If so, any tips? Sophie is obviously a geriatric kitty, and really doesn't like to be handled much anymore (she has arthritis), so I don't want to put too much stress on her.
post #2 of 24
I brush my kitten's teeth, but it's easy for me since he's so little I can get it used to him now. I would see if your cat will let her stick your finger in her mouth, and if she isn't bothered by that, try putting a toothbrush (one made for cats if possible--smaller) and see how it goes.
post #3 of 24
Have brushed my one cats teeth for almost a year now. He just had teeth cleaned and now on the 30th he starts oravet(its a gel or somethign that goes on his teeth) he had real bad teeth(tartar and all wise) My otehrs all get to lick the cat toothpaste daily(I get cet for the dental cleaned one and everyone else gets petstore toothepaste) If she needs a cleaning brushing will not remove wahts already been done-it will stop the new formation. Thats what vet told me-cause I asked can't I just brush. No cause they have to go undergumline for damgae done/being done. Has she had bloodwork showing if she can handle to go under? RJ
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Sophie had bloodwork for her hyperthyroid about 6 weeks ago; it was elevated so I'm upping her meds & retesting in another 6 weeks. Of course, I didn't think to ask the vet (yet) was he thought the risk factors of anesthesia might be. Will get hold of him next week & see what he thinks.
post #5 of 24
how bad are her teeth-can she eat with no trouble? any other issues with her health? my cat toby had bad teeth but they really didnt think hed make it under and judging by that figured he didnt have much longer to live. HHe was eating with no trouble(towards end dtopped eating due to being sick not cause of teeth). he went a few months after that. RJ
post #6 of 24
I use logic gel on my cat's teeth. He did have to have his teeth cleaned under anaesthetic first though (used it occasionally beforehand but am using it regularly now). I did ask the vet when she said he needed his teeth cleaning whether I couldn't just brush them instead and she said that wouldn't be sufficient to get rid of all the tartar on them. It may be that if your vet has recommended your cat's teeth be cleaned under anaesthetic they are too far gone for brushing alone. I believe they have special anaesthetics for older cats noow and the vet will do some blood tests prior to putting her under so I wouldn't worry too much. If your vet thinks she can cope with an anaesthetic she will probably be fine - and better now than in a couple of years when she's even older. They aren't under long for a dental.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Sophie is eating just fine--too much sometimes because of her thyroid problem. It's just that her breath is sooooo stinky, and she does have a little buildup on her teeth. Will definitely ask the vet for his opinion.
post #8 of 24
I brush one my cats teeth, he is soo laid-back and gentle. He lets me do it, I use my finger. I find it too hard to use the toothbrush. A few other things work too, you can try feeding your cat tartar control and kibbles that have the tartar in them. They seem too work. I heard that science diet kibbles work really well. I brought those a few times and I have notice that there teeth are pretty white. Try buying those kibbles to see if it works.
post #9 of 24
My kitty's gums are extremely red and inflamed (she's only 15 months old and my vet is worried it could be a serious condition). Kibble and treats that help teeth won't help her because she doesn't actually chew her food... she inhales anything she's given without biting. She's very food-driven and has been eating like this since we got her. I have never seen a cat that doesn't chew kibble at all, but my vet said it's not really that rare, especially in a very food-driven cat.

She won't even let me touch her lips without freaking out and clawing me to pieces... I'm not sure there's much chance I'd be able to brush her teeth :-(
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathy14
My kitty's gums are extremely red and inflamed (she's only 15 months old and my vet is worried it could be a serious condition). Kibble and treats that help teeth won't help her because she doesn't actually chew her food... she inhales anything she's given without biting. She's very food-driven and has been eating like this since we got her. I have never seen a cat that doesn't chew kibble at all, but my vet said it's not really that rare, especially in a very food-driven cat.

She won't even let me tough her lips without freaking out and clawing me to pieces... I'm not sure there's much chance I'd be able to brush her teeth :-(
Oh my, she probably doesn't chew her food because it hurts. Also could be the reason she won't let you touch her lips. Cats get sore teeth just like people. If you can take her in to get her teeth cleaned. The vet can also get a better look at her mouth too see whats causing the inflamation.

My girls theeth are fine. But I worry about my boys. He doesn't chew on his food very much either. The last time I took him in the vet suggested I should get his teeth cleaned. But until I can afford it he said to just try and brush his gums/teeth when I can. So I plan on taking him to get his teeth cleaned soon. Brushing has been difficult but I think he's starting to get used to it.
post #11 of 24
We were at the vet yesterday... it was the vet who noticed the inflammation of the gums. I have a $600 quote for a biopsy that my other cat (Tigger) needs, and a $900+ quote for teeth cleaning and a gum biopsy for Callie (the kitten I wrote about above).

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathy14
We were at the vet yesterday... it was the vet who noticed the inflammation of the gums. I have a $600 quote for a biopsy that my other cat (Tigger) needs, and a $900+ quote for teeth cleaning and a gum biopsy for Callie (the kitten I wrote about above).

Gesh so expensive! If there is another vet nearby that you trusted I'd get another quote. My vet quoted me $300 but I don't think a biopsy is involved, perhaps your vet thinks its more serious. It's amazing what we do for our cats. If you go through with the teeth cleaning and biopsy let me know what the vet says, I'm curious to what the cause is.
post #13 of 24
Okay here's the cost estimate from my vet. We know our vet is more expensive than many (and that our area is more expensive that most other cities) but it has never been this drastic before.

Professional Care - full day.......$60
Ward Care - feline.....................24
Pre-anesthetic Profile 1 POHR...76 (bloodwork prior to dental)
Anesthetic Induction <10kg......104
Isoflurane, o2, Monitoring-30m....95
IV fluids w/ elective surg or dental..69
Dental prophy/polish/exam........75
Dental xray - first.....................51 (might not be necessary)
Dental xray - each additional....31 (might not be necessary)
Metacam Inj - up to 10kg.........24 (pain medication?)
Biopsy Gingiva........................82
Histopathology......................154
Tax........................................50
Total...................................$895

The last two are the only additional costs for the biopsy that she wouldn't have quoted in a regular dental exam. So if we didn't have the biopsy it would save $236ish and my dental would cost closer to $650.

(note that the biopsy if done separately would cost $500-$600... in this case it's a smaller incremental cost because the bloodwork is done, IV fluids, care for the day is already covered, etc).

Any thoughts, questions, suggestions?! Thanks
post #14 of 24
Shop around. A routine dental at my vet's is less than $200.
post #15 of 24
WHy do they need a biopsy??
And Xrays??? I may be off and this is normal but I have never had to pay for xray ....

Kandies dental (she is 18)
Blood work 50
fliuds 15
dental ( cleaning and anasteshia ) 100
One tooth pull 5-75 ( she didnt need it )
so her bill was 175 but wouldnt have been over 250 with an extraction
post #16 of 24
Callie's gums are really red and inflamed. She's only 15 months old, so my vet said she shouldn't have any dental issues/diseases, etc. She is worried that Callie has FORLs or a chronic oral inflammatory disease, hence the biopsy and xrays.

Is there a possibility of less serious reasons her gums could be really inflamed? The vet has me really worried with these 2 possibilities.
post #17 of 24
I would get a second opnion.. some vets are just more likely to be more invasive...
Example \\
Gigi my dog and her ears ... One vet said high risk /costly and invasive surgery
second said accupucture diet and then a much less invasive surgery .... Option b worked great but I could have done a and never known/
post #18 of 24
I have three cats and I've been brushing their teeth every other day for about 5 years with CET cat-sized toothbrushes. I've also been using Petkin Liquid Oral Care, which is added to their drinking water daily. It's really made a difference. Their bad breath is gone and the tartar on my oldest cat's teeth is almost gone.
Both of my two oldest have had extractions which made me start the brushing regimen. None of the three are crazy about it, but it's become routine to them and they tolerate it.
post #19 of 24
I only recently learned about the liquid additives for drinking water, like the one from Petkin. I was curious if they were safe and effective because I've never known anyone who used them.
post #20 of 24
i have just started with logic gel on mine, Tom and Pebbles will lick it off my finger/their paw, Martha will let me put it on her paw, and Molly's has to go in her food. Ginger has no teeth, so decided not to give him any!! Will see if it works.
post #21 of 24
I've used the additive for about 3 months now, and have been totally impressed. The cats don't know it's in the water and I'm really happy with the results. I feed my cats dry and wet food, so there are instances of stinky fishy cat food breath, but the additive has taken care of that!
post #22 of 24
We've been using the Petkin drinking water additive for a while now, I don't know if it really does anything for their teeth and gums or not, but it does help with stinky breath and the baking soda probably has some effect on the overall cleanliness of their mouth. We just started the logic gel last week and it's way too soon to see results, but they love the way it tastes, I pin them down and squeeze the tube near their mouth and they lick, and lick, and lick some more, and if I pull the tube away, they follow it looking for more From what I've read on these forums, the logic should help in the long term. Next time they're at the vet we'll see if they need a real cleaning. But I hope we can avoid that, the last one for Etain was quite traumatic and she lost two bottom teeth, so now the poor thing drools a bit

I think that standard vet advice is any cat over 8 years should have pre-op blood work to make sure they are in good health before going under. So I would say that a cat in their teens should definitely have it done. But of course before signing off on the professional cleaning, make sure it is absolutely necessary. If the vet tells you that her teeth and gums are in really bad shape, then it needs to be done to prevent serious illness. If the vet says they could do with a cleaning, maybe try brushing or something like logic gel for a while first (I got mine from petmeds uk because it's not sold in the US, it was only about $12 including shipping). And if you're not 100% comfortable with having the cleaning done, get a second opinion.
post #23 of 24
what's the website for that?
post #24 of 24
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