HomeCat Healthdental healthBrush your Cat’s Teeth: Keep Kitty’s Mouth Clean and Healthy!

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Brush your Cat’s Teeth: Keep Kitty’s Mouth Clean and Healthy! — 13 Comments

  1. A tough subject for me. With so many ferals who may slice my throat if I approached with a brush, the best I can do is what I do… I hang for hours with them watching them eat. That’s how I discovered that Cora, who is approaching 10 years old, was having a problem. After I tackled her and tossed her in a trap to take to the vet, she had to have nearly every one of her teeth pulled. So now, I just call her aside and feed her soft foods. I have to stay, ofcourse, to make sure she’s eating and no other rascal is stealing her food.
    I want to interject here so people know that feral caretakers do so much more than feed, water, spay/neuter. They know their cats and safeguard their health.

    • Dee I just want to express my deep admiration for what you do for feral kitties and of course pet cats. I think that folks who care for colonies deserve the greatest respect for the hard work that they do to keep these colonies thriving and it goes without saying trapping and neuter/spaying them is just what the colonies need. TNR is crucial. I just wanted to give you special thanks and admiration!!! You rock!!!

      • Thank you for the kind words, Jo. I’ll remember yours with some others on those days when it’s so very hard.
        There are so many wonderful feral caretakers around that I stand in awe of. Some could run circles around me even though I’m a pretty “whirly” girl.

  2. Cats in their natural habitat do NOT get their teeth brushed by humans. I believe this to be just one more money-making greed scheme designed to pressure the gullible into doing something else in a never-ending quest for “perfection”. That said, my beloved cats get high-quality dry food free choice, and I put a dental additive in one of their water bowls. They are also given “dental” grain-free treats nightly.

    • Ferals get dental disease too. As to the natural habitat like for wildcats, the wildcats’ lifespan is smaller. Also, it’s not like people go around catching wildcats and checking their teeth, why do you assume they don’t get dental disease?

      • I’m sure they do, as we all did before there were toothbrushes, toothpaste, dentists, etc. But cats have survived for thousands of years without all of that. As did we.

        • Survival as a species is not the same as survival for an individuals. We survived for thousands of years as a species, but the child mortality was high, and people died earlier, and lost their teeth earlier. The life was much harder for each individual human.I seriously doubt you want to go back and live the same way as people lived in the 19th century.

          Cats are prolific breeders, wildcats less so then domestic cats, but they still produce enough kittens that even if high number dies, they’ll do OK (at lesat if humans weren’t there they would’ve). But individual cats would die sooner in the wild.

          When you have a pet, I seriously doubt you care about survival of cats as a species. I’d imagine all you pretty much care about is the lifespan and health of your own cat. So how is survival of cats as a species relevant to a question whether it makes sense to brush your own cat’s teeth to save on vets’ bills later?

          • I was born into a home “with cat” and I have cared about all cats, of all species, all my life. I work on a daily basis for cats of all species, and always will.

            • I don’t see what your personal experience with a few cats have to do with the subject at hand? Your main argument was about cats in the wild who I’d imagine don’t get dry food and dental additive in the water either, so I am not sure how your experience fits into your argument about cats in the wild. If your main argument had been related to what you do and how your method works for you, it’d be a different story.

              As to your personal experience, as any doctor or vet or any scientist will tell you “plural of anecdotes” isn’t data. Personal experience with many cats provides anecdotal information about a limited number of cats, it’s not the same as science or data about what is good in general, one would need studies for that. I am not sure if there had been specific studies on cats in terms of brushing, but at least it makes sense scientifically.

              “I had 10-20 cats and none of them had dental disease” is not a study. It’s possible that your dental additive in the water helped as well as dental treats. It’s probably not as effective as brushing, but if it works for you, great. As to dry food, while there might be slightly less dental disease with dry food, there have been studies that it increases the risk of cystitis in cats.

              Brushing is one of the ways to reduce cats’ risk of dental disease. Vets say it’s the most effective one. If your way works for you, this is great.

              • So far, there have been 67 cats in my life! So that’s not “a few cats” by many people’s reckoning. Nevertheless, I come on this site to comment and share with friends, not to engage in polemic. And yes, it does work for us, quite well.

  3. I have tried. I have dental gel and a brush in the kitchen…collecting dust. That said I have not tried with Gabriel. I should try. I give him Royal Canin Dental. Not convinced it does any good but the pellets are large (I even thought the manufacturers got the idea from me because I have written on the size of pellets before!) and they are better than conventional sized pellets.

    I watched my late boy cat Charlie swallow dry cat food pellets whole as you say so I got the idea that they are generally too small.

    Thanks for giving us optimism about brushing our cat’s teeth.

    • Try a small toothbrush that CET has. Not the one in the photo, they have a really small one. It works for me. I also give a treat. Oh, also there is a video from Cornell on how to introduce a cat to brushing.

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