Cost of cat teeth cleaning

In the West (USA, UK, Europe etc.) the cost of cat teeth cleaning by a veterinarian is high and there are dangers involved which is why in a perfect world it is better if a cat’s teeth are regularly cleaned by the owner but this is far from easy.

I don’t believe a veterinarian can or will clean the teeth of a customer’s cat without anesthetising the cat first because a professional person has to do more than just brush teeth or clean them with a machine. He/she has to check the teeth for damage, wear and tear etc. and check for gum disease. A vet can only do this to a good standard if the cat is anesthetised.

As soon as you have to put a cat under a general anaesthetic the cost climbs substantially. In London, UK, a vet will charge around £400 to clean a cat’s teeth but the service includes tooth extraction where necessary and it is often necessary. Cat oral health can be poor especially in middle-aged to older cats (drooling is one sign). This is partly because of the sticky wet food eaten and dry cat food, despite claims to the contrary, is not particularly good for mouth health either.

As for the USA I’d expect the cost to be around the dollar equivalent to British pounds, namely $400. But I could be wrong in that supposition. A quick check indicates anywhere between $250-$1000.

I can see a vet quoting varying amounts dependent on the state of health of the cat’s teeth and gums.

General anaesthetics carry health risks in cats. A cat can suffer brain damage or be killed. My research indicates a 1 in 400 chance of serious injury from a general anaesthetic. Vets will probably say the risk is near 1 in several thousand.

In conclusion, cat owners should seriously consider veterinary cat teeth cleaning before instructing their vet to proceed. I have personally failed miserably when trying to clean my cat’s teeth. Most cats will vehemently resist a toothbrush being put into their mouth even if the toothpaste tastes of tuna.

The trick is to brush the teeth of a young kitten, doing it extremely gently at first perhaps using your finger and building up to the real thing. Once a kitten is habituated to having his teeth cleaned it should be easy to do an adult cat.

I think training/conditioning a cat to accept having his teeth cleaned should be part of the service for cat breeders. All bred cats should accept it. The downside is the vets would hate this because poor oral health in cats is one of the top ten feline illnesses. Cat teeth cleaning is a bread and butter money spinner for the vets.

Photo: Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic

14 thoughts on “Cost of cat teeth cleaning”

  1. Interesting. Might have to look at taking Rebel soonish as his is blackish dont know its bad or not. Might have to look at getting some Special Cat Dental Cat Biscuits by royal canin

  2. Our cheap vet did Coral under sedation for around $100. She had a scaling and the vet also told us she was closer to 11 than 5 years old. Now we have the toothbrush and toothpaste and Laura goes around confusing them with whether its food or medicine.

  3. The cost of cat veterinary bills in the West exceeds my annual overseas tour budget !Unbelievable.Michael i hope “Charlie” is better and his upkeep proves that you are a British Millionaire.No wonder some people abandon their pets in animal shelters in the West where they are ultimately euthanized.How could a unemployed or low income individual afford a pet in the West ?

    • I was just thinking about the cost again this morning and it is a big put off for a lot of people which is why cats don’t get taken to the vet enough. Vets have a lot to answer for. London is very expensive though. I’d expect prices to be cheaper in the countryside but still fairly high.

      • I worry about a time when maybe I couldn’t afford it and wonder what I would do. I think I would sell my soul (or my body if I could find anyone that wanted it!! Lol) to pay for vet treatment. There is common sense if you are on a low income in having just one cat or 2 at a push because the worry over vets bills as you say Michael just adds to all the stress you are already feeling ;(

  4. Michael thats extortionate in London! Almost 4 times the cost! Alfie had a dental with 2 extractions and it was £120. Mind you I’m in the pet health scheme yet this wasn’t covered because the insurers state that dental issues are preventable! Yes if you can get a toothbrush in your cats mouth! In my case not so 🙁 Alfie has a mild variation of Ozzies Calichi so no in my case this is what Calichi Virus does attacks the gums so I couldn’t have prevented it. Bit unfair of the insurance companies I feel 🙁

      • I know Michael a horrible feeling being ripped off 🙁 where do you stop though when he’s your family? do you stop even? when is it time to try another vet? Will you ever because you probably think the solution may be just around the corner…… Hope Charlie is feeling better though

        • You get this terrible guilt about whether you can afford hundreds or over a thousand pounds to help your cat and then you have no choice but to spend it. You add that to the stress of your cat being ill and it is pretty stressful.

  5. Where do you start when your babies have made it to four years old in the blink of an eye? They’ve learned to actually almost ask for a manicure and then pretend I am killing them….


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