HomeCat Healthdental healthFebruary is National Pet Dental Health Month: Prevention is better than cure


February is National Pet Dental Health Month: Prevention is better than cure — 6 Comments

  1. Dental health for cats is a complicated issue, especially for those of us struggling to meet just basic costs. I feed Greenies, which I hear my cats crunch on — they do not swallow them whole — and I add TropiClean liquid to their water. This is an additive which claims to keep cats’ teeth free of plaque and eliminate the need for brushing. Whether it lives up to that or not, I don’t know; I am doing the best I can for my beloved cats — that I do know.

    • Hi, my cats won’t go for Greenies at all.
      Any other suggestions?
      Please respond on some of the other articles that aren’t Jo’s. I respect your opinion.
      How do you feel about declawing?
      How do you feel about mandatory microchipping?

      • Hey, Dee! Nice to see you here again (I’m a cheerer for BCR, in case you don’t remember). On microchipping, my cats have never been chipped, as they are indoor only cats and I am very careful (also, there are lots of doors in our house, lol). On declawing, it’s not printable on this nice site — but to clean it up, NO WAY, NO HOW, NOT EVER unless it is for the health of the cat — I can’t imagine an instance of that, but perhaps an impacted/infected claw?) On dental treats, other brands do make treats they tout as being good for cats’ teeth; I believe Purina does, and Friskies, and probably some of the other “healthy, natural” (i.e, PRICEY) ones. I feed my loved ones the BEST possible but I am not a zillionaire, so I do have to be careful. I don’t want to feed them junk, either; so it’s a delicate balance. I’ve actually heard that raw chicken necks are very good for cats’ teeth; I’ve never fed them to my cats as salmonella is a concern. The dental water-additive liquids such as TropiClean might work for you. IDK how effective they are, but I do use them. Good luck! 🙂

  2. I tend to believe that teeth cleaning is another big ticket vet item. I believe that most domesticated cat caretakers routinely look at their cats’ teeth. Build up and discoloration are easy to see. There are many dental products on the shelves, but it’s very confusing as to what are the best.
    I have a lot of respect for Dr. Fogle but disagree with his recommendation of poultry bones. They have a tendency to splinter and can puncture any portion of the alimentary canal from the esophagus to the intestine. I try to avoid emergencies as much as possible.
    The butcher at my Publix market will sell, sometimes give, me huge ham or beef bones that my cats can gnaw on. They don’t splinter at all. And, when they grow tired of chewing on them, they turn them into toys to bat around.
    There are, ofcourse, cases of dental issues that can only be taken care of by a vet. I just dealt with one of those. I had a very emaciated old boy appear here that had such a serious overbite that his fangs were digging into his lower “lip”. He had a very nasty abscess on one side, and his fangs had to be extracted just so he would be able to eat. I was terrified that he wouldn’t survive the anesthesia in his poor state of health. But, I’m happy to say that he is thriving now.

  3. Michael,

    When done correctly daily brushing of our cat’s teeth can help keep dental problems at a minumum. Cats do get used to having their teeth brushed, and have no issues with it once they get used to it. Even taking a piece of moistened gauze, cotton or a washcloth and rubbing it over the teeth and gums can help to keep tartar away.

    The problem is that dry food does nothing to keep cat’s teeth clean, according to Dr. Jean Hofve.


    Most cats don’t chew dry food. Instead they swallow it whole. So if the dry food does’t make contact with the teeth and gums, how can it help to keep their teeth clean and get rid of the tartar which causes so many oral problems?

    As Dr. Jean reminds us, dry food is always just for the “convenience of the guardians.”

    So these products that are tauted as a great way to clean cat’s teeth is simply a marketing strategy, and is, in fact, no benefit to the cat.

    Yes, starting to clean cat’s teeth when they are young, just like trimming their nails, is always the best way to go- but with patience and consistency, older cats can learn to accept this part of kitty care- without the guardian losing a finger!

  4. You speak a lot of good sense and it’s a good article. However, I am not yet convinced that it is possible to consistently clean a cat’s teeth effectively.

    What I am saying is that we are almost compelled to take our cat to the vet for teeth cleaning.

    Dr Fogle recommends that we feed our cats with chicken with bones in the chicken. For example, chicken wings might be good. The idea is that the bone cleans the teeth. Also, this replicates what happens in the wild.

    Even this I believe is not particularly practical. I put some chicken with bones down for Gabriel. He didn’t eat it. He ate a bit of the meat but not the bone.

    I’m currently using Royal Canin Dental. This is dry cat food. The pellets are particularly large. Also they say it prevents calcium buildup or something like that.

    The big problem we have really is cleaning our cat’s teeth and yes they can be trained from a young age to do it (possibly) but it is so unnatural for a cat to have his teeth cleaned and in practice I believe it is all but impossible for the average cat guardian.

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