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Feline Dental Care

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Cleo38, May 30, 2010.


  1. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Does anyone here regularly clean their cats teeth? All my cats (past & present) seem to have suffered from gingivitis at some point & have had to undergo tooth extraction/cleaning under GA at the vets.
    I've just noticed that Winnie now has an abcess where where a tooth has fallen out (or broken off) & the back teeth are quite badly coated in tartar. It hasn't stopped her eating (suprise, suprise) & I only noticed it last night when she yelped whilst having her face stroked.
    I've tried brushing their teeth .... it was a disaster, used tooth paste that doesn't require brushing (rubbish) & fed them some dried food mixed in with their wet food but they both still have bad teeth.
    Can anyone recommend anything that would help remove the tartar or stop any more build up? I don't expect them to have gleaming, white smiles but just don't want them to be in any discomfort from this
     
  2. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    I think if the tartar build-up is quite bad then only a proper vet clean will get it sorted (because as you say it would require a GA that decision shouldn't be made lightly but if it is causing her pain then maybe it is time for that).

    Once the teeth have been professionally cleaned you could either start the dental brushing routine again (using a pet tooth brush and cat toothpaste - there is a good link about how to approach this sensibly over time on the web) or you could start feeding a few pieces of raw beef or lamb a few times a week (about goulash size so that she needs to chew properly and cannot just gulp it down in one go). Or even some chicken bones if she still has useable teeth left.

    Dry food doesn't really help cat's dental health - that is a myth. Most kibble is too small for cats to chew properly. Also, the kibble sometimes can get stuck between the teeth, so not ideal for dental health.
     
  3. billyboysmammy

    billyboysmammy PetForums VIP

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    agree completely with hobbs advice.

    The advice often touted about dry food is a complete myth. The most recent research into it has actually proven its worse for teeth than feeding wet.

    I too would echo the advice about raw. If they have enough usable teeth then i would feed a raw chicken wing each week. Dont worry if they just faff about with it and hardly eat much... its the chewing your encouraging.

    Some other things to try to get them cleaning their own teeth...

    bulls pizzles and venison ears from a doggy section of the pet shop (make sure they are unsweetned and unsalted)

    whole carcass raw (e.g. frozen mouse or chick from the reptile section of the pet shop)

    puppy rope toys... the ones made from dental floss... play games with the cat with these



    NB: if your cats current dentition is terrible then nothing will make it go away apart from a good clean at the vets. The above arent cures, they are preventatives. You must let the vet give them the dental first before trying anything else.

    Another good tip is if you can find a good cat groomer in your area. Within the whole package it usually involves a very thorough cleaning of your cats teeth. Well worth the expense twice a year for a thorough clean without the risks of anaesthetics. This is again only suitable once you have solved the initial problem and you are preventing any further heavy build up... while they are in pain the vet is the only option.

    hope it helps x
     
  4. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for the advice. They both don't seem to be in any pain from the tartar build up but I'm concerned that this will lead to eventual problems. winnie will be going to the vets tomorrow as her gum where her tooth is missing/broken is obviouisly painful.
    I have tried so many times with tooth brushing but it just ends up with them getting very distressed & me covered in scratches. The food idea is probably the best for preventing any further problems; they NEVER turn down food!! I'll just have to supervise this as I can see them all squabbling if one finishes the chew first!
    I'll definitely have a look at cat groomers as well; I've considered it in the past but have always been worried that Basil would end up hurting them as he is quite large & gets quite grumpy about being handled when he doesn't want to be ... I have the scars to prove it!:eek:
     
  5. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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  6. HollyM

    HollyM PetForums VIP

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  7. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Just to check ... is there any danger of them choking on a raw chicken wing? Basil is so greedy with his food, especailly unusual treats that he tends to swallow pieces that are too large for him, then coughs them back up to re-eat - it's lovely to watch!! :eek6: I've always been overly careful not to give them anything with bones in (probably why they've got bad teeth! :frown: ).... maybe I'm just worrying too much
     
  8. Tje

    Tje Banned

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    I started my own two on raw chicken wings about 8 weeks ago. The younger one won’t look at them. In the beginning I had to kinda help my eldest by using a fine knife to “loosen” the meat off the bone a bit so she could pull if with her teeth, I tried battering with a rolling pin too, lol – (the chicken wing, not my cat!). Slowly but surely she finally got the hang of getting the meat off the bone, but ignored the bone completely. Then finally on Saturday she chewed her first wing bone (YEAH!), last few nights she is chewing, breaking and crunching them like no ones business. I think there must be some risk of choking … but dental disease is a real risk too… so the way I see it as a trade off of sorts, and I try to remind myself this would be more like their natural diet (but yes I do worry she chokes, lol). What I also love to see, it’s like the chicken wing is mentally stimulating for her too… it’s kinda cute to see and entertaining to watch.

    (p.s. this cat is 9 years old and got her first piece of raw minced meat around February, chunks of meat soon after and first meat on the bone around April, then maybe 2 months of perseverance till she got to tacking the actual bone)
     
  9. billyboysmammy

    billyboysmammy PetForums VIP

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    omg that made me lol!


    hiya hun

    there is always always a risk of choking on any food, quite a high one with dry food actually, due to its small size it easily blocks the windpipe. I would be lying if i didnt say there wasnt a small risk, but like anything its about balancing that risk.

    To reduce the risk there are some big do's and donts for the first few times...

    Do - hack at the meat on the bone to loosen it but not the bone itself
    Do - bash the bone with a rolling pin to help break it up
    Do - hold onto the other end of the wing if you think you have a greedy guts on your hands who will just wolf it down.

    Dont - ever ever ever cut the bone with a knife or scissors into smaller chunks. You are almost guarenteed problems if you do.
    Dont - ever ever ever feed cooked bones
    Dont - feed more than 10% of their diet as bones

    As for never giving them bones before.. welcome to the club. We all get told never feed cooked bones, but we assume the same is for raw too! You should NEVER feed any animal a cooked bone. Cooked bones splinter and harden, causing all sorts of problems from choking, to gastrointestinal punctures.

    I wish my reluctant girl would start to eat wings like TJE's :rolleyes:. I have a girl here who has been here eating a raw diet for the whole time here, however she will not eat a raw wing. She will chew it now but never eat it which is why i use a complete raw mince with ground bones to ensure she gets enough. Fussy little mare!
     
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