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Cat dental care

(11 Posts)
RightsaidFreud Mon 24-Sep-12 13:04:31

Hi,

Just wondering if any of you do anything regularly to care for your cats teeth? Our 6 year old cats teeth are looking rather yellow and he has stinky breath. Just wondering if there is anything we can do/give him. Is dry food better for preventing tooth decay? He doesn't have any loose teeth and is eating well (a little too well sometimes!)

Paiviaso Mon 24-Sep-12 16:06:30

No I don't, I can't imagine they'd be up for it even with a lot of training. I just feed them the healthiest diet I can.

I think the thought behind dry food is that it "rubs" their teeth and therefore cleans them, but dry food is not a suitable diet for cats, and they don't even really chew it so I'm not sure how the teeth are getting cleaned. You can feed raw chicken wings or similar now and then to get them using their teeth on a bone, this is much healthier and more stimulating for them then a bowl of kibble.

cozietoesie Mon 24-Sep-12 17:39:36

Hi RightsaidFreud

When did he last see the vet? Mine said recently that even young cats in her practice are showing increasing signs of dental problems and your post that he's stinky breathed would make me want to maybe take him down for a quick look see if he hadn't been to the vet recently. (Your call really on the degree of smell - cats breath would often smell a bit fishy or something but I don't think it should be truly stinky.)

The fact that he's eating well and his teeth don't seem loose is not necessarily a sign that he hasn't got problems either. They'll often cover up pain.

My current senior boy is so old that he only has four teeth left but I don't do anything in particular for younger cats - a chicken bone to chew on seems to be favoured by them - although you should make sure that you use organic free range chicken. (Sorry if that sounds precious but it's simply that the bones on these fowl are healthier and don't splinter much if at all.)

tabulahrasa Mon 24-Sep-12 19:35:42

The vet can clean and sort them if there are any issues (it does require them to be knocked out though)

You can brush them, you get pet toothpaste and stuff - I've never had any success with them though. You get things to put in water as well.

Mine chew dry food...
I know there are health issues with feeding just dry food - but some in addition to their normal food shouldn't cause any problems.

Raw chicken bones as other people have said and hunting is good as well, I don't know how you arrange that if they don't do it already though, lol.

Also look at the food you're feeding - some of it is quite sugary.

cozietoesie Mon 24-Sep-12 19:37:36

I tried the cat toothpaste/brush, tabulah. Maybe it works if you start them young but in my book it sits up there with trying to bath them!

pegster Mon 24-Sep-12 19:42:50

Brushing daily with a pet toothpaste would be the 'gold standard' but it's hard to introduce in an adult cat.
Dental diets made by the big brands have larger kibble so they have to chew rather than just swallow plus they have some teeth cleaning enzymes in them similar to those in toothpaste. They are very good for keeping teeth clean but not brilliant for cleaning pre-existing tartar.
If the teeth are already stained and there's some halitosis its worth seeing your vet to see if a scale and polish would be beneficial before you start a home care regime
Good Luck

tabulahrasa Mon 24-Sep-12 20:32:15

I've had my two since kittens, they were having none of toothbrushing then either...they'll eat the toothpaste if I don't muck about with it by trying to get it on their teeth - but I thought that was a bit pointless, lol

dikkertjedap Mon 24-Sep-12 23:02:54

I would ask the vet to check during the annual check up and feed them dry food which at least according to my vet is better for their teeth. I feed them Dr Hills but Royal Canin is also good.

Devilforasideboard Tue 25-Sep-12 11:34:03

I brush one of my cats teeth every day (luckily it's the more placid one who has the dodgy teeth, the other one wouldn't let me near him). Started when he was about two so it is possible. He won't tolerate the firm toothbrushes, it has to be a microfibre one. I use a toothpaste that will still work if it's not actually brushed on his teeth just put in his mouth as well.

RightsaidFreud Tue 25-Sep-12 12:20:21

Thanks so much for all your replies. Will get the vet to have a good check of his teeth when i next take him, which will be in the next 4 weeks. Will look at cutting back on his wet food and introducing a bit more dry food if this can help his teeth.

cozietoesie Tue 25-Sep-12 17:40:31

Do try a bone, RightsaidFreud. If you buy some chicken drumsticks and saw off enough meat from one to remove the long thin sharp-tipped bone that sits close to the big bone (sorry for the physiological incompetence here) then that should be fine and enjoyable for him. I'm sure that many cats will manage that thin bone fine but it's just that it always makes me edgy.

If they suit, then you could wrap them up individually and freeze for as required. If they don't suit - Hey. You've got a casserole!

smile

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