? Next Step: Dental Health

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Jackie & Ms. Soleil, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Jackie & Ms. Soleil

    Jackie & Ms. Soleil Member

    Mar 15, 2019
    Good Morning Everyone!

    Today I started researching different dental hygiene kits for cats. I figured trying to brush their teeth would be less expensive than buying raw chicken wings / gizzards to start off with.

    I do have a few questions for those that opt to brush their cats teeth:

    Do you use a brand that you’re extremely happy with? If so, what is your brand recommendation? So far I’ve found Arm & Hammer, Sentry, and Vetoquinol (all found on Amazon). They come with cat toothpaste, and a cat toothbrush.

    Does anyone use the finger brush? If so, do you find that method easy?
    On Amazon I’ve also seen advertised little finger brushes. They kind of look like the rubber fingers you put on to leaf through dollar bills.

    Regardless if you use a toothbrush or finger brush, if you’re performing this task alone, how are you managing?
    Soleil is a squirmer. I haven’t tried brushing her teeth yet, but I’d be the only one doing it. Do you hold them by the scruff? Wrap them in a shirt / towel?

    Has anyone tried the water additive for dental care?
    I’ve seen this on Amazon as well. The reviews are mixed; many of them being when they added it to the water their cat wouldn’t drink it. That’s the last thing I need is for either of them to be leery of the water I provide them.

    Have you had issues where they didn’t eat their food because of a possible aftertaste from the toothpaste?
    I know as a human I HATE brushing my teeth before eating. It makes my food and drink taste very different.

    Any suggestions / guidance in this regard would be greatly appreciated.
    MamaMug likes this.
  2. Erin & Scott

    Erin & Scott Member

    Jan 11, 2019
    In my opinion, most of the feline tooth brushes on the market are way too large for a cat's mouth. We got this one from our dentist, and she showed us how to use it. It's hard to describe, but she kind of put her hand over the cat's head and pulled back his lip with her thumb and forefinger. She didn't try to open his mouth, but rather, just brushed the outside surface of the teeth.

    Forget the finger brushes; they'll never fit in a cat's mouth. You can clean with a piece of gauze more easily.

    I haven't yet started the routine myself, since we've been treating ears and that caused enough stress, but the vet made it look not too difficult. One thing to watch for is the ingredient list - make sure there is no sugar. From what I'm seeing, most pet toothpastes contain sorbitol, an artificial sweetener that is okay for pets. DO NOT get anything with Xylitol - it can be fatal to pets. I doubt you'd find it in any pet products any more, but both xylitol and sorbitol are artificial sweeteners, but they're very different as far as how they affect pets!
    MamaMug and Jackie & Ms. Soleil like this.
  3. Jackie & Ms. Soleil

    Jackie & Ms. Soleil Member

    Mar 15, 2019
  4. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2017
    The dental specialist I take my girls to recommends PetSmile. You do not really have to brush the teeth. You just have to get the paste on them. They have applicators available or you can use a finger. My sister's cat loves the taste so he considers it almost like a treat. It took a little while to get him used to her using the applicator to put the paste on his teeth, but after a few times, he was fine with it.

    The specialist also strongly recommends a supplement called 1-TDC. Both of my girls are on it.
    Jackie & Ms. Soleil likes this.
  5. Jackie & Ms. Soleil

    Jackie & Ms. Soleil Member

    Mar 15, 2019
    @FurBabiesMama thank you, I’ll take a look at this as well.

    I actually found toys good for teeth cleaning as well for cats, which surprised me. You always see and hear about chew toys for dogs, but I’ve never considered that option for cats. They love to chew on / destroy a good pair of flip flops or anything rubber / plastic, so a good catnip scented chew toy will hopefully help keep up with their dental hygiene as well as either brushing or using a paste.
  6. MamaMug

    MamaMug Member

    Mar 19, 2019
    Following as I'm curious as well. I think we'll be picking up gizzards soon, but my hunch is that a few of our boys will upturn their nose to it.

    You mentioned chew toys for cats, it reminds me of something I did for Dardy when he was a kitten and teething. I took plain terry washcloths and cut them into strips, knotted the strips. I soaked them in chicken broth and threw them in the freezer. He loved chewing on them and it provided some relief. I am wondering if you could soak the knots in diluted paste or additive, and try this. This hadn't come to mind to me previously, but it would probably be more effective than us trying to brush, which I assume would be met with a lot of resistance.
    Jackie & Ms. Soleil likes this.
  7. Jackie & Ms. Soleil

    Jackie & Ms. Soleil Member

    Mar 15, 2019
    @MamaMug probably a lot of resistance. And I don’t want to stress her out from me sticking analyzing foreign in her mouth, and I definitely don’t want to get bit even though I’m sure she wouldn’t mean to do it out of meanness. That’s something to try though; soaking some good sized terry cloth strips in chicken broth (if it’s chicken or beef flavored wet food, they got nuts for it) and seeing if they’ll enjoy that frozen treat. Did it leave much of a mess as it began to thaw?

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