Does your cat get a skittish look in its eye when you mention brushing his or her teeth?
You’re not alone.
Maintaining optimal dental care for our pets can often be a struggle and not for a lack of trying.
While veterinarians recommend daily cleaning, that is not always a possibility. On average, it is more difficult to clean a cat’s teeth than their canine counterparts. It’s a genetic fact of life.
Periodontal disease has been recognized as one of the most prevalent diseases in cats, affecting around 70% of the domestic cats two years of age and over 85% of those aged over 5 years.” – Fernando Mata
One of the best things that you can do for your cat is beginning a dental cleaning regimen. Ideally, the cleanings should start at an early age (ask your vet what’s right for your cat), but that’s not always the case. It’s never too late to try though! Gently ease your cat into dental cleanings at any age by taking it “one tooth at a time” or gently massaging their gums with your fingers.
Reducing the rate at which plaque and tartar build up can decrease your cat’s chances of developing a serious (and potentially life-threatening) disease that can affect not only your cat’s teeth but their heart or kidneys.
Thankfully, Jeffers offers a selection of cat dental care alternatives.
Brushless Cat Dental Care Items Include:
Does your cat respond well to gum massages but not toothbrushing? Meet in the middle with finger brushes. Generally, finger brushes come in two different styles (full glove or pointer finger cover) with scrubber pads/bristles near the fingertip.
Petrodex Finger Gloves are a hygienic and effective alternative to standard tooth brushing. Equipped with scrubber pads at the fingertips, this product is a great option for cats who enjoy (or at least tolerate) gum massages.
EcoBath Tooth Gel and Finger Brush Kit with Manuka Honey is an all-in-one package that includes everything you’ll need to clean your cat’s teeth. Known for its regenerative properties, this Manuka Honey gel: can heal and soothe and gums, help rebuild enamel, freshen breath, remineralize enamel, harden teeth and smooth the tooth surface.
Brushless Toothpaste Gels
Designed to make the cat’s saliva do all the work, brushless gels are applied directly to the gumline.
Oratene Brushless Gel is an ideal solution for cats who don’t drink much water. Utilizing over 35 years worth of enzyme technology, Oratene helps dissolve plaque and inhibits the bacteria that cause bad breath. Oratene also helps eliminate bad breath associated with diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
What separates dental rinses from dental sprays? Dental Rinses should be administered following your cat’s meal in an effort to prevent food from sticking or getting caught between teeth.
V.P.S Oral Dental Rinse is a dental rinse that will help reduce plaque and freshen breath. With anti-microbial, anti-plaque and anti-calculus properties, V.P.S aids in the prevention of tooth and gum disease.
Have a cat that’s absolutely against any form of brushing? Consider a water additive. While not as effective as regular weekly cleanings, water additives can help loosen and reduce tartar and plaque from teeth while freshening your cat’s breath.
ECOBATH Dental Water Additive with Manuka Honey helps reduce harmful bacteria from your cat’s mouth. The natural Manuka Honey helps soothe gums while freshening breath. But this product doesn’t only benefit your cat’s dental health! Additional ingredients provide electrolytes for rehydration, glucosamine for joint health, and antioxidants for heart health.
Triple Pet’s Plaque Off freshens breath within 24 hours of use and also helps remove plaque and tartar. Made with human grade ingredients and mint oils to help control odors associated with the digestive tract.
Oratene Brushless Oral Care Water Additive is part of a three-product system designed to improve your cat’s dental health. Freshens breath, kills germs and removes plaque all without the use of a toothbrush! All Oratene products can also help alleviate dry mouths associated with medical diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
For quick, relatively painless hands-on cleaning, try dental wipes. Wipes such as Davis’ Dental Wipes can help remove residue while freshening breath.
Dental Sprays are a great option for cats that suffer from medical conditions, such as diabetes, which can make bad breath worse. Davis’ DentaMED Spray helps defeat odor-causing bacteria and helps reduce plaque.
Breath Fresheners often serve double duty, much like many of the other products featured in this blog. For a quick and easy fix, try Pit’r Pat Breath Fresheners. These fish-shaped, liver-flavored “mints” are a low-fat treat that helps eliminate foul breath in cats.
For more than a quick fix, look no further than Oratene Brushless Oral Care Breath Freshener. A daily spray that helps remove plaque, kill germs and freshen breath.
Dental Chews and Treats
Products such as Feline Greenies (available in 2.5 oz and 5.5 0z bags) are touted as the #1 Veterinary Recommended Dental Treat for Cats. Designed to clean teeth and freshen, Greenies is one of three edible treats that meet the standards set forth by the Veterinary Oral Health Council for controlling tartar. Treats alone won’t help get rid of all the plaque and tartar from your cat’s mouth, but it can help remove and loosen already existing bacteria and food.
Who says that dental care can’t be fun! Any toy that your cat finds chew-worthy can help loosen and remove tartar and plaque from their teeth.
When All Else Fails
In addition to weekly at-home and professional cleaning by the vet, a well-balanced diet can help improve your cat’s dental health. Alternating between wet and dry foods can help prevent plaque from building up. However, tartar and plaque feed off of sugars which doesn’t make this a viable long term solution to your cat’s dental care woes. Ultimately, there’s no better alternative for your cat than a product designed specifically to improve dental health and remove bacteria and debris that can contribute to disease.
The information given is meant to be helpful and/or education. It is, in no way intended to supersede, challenge or supplant the diagnosis, treatment or advice of a licensed veterinarian.
Renee Jones, CPDT-KSA, is a certified professional dog trainer, having received instruction from canine behaviorist Dr. Pamela Reid, plus nationally acclaimed trainers: Patricia McConnell, Pia Silvani, and Jean Donaldson, to name a few. She is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). She serves as a Pet Marketing and Canine Specialist for JeffersPet and JeffersPet.com.