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Bones that are safe for cats?

dogmelissa
June 8th, 2009, 12:10 PM
Long story short, my 6 yr old tabby cat is at the vet today having a dental. They expect to extract at *least* 2 teeth, potentially 5, including at least one of his upper canines (it's broken, it has to go).

When he comes home, I know he's going to be sore, so this is more of a 'in a month from now... ' kind of situation, but this cat has *never* chewed his food. I've been through probably 10 different kinds of food for him and I've never seen him chew any of them. He's stolen dog food (currently the dog eats Horizon Legacy), and doesn't chew those either. I'm not even going to try him on the Hills T/D which the vet recommends, because it's crap food and Taz also can't eat any food with corn in it due to a sensitive stomach.

So is there anything that he *can* chew on, that he HAS to chew on, in an attempt to clean his remaining teeth? I know he can't have chicken bones - but can he have beef bones or pork? It sounds really dumb, but can he eat the 'treat' bones for dogs, like the dentabones? I've given him small pieces of my dog's dentastix, but I was nervous about giving him too much.

He's a big cat, not overweight, just a big cat, so I know he could handle things like the dentastix - he's almost as big as my dog (Maltese X).

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Melissa

sugarcatmom
June 8th, 2009, 12:52 PM
So is there anything that he *can* chew on, that he HAS to chew on, in an attempt to clean his remaining teeth?

Raw chicken necks and gizzards are great for cleaning teeth, if he'll eat them. Raw chicken wings are also fine. There are also dental chews you can get from the vet that are the size of a wine cork and have enzymes in them that help dissolve plaque. They're called either Enzadent or C.E.T Chews. I find I have to hold one end of it (watch your fingers!) to force my cat to take smaller bites, otherwise he tries to swallow it whole (can you say "choking hazard"?). But he absolutely goes crazy for them, they're his all time favourite treat.

I wouldn't give any big bones like beef or pork, or Dentabones. These are way to hard for a cat's teeth and even if your cat did want to chew on them, he could risk breaking more teeth.

Make sure the vets give your cat pain meds after the dental surgery, preferably a Fentanyl pain patch so that you aren't having to mess with his mouth. Is he going to be on antibiotics? Careful with the Antirobe drops, they taste beyond nasty and frequently cause bad diarrhea (stop giving it if it does and call the vet).

bendyfoot
June 8th, 2009, 12:58 PM
He most certainly could have chicken bones...necks, wings, and backs would be purrrrfectly appropriate. My three give then 6 paws up! Beef or pork bones would be too heavy and could result in chipped/broken teeth for a kitteh. You want them to be able to chew the bones completely.

dogmelissa
June 8th, 2009, 01:13 PM
Taz will eat anything, so chicken shouldn't be too much of a problem for him. Can I buy necks/backs from the butcher or do I have to buy whole chickens and pull them apart on my own? Wings are easier to buy at the grocery store.
Obviously they need to be raw, right? I know that cooked chicken bones can splinter, or is this only true for long bones like legs & wings? I'm a little concerned about the possibility of salmonella and trying to ensure that he doesn't track raw chicken all over the house. I suppose I could lock him in the bathroom until it's done and then wash the floor, if they have to be raw.

We've tried the CET chews, and he did like them, but I don't think they're very effective, one crunch and they're gone, and for the price, hurt my wallet more than the plaque!

He is getting an injection of pain medication near the end of his surgery - I've been told it lasts 24 hours. He also is getting antibiotics in his IV today. Not really 100% sure what the plan is for after, I expect there will be pills. Hopefully they're tablets that I can break into smaller pieces and hide in wet food, but if they're capsules then I'll just have to convince him to open up for me to put them in his mouth. I've been pilling him daily for over a year, so it's not too bad, but if his mouth is sore.. :(

Thanks again,
Melissa

sugarcatmom
June 8th, 2009, 01:34 PM
Can I buy necks/backs from the butcher or do I have to buy whole chickens and pull them apart on my own? Wings are easier to buy at the grocery store.

If you can't find a butcher that'll sell you just necks, you can get them at Tailblazers (http://www.tailblazerspets.com/). I would hack them up a bit the first time you offer them so he isn't overwhelmed by one huge piece. Plus, a whole neck is too much for a cat in one sitting.

Obviously they need to be raw, right?

Yup.

I'm a little concerned about the possibility of salmonella and trying to ensure that he doesn't track raw chicken all over the house.

You could feed him on a large plastic table cloth and then wash it off when he's done.

He is getting an injection of pain medication near the end of his surgery - I've been told it lasts 24 hours.

If he's having a canine removed, 24 hrs might not cover it. It's a pretty painful procedure because they cut open the gums, saw out the tooth and pack in a special bone growth substance, and then stitch the gums back up. I'd ask the vets about a pain patch. Don't let them sell you Metacam, which is okay as a one time post-surgery injection, but not in liquid oral form (which has caused kidney failure in some cats).

Good luck!

dogmelissa
June 27th, 2009, 01:31 PM
Thought I would update you on Taz. He is now what I would call fully recovered.

Truly I don't know how they did it, but where the canine tooth was removed, the gums were not cut at all. He also had 3 lower premolars which were in various forms of decay (one was missing almost the whole crown due to rot) and all 4 holes resulted in just stitches to close the openings.

When he went to the emerg a week prior to his surgery, he was prescribed the pain killer Tramadol (10mg) which I was advised to give to him once or twice a day as he seemed to need it. I continued with that until a week after his surgery (as per the vet who actually did the surgery) and he actually seemed to be more sore from pilling (they are pretty big pills! and I had to pry open his mouth) than from the surgery.

He shook his head a few times in the first few days and pawed at his mouth a little bit, but otherwise didn't show any signs of being in pain. I soaked his kibble until it was soft for the first almost week (it was a Monday, he had soaked food until Friday evening) and then tried him on the regular dry food so he could get back to his scheduled feedings (which make him much happier) and though he ate slower than normal, he didn't show any painful signs.

Now he's 100% back to normal Taz, including attacking Rusty. :(

I have not yet bought any bones for him, but I am going for groceries today so I will see if my local store (I know they cut things up there) has any necks and/or backs. I would really like to avoid another $1300 bill for this (and any other) cat, so I may try to get all of them chewing on more things!

Thanks for the help!
Melissa