Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Cat Dental Care

violagirl
December 2nd, 2010, 11:54 AM
Recently switched my 3 cats to all canned food.

Before I had them on Dental Formula dry (which as it turns out is all corn, but that's another issue) and 2 cans of food a day.

Now they are not eating any dry food at all. I am not keen on bringing all 3 in to the vets each year for an expensive teeth cleaning.

I have had cats before and teeth cleaning never came up so did not think to brush my cats teeth when they were kittens so they would be used to it by now. At 9 years old I can't see them submitting to having me scrub at their teeth. I can try..but it's probably not going to be pretty.

I read about giving them chicken wings to chew on to help keep teeth clean. I always thought chicken bones were anathema to cats.

What do you use?

Love4himies
December 2nd, 2010, 11:57 AM
Yes, uncooked chicken wings are perfect. You can also feed them chicken backs, I give mine the bones from the chicken breast.

I remember a time that we didn't get our cat's teeth cleaned because they were busy catching mice and that would keep their teeth clean :thumbs up

14+kitties
December 2nd, 2010, 12:59 PM
I have to laugh when I see "Dental Care" cat products. Like chewing a few of those a day would clean the teeth. Every time I have a customer put them through at work I feel like telling them not to waste their money. Funny how the pet food industry has us flumuxed. They put something that sounds/looks "healthy" to us on their package and we fall for it.
If you watch the way a cat eats dry food or snacks carefully you will notice that if they chew at all the kibble shatters with contact with the tooth. Most times it does not make contact with the top of the tooth at all which is where tarter forms. A lot of times they don't even chew the dry piece. It is swallowed whole. I'm not sure how that is beneficial to teeth. You will also find with observance that dry food will sometimes adhere to the tooth. Especially with kitties who nom their food/treats so quickly they have an overabundance of food in their mouth. Normally you see this when you notice your cats' bad breath because of the food rotting.
The best way to clean the teeth, as L4 has stated, is raw chicken bones. Other than that it would take time and patience to brush the cat's teeth. And heavy gloves. ;)

violagirl
December 2nd, 2010, 01:36 PM
I will pick up some chicken wings tonight and try it.

diandpat
December 2nd, 2010, 02:35 PM
Yes, uncooked chicken wings are perfect. You can also feed them chicken backs, I give mine the bones from the chicken breast.




The best way to clean the teeth, as L4 has stated, is raw chicken bones. Other than that it would take time and patience to brush the cat's teeth. And heavy gloves. ;)

Ok, totally dense here but I'm not clear on this at all :shrug: Do they chew on uncooked bone or is there meat on the bone for them to eat? Is there a bone in back? Same question...do they chew just the bone or is there meat on it?

Totally stupid I know but I would be happy to try it just don't want to make a mistake. Any clarification would be appreciated by me...and Ziggy and Zuzu too who LOVE chicken!!! :D

Love4himies
December 2nd, 2010, 02:42 PM
I debone my chicken breasts and give the whole chunk of bones to the kitties. Because it is so big, the cats put the bones to the side of their mouth and slowly chew away at it. I want to say they use their "molars" as I don't know what they are called in cats, but the chomping away at the bones does scrape their teeth pretty good. Sweet Pea and Jasper like theirs cut up to about 1 inch size and like a good coating of meat on them. In their home made raw, I leave chunks of bones for chewing purposes. It is the ligaments that keep the bones together.


Rose is very proficient at it, she can chomp at the whole breast bone and not let the bones drop, perhaps being from a colony, any food on the ground is fair game for the others to get :laughing:.

diandpat
December 2nd, 2010, 02:48 PM
Thanks L4H. One more question...will they actually eat and swallow the bone? Is this safe???

Love4himies
December 2nd, 2010, 02:55 PM
Thanks L4H. One more question...will they actually eat and swallow the bone? Is this safe???

Well, to be honest, there have been a couple of times that Rose has had to regurgitate some of the bone to rechew, my foster kittens did it all the time. It is always a worry that they will choke, but they seem to do just fine :shrug:. Her teeth will cut through the bones and ligaments better than my meat scissors, very efficient. I personally, think the bigger the chunks, the safer.

sugarcatmom
December 2nd, 2010, 07:00 PM
Chicken necks also work great, as do gizzards. Not all cats go for bones and other chewy things though, especially older kitties. Perhaps a large piece of resistant meat, like beef, might go over better. Start with small pieces and work up to something larger that you hold onto while they gnaw on it.

With the teeth brushing, perhaps instead of an actual brush with toothpaste, try running a Q-tip dipped in tuna juice along the cat's gum-line. Make it fast and easy at first, just a quick in and out (no need to even open the mouth, just lift their lips), but do it every day at the same time. Follow with a small tuna treat or whatever they like best. Eventually you might be able to do a more thorough job with the Q-tip, although you really don't have to scrub or anything. You really only need to get the outside gum-line, the interior side naturally gets cleaned by the tongue.

diandpat
December 2nd, 2010, 07:39 PM
I will pick up some chicken wings tonight and try it.

Let me know how it goes...I'm a little leary. Especially Ziggy...he'll eat anything FAST!!!! Don't know how to deal with a choking cat :confused:

Crazy4kitties
December 2nd, 2010, 09:41 PM
I just found some cheap chicken backs on sale at my local grocery store, so I figured I would give them a try. I have four cats (well 5 I guess...I'm cat sitting until the end of this month)...they were all interested in it, gave a lot of sniffs, licks, and a few chomps. They didn't quite know what to do with it.

That is until my 14 year old female, Tiger, came over and immediately went nuts! She grabbed the chicken back, pulled it away from the others and went straight to work. After the other cats realized that it was food, they were a lot more interested. The only one who showed no interest was my "rental cat" as I call her...she's the youngest of the bunch and doesn't have a huge appetite to begin with.

Anyways, just wanted to share my story. I have to admit I was very nervous about the bones/choking issue, so I watched the entire time they ate. No issues, they made quick work of all the bones. The crunching sounds were...less than pleasant, but I can deal with it knowing my kitties are happy and healthy! :D

Love4himies
December 3rd, 2010, 06:48 AM
She grabbed the chicken back, pulled it away from the others and went straight to work. After the other cats realized that it was food, they were a lot more interested.


:laughing::laughing::laughing: If they are like Rose, they will learn not to allow anything to drop on the floor :laughing:

:thumbs up I am so glad they took to the bones so quickly.

violagirl
December 3rd, 2010, 10:27 AM
So I tried the chicken wings last night. They didn't know what to do with them.

I cut the wings in two. They just sniffed them.

I put one on a string and made it move a bit..they were a bit more interested but no takers.

I warmed them up. Nothing.

I chopped them into smaller pieces. One cat licked them for awhile.

So are you supposed to just give the BONES or was all that meat just too gross for them?

I will add that 2 of my cats have been with me since kittenhood and have always been indoor cats. They have never officially "hunted". There was an incident with a mouse once but the mouse was just played to death and never eaten. They don't seem to know what to do with real meat. The only cat that was interested was my SPCA cat who had spent some time on the street.

Perhaps I willl debone and try again. I think if ONE of them will take it, then the others may follow.

Love4himies
December 3rd, 2010, 10:35 AM
I think it is the case of "I don't know what to do with this". I know Puddles won't touch a full bone, but will eat ground raw with bones. She has never eaten prey in her life, poor Snowball used to bring her mice all the time and drop it at her feet and she would just walk away :(. Rose, who was feral for three years doesn't know what to do with a kibble, but takes her chicken carcass like it is gold and was initially running and hiding while eating it.

I think it depends on if a cat has been exposed to having to eat prey as their food, or has been used to a raw diet.

catlover2
December 3rd, 2010, 10:36 AM
I wish my two cats would eat raw chicken wings or necks. I've tried to interest them in raw meat...of any kind and they won't touch it at all. Recently I had their teeth cleaned as they had quite a bit of tartar and it cost big $$$ (over $1300 with all the pre-screening tests including 1 EKG and heart monitoring). My girl has/had? a gr 2 heart murmur, but strangely under anaesthetic the vet did not hear it, so he said it's "transient". Both cats are 6 y.o. and had never had their teeth cleaned before. I sprinkle "Nature's Dentist"(mostly pro-biotics) powder on their canned food, so maybe it helped a bit as vet said their tartar was "moderate" and there was no gingivitis. Last time I was at pet food store, I did notice there was some stuff that's added to water to prevent tartar. Just wondering if anyone's tried it or had good success with any other products.

Nature's Dentist: http://www.cat-supplies-canada.com/natures-dentist-pet-care-103-prd1.html

Koteburo
December 6th, 2010, 07:27 PM
I know for sure Scully will not touch the wings and Muldy maybe there's a chance. Actually Scully is developing a tartar problem the vet told us already a while ago we bought a tooth brush for her and a tooth paste for veterinarian use and poor Scully she hated it. It was too stressful for her and us to do that. I guess I'm going to have to take her for a dental cleaning. As soon as I gather some extra. She got sick a while ago and we inherited a deficit from that XD also Muldy needs to be spayed soon :S
And I am suspecting we all need to be dewormed as well. I think one of them caught some and from there :rolleyes: