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Do you brush your cat's teeth?


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I got a lecture from my vet about not doing it.  Sorry, not going to happen, she is a disgruntled old lady and i have no desire to be on the wrong end of either her teeth or claws.  It's bad enough I have to shove down her medication every three days.

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We do not do this although one of our cats has a relentless obsession with our toothbrushes.  It takes three people, protective gear, and special equipment just to clip their nails.  I try to look at their teeth periodically because one had dental issue years ago and I cannot even manage to do that.

 

However, my dd cat sits for a few families and there is one with two cats that has her brush their teeth daily.  The cats have been trained to do this and seem to enjoy it.  There is "toothpaste" and apparently it tastes good to these cats so they are all about it.

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Of course I do. It's a lot cheaper than paying for a professional teeth cleaning or dealing with the fallout of gum disease. I brush my teeth too.

 

It's not very hard. You build up gradually, just like when you start clipping their nails.

 

Maybe a kitten, but I've never had a kitten.  All my cats have been adults from shelters.  I never clip nails either.

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Well, one vet suggested that I brush the dog's teeth and I flat out refused and said that is where I draw the line. Once I switched to raw, it didn't seem to be a problem.

I would never even dream of trying to insert something into a cat's mouth.

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No. We have to literally give a sedative to brush his fur, cut out the mats, and clip nails. Even then it’s a 3 person job and we barely make it out alive.

 

I tried putting those claw caps on him as a kitten so it’s not like we haven’t worked with him consistently..

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I've never been scratched.

 

Probably because I don't brush their teeth!

 

I've never been scratched either (except once when I was, um, doing something under my blanket and my cat decided she should pounce on my hand).

 

Never been scratched by my cats, I mean. Got scratched by the older kiddo several times. Not while watching her brush her teeth, though.

 

It's not hard. But maybe I just don't get the humor here. It seems pretty stupid to laugh at how weird it is to care about your pet's health - and I don't understand why you'd laugh about how you'd definitely get scratched or whatever when you've never even tried it and therefore don't know how your animal would react.

 

(Of course, I'm not dumb enough to flip my cat onto her back to brush her teeth.)

 

Edited by Tanaqui
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I've never been scratched either (except once when I was, um, doing something under my blanket and my cat decided she should pounce on my hand).

 

Never been scratched by my cats, I mean. Got scratched by the older kiddo several times. Not while watching her brush her teeth, though.

 

It's not hard. But maybe I just don't get the humor here. It seems pretty stupid to laugh at how weird it is to care about your pet's health - and I don't understand why you'd laugh about how you'd definitely get scratched or whatever when you've never even tried it and therefore don't know how your animal would react.

 

(Of course, I'm not dumb enough to flip my cat onto her back to brush her teeth.)

 

I didn't laugh.  Don't know why you would assume I was laughing. 

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So this is interesting.  Four years ago, my cat had some bleeding from her gums.  She's always eaten only dry food.  One vet wanted to remove a bunch of her teeth, which would have cost over $1000.  I saw the gums bleeding.  I took her to another vet, who said her problem was very common, that her body was dissolving/losing teeth, and that this would keep happening whether we had some teeth removed or not.  She wanted to do $600 of teeth cleaning under anesthesia, but her surgery room was having a problem and she couldn't schedule the work then.

 

So, we had to wait.

 

Two months later, I got a bee in my bonnet about food quality, having upgraded our family's diet a lot, and took a look at the Purina cat chow label.  I switched the cat to a food with lots of meat, no grain, one of the Iams dry foods.  

 

Then we moved.

 

Several months after that, we had another vet appointment with a third vet.  There were NO dental issues.  Her gums and teeth looked perfect.  She'd gained half a pound.  The vet wanted to talk about her weight (boy, did she glare!).  

 

Guess we're not going back to the cheap chow.  I'm so glad we didn't spend $1000 to have her teeth pulled!!!!  

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I told my wife about this thread. She thinks Americans are such great consumers that the Vets create the market and the "need" and the consumers buy.  She said that Cats are naturally clean and that we feed them a very high quality dry Cat food (made by a company called Solla in Colombia, possibly exported to the states) and they are on their own and have no dental problems or other problems that we know of.

 

I told her that of our dogs, I think our late Rottweiler might have put up with that. He was very easy going. And, my late Old English Sheepdog.  She agreed with that.

 

I don't think any of our cats would put up with that and we wouldn't want to torture them and risk injury to ourselves. 

Edited by Lanny
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I told my wife about this thread. She thinks Americans are such great consumers that the Vets create the market and the "need" and the consumers buy.  She said that Cats are naturally clean and that we feed them a very high quality dry Cat food (made by a company called Solla in Colombia, possibly exported to the states) and they are on their own and have no dental problems or other problems that we know of.

 

I told her that of our dogs, I think our late Rottweiler might have put up with that. He was very easy going. And, my late Old English Sheepdog. 

 

I don't think any of our cats would put up with that and we wouldn't want to torture them and risk injury to ourselves. 

 

That's exactly how I see it.

 

If someone wants to brush their cat's teeth..fine.  I'm not doing it.  I have enough trouble wrestling with my children with their teeth brushing. 

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No, but our vet has recommended it.  Our cat had one canine removed due to an abscess.  I agree about vets pushing care that isn't needed...but I have to admit that we just took the cat to have a cardiac ultrasound.  (sigh)  She has a heart murmur.  (sigh)  

If she wasn't the beloved pet of the boy child I would have never considered it.  

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Our 14 year old cat had to have 3 abscessed teeth removed and our vet did suggest we brush our cat's teeth. The cat stopped eating and became really weak, so it is a health concern. I've had a lot of cats over the years and some do seem to be much more prone to tooth infections. That said, it's not likely that I'll be adding cat tooth brushing to my schedule.

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