When dealing with them, cats are not usually as cooperative as dogs. Brushing their teeth might be one of the most challenging tasks in their care. So can we clean a cat’s teeth without brushing them?
Caring for your cat’s teeth without brushing requires dental gels, a special dental diet, dental cat treats, and dental chewing toys. With this, cats may be able to keep their teeth clean without you brushing them. Chewing through bones and grass is a cat’s natural way of keeping its teeth clean.
When we want to care for our cats, using the same health products we use might be tempting, considering our teeth may be cut from the same cloth. But no, it is not recommended to use our health products on our pets, especially toothpaste. This is highly toxic for them.
When caring for our cat’s teeth, we should always look for specially formulated products for them.
A special dental gel is the first go-to choice for your cat’s dental care without the need for brushing. Kittens lose all their milk teeth very early, so you don’t need to worry about how you apply care to your cat’s teeth when you start caring for them.
The dental gel needs to be applied daily, once a day, using a finger. You spread the gel on your cat’s teeth, and your cat will do the rest of the job by tasting it or trying to remove it with its mouth.
Cat’s dental gel is filled with enzymes that kill germs. These germs are the leading cause of tartar buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease.
But what about not wanting to put your finger close to your cat’s mouth? Easy. A special dental diet.
Plenty of chewing is one of the best techniques for a cat to avoid any disease on its teeth. A special dental diet consists of large kibbles that rub on the surface of your cat’s teeth and keep your cat chewing for a while—these types of treats help keep your cat’s teeth clean from tartar or plaque.
However, as good as a special dental diet might be, it should be only one factor in keeping your cat’s mouth healthy. Dental treats are another food that your cat would enjoy, and they would help with their teeth.
A dental toy for cats can function as dental floss. Chewing a cat toy might help get any food stuck on your cat’s teeth, and it will do so during an activity your pet might enjoy.
Water additives are an easier way to get dental care for your cat’s teeth. Pouring dental additives on your cat’s bowl is a way to get your cat’s teeth clean. This practice is not a long-term solution, but it could help with the options described above.
Should We Be Brushing Our Cat’s Teeth?
Yes, it would help if you were brushing your cat’s teeth. Veterinarians recommend that you physically brush your cat’s teeth daily.
Options not to do it exist for the simple fact that your cat may not allow themselves to be brushed, and although we tend to live busy lives, that doesn’t mean we do not want to take care of them.
What Happens If You Don’t Brush Or Clean Your Cat’s Teeth?
Your cat’s dental care might seem like the least of your worries when caring for your feline friend, but it is essential and should be taken very seriously.
Cats can suffer from similar dental issues to humans. The difference is that cats don’t tell us when they are in pain because of their teeth or discomfort every time they eat. They have mastered the art of hiding their pain.
Checking your cat’s teeth is a way to find out if tartar or plaque is present.
Most cats over the age of three tend to have infections surrounding their gums. If you leave these infections untreated, it could start to be painful for your cat. These infections could evolve through time and would be impossible to treat or care for at home and could lead to other diseases and tooth loss.
Brushing your cat’s teeth daily is recommended but at the very least three times a week. This will build a routine that your cat could get used to.
However, suppose you’re not brushing your cat’s teeth and are using alternative methods. In that case, you need to apply those methods every day.
Does My Cat Have Bad Breath? Is That Healthy?
Your cat typically has a fishy scent in its mouth. It is a particular scent that won’t bother you at all. To smell it, you’ll need to be close to your cat’s mouth. A strong smell is a cause for concern.
A strong smell coming from your cat’s mouth could be halitosis. Halitosis is an offensive odor that comes from oral cavities. This condition is a red flag for possible diseases in your cat’s teeth.
Halitosis on your cat can be caused by bacteria, plaque, tartar, decomposing food residues, persistent bleeding, or dead dental tissue.
Periodontal disease usually causes halitosis. Periodontal disease is an infection of your cat’s teeth caused by a lack of cleaning. This could evolve to plaque and tartar building and more severe conditions.
Foul-smelling breath on your cat is not a good sign. If this is the case, you should take your cat to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
How Do You Remove Plaque Out Of A Cat’s Teeth?
Plaque and tartar are conditions that you need to be aware of in your cat, and you’ll need to know how to identify them.
The plaque is gummy and whitish. Plaque is a substance that can form on your cat’s teeth a few hours after a meal. In a day, plaque begins to harden and change color thanks to your cat’s saliva. Plaque eventually transforms into tartar, which is hard and yellowish.
When tartar arrives, it comes with a toothache and a difficult road to severe infection and tooth loss.
Professional dental cleaning is recommended to prevent tartar and plaque on your cat. It would be best if you did this twice a year. At home, aside from a special dental diet, using Q tips to clean the outside of the teeth twice a day is the most effective way to remove plaque.
How Much Does Dental Care Cost For Your Kittie?
Professional cat’s dental treatments, especially if not adequately cared for at home, can be costly.
Just like us, a visit to a professional often requires an oral exam, X-Rays, antibiotics, painkillers, and in the worst-case scenario, a tooth extraction.
Cats need to be put under anesthesia for a thorough cleaning or tooth extraction. If an extraction occurs, your cat might require hospitalization. All this can lead to medical bills from US$300 to US$1300. The prices can vary due to the condition of your cat’s teeth.
There are many options for the care of your cat’s teeth without brushing. Professionals still prefer you brush them physically at least three times a week.
A special dental diet combined with the use of dental gel is the best way to clean your cat’s teeth without brushing.
Focussing on preventive care helps your cat to stay healthy and the veterinarian bills low. Just make sure to use the alternative options to brushing daily, and your cat’s teeth will be fit for years to come.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.