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Franny Syufy

February is Pet Dental Health Month

By January 29, 2014

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While February is officially Pet Dental Health Month, the effects of gingivitis and periodontal disease in cats can be so far-reaching that, actually, every month should be dental health month.

Photo of two kittens in a tower
photo © Franny Syufy

According to the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS), 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by the age of three years. With that knowledge in mind, I was horrified when I recently took my two kittens for individual vet appointments, and found that Sage at nine months, and Gaither at almost seven months both have dental disease. Sage has indications of early stomatitis, and Gaither has gingivitis. Since they both are already being treated for chronic problems (URI for Sage and conjunctivitis/possible URI for Gaither), it is of critical importance that we start treatment immediately. I had already started giving all our cats dental chews, but I need to start brushing their teeth (twice daily if at all possible). We're also going to start adding l-lysine powder to their canned food. A good Dental Care Plan, and annual veterinary examination, will add many years to your cat's teeth, and perhaps even ameliorate the risk of damage to other organs.

More on Dental Care for Cats
Cats Dental Care 101
The Importance of Dental Care for Pets
Tips For Recognizing Dental Disease In Dogs And Cats


January 30, 2014 at 6:53 pm
(1) Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh says:

I originally thought my vet was joking when he told me to brush my then six-month-old cat’s teeth. But I’ve learned to do it (about three times a week; daily would be best, but three times is realistic), and my cat’s teeth are looking great. My tricks were:
Visit Cornell Veterinary’s site for a great video here –
Purchase the toothpaste that veterinarians use, C.E.T. It’s poultry flavor. The cat likes it far more than the vanilla stuff sold at most stores.
Try a rubber finger brush. My finicky feline didn’t like the roughness of the long-handled brush.
Finally, I just now added PlaqueOff to my cat’s diet. It seems to be amazing. It’s pure seaweed (I checked first with my vet, and he approved it); just sprinkle a pinch on the food and it changes the cat’s mouth’s pH so that tartar and plaque do not form.

January 30, 2014 at 10:03 pm
(2) Franny Syufy says:

Jamie, thank you so much for all your comments and advice. Yes, I have the C.E.T. toothpaste. I purchased a rubber finger brush, but it still looks awfully large for our kittens’ mouths.

I’ll look into PlaqueOff also, but of course, will ask my vet first.

I wasn’t surprised when my older cats had dental problems, but it came as quite a shock when the kittens had gum disease as such a young age. Thanks again for all your great advice.

February 3, 2014 at 4:02 pm
(3) Carol Davis says:

Yikes!! – I took the advice of getting my 3 year old Siamese checked and cleaning was advised. They only found 2 teeth that needed cleaning and the cost was $640. This certainly discourages me from making a yearly appointment. Yes he’s worth it, but that’s more than it costs for my teeth. Any Advice??

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