If the thought of cleaning your cat’s teeth makes you cringe, no fear. These easy-to-use dental products will help keep her mouth healthy without any hassle.
High dental vet bills prompted Michelle to get pet insurance, especially since her eight-year-old cat, Jynx, is prone to plaque buildup. “He’s had dental surgery before to remove plaque and he’s due for the procedure again, at a cost of $600,” she says. “I do what I can to help remove the plaque from his teeth, but I have to admit I’m a bit lax when it comes to his oral health.”
Michelle isn’t alone. While most people do their best to stay on top of their cat’s health, dental care sometimes fall by the wayside. Brushing a cat’s teeth is not easy to do, especially if he doesn’t enjoy it – and few cats do. So besides feeding a healthy diet, what can you do? Fortunately, there are some effective products on the market that can help keep your kitty’s pearly whites their whitest, with no brushing required.
- “Many studies indicate that people are not able or do not want to brush their cat’s teeth,” says Pamela Bosco, president of Pet King Brands. “A brushless oral care system is the best option available to overcome that compliance hurdle.” The company’s Biotene Drinking Water Additive features a patented mutanase and dextranase enzyme system that removes plaque biofilm before it turns to calculus on the teeth. “Together, mutanese and dextranase effectively inhibit and reduce plaque formation,” says Pamela. All you need to do is add some to your cat’s water bowl each day.
- “Many people are afraid to put their pets under anesthesia for good reasons,” says Walter Duberry, Sales Manager for LebaLab Inc. “Some veterinarians suggest Leba III instead of a periodontal cleaning.” Leba III’s active ingredients are all human grade and include herbs from the mint and rose families. They stimulate the good flora in the mouth; dropped on the tongue, the liquid will mix with the saliva, reaching all the teeth. It comes in a spray bottle with a complimentary dropper, making it easier for cats. Leba III is not antibacterial and has no chemical components.
- Prevention is an important key to ensuring your cat’s optimum oral health. A product called Triple Pet Plaque Off from Benedent Corporation can be added to drinking water to help eliminate plaque, tartar buildup and odor. “It works like chamomile tea works on us,” says Jorge Zarur, the company’s Marketing Director. “It promotes better digestion, and when that happens, the breath improves dramatically and the waste and the urine stop smelling as bad.” The active ingredient in the product is yucca shidigera. “This plant was used as soap by native Americans some 200 years ago, because of its cleaning, oily properties,” says Jorge. “These properties will remain in the animal’s mouth so when he chews his food, it’s going to rub that oil against the plaque, eventually removing it and preventing it from forming again. It’s not magic; it’s just Mother Nature doing her job”.
- If your cat is a little on the stubborn side and you find yourself running out of tartar prevention options, relax. Petzlife’s Oral Care Gel with Wild Salmon Oil is one product that can be simply smeared on your cat’s lips to help to combat tartar buildup. “Bacteria hardens into plaque, which in turn becomes stubborn tartar,” says company owner Bud Groth. “The gel’s all-natural ingredients are what work to remove the bacteria. We combine neem, thyme and rosemary oil, as well as grapefruit and grape seed extracts, and blend them with pure human grade alcohol.” Most cats are attracted by the addition of the salmon oil.
- Another way your cat can enjoy the benefits of brushing without the hassle is to use brushless toothpaste. The Breath-Less Chewable Brushless Toothpaste from Ark Naturals is like a treat that cleans teeth. “The outside contains chlorophyll, cinnamon and vanilla for immediate breath freshening,” says Susan Weiss. “The inside contains three bacteriasts designed to disrupt the growth of oral bacteria. It’s a rice-based, highly digestible vegetarian product.” Though the product is geared towards dogs, it is also safe for cats. Remember, human toothpaste is harmful to cats so stick with a product specially made for small mammals.
Your cat depends on you to maintain her overall health. Use a brushless dental product every day and visit your veterinarian for regular dental checkups and you’ll not only save her the pain of periodontal disease, but you won’t need to rely on pet insurance for expensive dental surgery. Your cat – and your wallet – will thank you!