Dental care for a ~17 yo cat – no teeth cleaning/no teeth brushing ever, and not possible now

FeebysOwner

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To expound on my thread title, Feeby is ~17 yo and recently saw some additional vets for second opinions – totally unrelated to her mouth, and one vet noted on the exam report that she has periodontal disease at a Stage 2+ rating. She is not a candidate for teeth cleaning, because of the anesthesia involved. I am also not willing to try to start brushing her teeth at this point either. She has always had a serious gag reflex so I am not seeing wipes or sprays to be options either.

I have found a few dental additives through on line research and previous threads on this site. I know one of the products - Plaque Off – I cannot use because of Feeby’s hyperthyroidism (per manufacturer due the seaweed content). Healthy Mouth is another, as is Oratene, but the latter of these had reviews noting possible issues with a CKD cat. Someone else suggested CET dental chews, but I am not sure I understand how any of the ingredients are applicable to dental health.

Thankfully, as best I can tell, she is not presenting with any issues associated with her dental status. And, her gums are not red nor has she had any bleeding. I can only assume the vet saw the typical ‘pockets’ that are seen in Stage 2. But, I would like to give her something to help at least slow down further progression if at all possible.

What do you all use and how successful is it? Additives that go in food vs. water? If you use a water additive, how do you administer it to ensure it is ingested by your cat?

Thanks!
 

Tobermory

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I read that meat chunks and/or gizzards can help with dental health (on Dr. Pierson's site): "Gizzards are very fibrous and tough to chew and If your cat will eat them alone, they can be used as a great dental snack."
 
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FeebysOwner

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I read that meat chunks and/or gizzards can help with dental health (on Dr. Pierson's site): "Gizzards are very fibrous and tough to chew and If your cat will eat them alone, they can be used as a great dental snack."
:eek: Well, I don't know... I can't see Feeby 'gnawing' on anything, and don't forget what I said about her serious gag reflex. Is something like this perhaps a possibility?
SIDE BY SIDE Chicken Gizzards Freeze-Dried Dog & Cat Treats, 2.5-oz bag - Chewy.com
 

Tobermory

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Worth a try! I wonder if freeze dried would be too tough.

If I were going to try my 17-year-olds on the fresh gizzards, I’d definitely cut them into very small pieces to begin with.
 
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FeebysOwner

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Worth a try! I wonder if freeze dried would be too tough. If I were going to try my 17-year-olds on the fresh gizzards, I’d definitely cut them into very small pieces to begin with.
OMG!!! You are asking me to get into the world of raw......................................................o_O I don't know the first thing about it. I know it must seem easy for you, but not to me.
 
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Heart For Cats

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Freeze-dried raw is not helpful. Pet food manufacturers are allowed to claim dry food offers a dental benefit even though it has no effect on the teeth except making them dirty. Cats suffer periodontal disease no matter what they eat. Making a raw diet is much better than a freeze-dried kibble.
 

Maurey

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Freeze-dried raw is not helpful. Pet food manufacturers are allowed to claim dry food offers a dental benefit even though it has no effect on the teeth except making them dirty. Cats suffer periodontal disease no matter what they eat. Making a raw diet is much better than a freeze-dried kibble.
Freeze dried raw food isn’t dry food. It’s literal raw meat/organ/etc that was freeze dried which you then rehydrate in water. While yes, kibble doesn’t do anything for teeth, it doesn’t make them dirty in any way wet food doesn’t, either.
 
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Maurey

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If you’re uncomfortable with trying out raw gizzard or chicken neck, do you think Feeby will take to you brushing her teeth with a small toothbrush and kitty toothpaste? It’s gold standard for care, and most cats learn to tolerate it well if you keep at it consistently and approach it gradually. I’d suggest a Curaprox 1006 and Virbac Cet to start with. Initially you’ll just want to let her taste the toothpaste (mine like the poultry, malt, and seafood), then try to rub it onto her front teeth and canines with a pinky. Once she’s comfortable with that, introduce the brush — once she’s comfortable with the front teeth, peel back her lips and get at her molars. I like putting a pea sized amount of toothpaste on the back of my hand so I can reapply as necessary, and let the cats lick off the remainder as a treat 🙂
 
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FeebysOwner

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Freeze-dried raw is not helpful. Pet food manufacturers are allowed to claim dry food offers a dental benefit even though it has no effect on the teeth except making them dirty. Cats suffer periodontal disease no matter what they eat. Making a raw diet is much better than a freeze-dried kibble.
Tbh, I don't know what you are even suggesting for a 17+ yo cat, but if I am at all even remotely understanding it, it doesn't sound very realistic or feasible.
Freeze dried raw food isn’t dry food. It’s literal raw meat/organ/etc that was freeze dried which you then rehydrate in water. While yes, kibble doesn’t do anything for teeth, it doesn’t make them dirty in any way wet food does, either.
Can you help me understand how what you are saying could be helpful to Feeby? As in, your opinion of the 'treats' I asked about above. As far as I know, they are not intended to be rehydrated, but rather given 'as is'.
 

Maurey

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Honestly, I doubt non-rehydrated gizzard would be useful for cleaning teeth — it’s very hard and brittle. The whole point of gizzard as a teeth cleaning aid is that it’s very chewy and springy, and the cat really has to work at it with their molars to get it torn up into swallowable chunks. Primary issue with using any raw food as a cleaning tool over a brush is that many cats have a preference over which side of their mouth they use to shred, plus they only use their molars, so it’s patchy for cleaning, at best, imo. Every little bit helps, but there’s a reason that brushing is recommended by vet dentists, even those that support feeding raw,
 

Tobermory

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OMG!!! You are asking me to get into the world of raw......................................................o_O I don't know the first thing about it. I know it must seem easy for you, but not to me.
Not raw feeding. Just using fresh gizzards as a treat that also has some dental benefits. I’ve been thinking about this. I’d cut the gizzards into smaller pieces, freeze, and thaw a couple of pieces when I wanted to give them something to chew on.
 
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FeebysOwner

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If you’re uncomfortable with trying out raw gizzard or chicken neck, do you think Feeby will take to you brushing her teeth with a small toothbrush and kitty toothpaste?
It's not that I am uncomfortable with raw gizzards, I just don't know how to go about it. And, I saw your subsequent post about how they have a preference on the side to chew anything - point taken and fully understood! And, as I said before, her gag reflex has always precluded me from introducing any kind of 'foreign' object into her mouth. While I could try to introduce some toothpaste into her mouth - probably only via sticking on her nose or lips, I am not sure it would progress to allowing something to be placed inside her mouth.

I bought Oratene tooth paste gel. You rub it on their gums
Lucky you!
 

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If she has tooth that need to be pulled, I would advice against brushing anyway. Brushing is the absolute best at preventing all kinds of dental issues but once a cat already has teeth that need to be pulled, gums are too sensitive at that point and brushing or dental treats like Greenies seem to hurt more. (It wouldn't hurt if we could only brush teeth and not touch the gum, but nearly impossible to do so!) My Hima is at that stage too. No brush, enzymatic toothpastes work the best. I use the one from Blephar. I will try Virbac's next, they sell it only at vet clinics in Turkey.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005VD70OK/?tag=thecatsite

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074P77LB2/?tag=thecatsite

Hima does not drink the water when there is an additive. The cats of the yard are half and half. Some drink it, some don't.

Silycumin from Bio PetActive help Hima's gingivitis too when she chews it. It must be the curcumin I assume. They recently got in the USA market.
 

verna davies

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I don't brush my cats teeth but I put some CET toothpaste on a Cotton bud and gently wipe it onto the gums. The toothpaste is supposed to work once contacted with the gums and teeth, even if it helps a little, it's better than nothing at all. Maybe Feeby could cope with that.
 

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I use Logic oral hygiene gel for cat's and dog's. Thing is with this you don't need to brush you can put it on the cat's paw to lick off. I haven't done this but have read reviews saying this does work. I got it because my vet recommended it bandit had bad gums because of calsivirus. His gums health has improved since using. What I do is put a little on my finger and rub it along patches gumlines because he won't tolarate brushing like Bandit.
 

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PET 'N SHAPE USA All-Natural Grain-Free Chewz Beef Lungs Dog Treats, 1-lb bag - Chewy.com

As for the freeze dried gizzards, I looked at them but am not sure about the texture. My dog eats the above and the cats steal it from him if they can. It is evidently not meant for Feeby but the texture is very light, almost like popcorn, and it can be broken into tiny pieces. You don't rehydrate it. However, I can't swear that the cat gizzards are this texture; if they are, they might work.
 

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Giblets are great, all you have to do is buy some from your local grocery store and offer 2 or three a few times a week. The rest can be frozen and thawed when ready to use in the future. Chicken wing tips are great too, though if she has trouble chewing them you can always crush the bone a little with a meat mallet before offering. It may also take her a while to recognize it as food. Quail bones are great too because the bones are softer and smaller and easier to chew, but still get the job done.

If she hasn't had raw meat before, however, I would start by offering her offcuts off of whatever meat you are preparing for yourself that night (unless you're vegetarian...) and get her used to the idea that raw meat is indeed food.
 
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FeebysOwner

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If she hasn't had raw meat before, however, I would start by offering her offcuts off of whatever meat you are preparing for yourself that night (unless you're vegetarian...) and get her used to the idea that raw meat is indeed food.
Is there no way to give her things like giblets/gizzards, or whatever, without them being raw? Boiling them? I am not going to try to feed her raw at her age. I have heard it can initially cause digestive distress until a cat's body gets used to raw - given her H-T/CKD status, I don't need to take the chance of creating additional issues for her.
 
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