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Kirsten
02-18-2001, 05:50 AM
During the last weeks, I read several articles in cat magazines about brushing cat's teeth.
Has anyone here any experiences with this? I'm thinking about trying it with my Luna, but I don't think she would let me do that! LOL She's 10 months. I'm feeding her Whiskas Dentabits to clean her teeth, but the articles are saying this wouldn't be enough.
What do you think of it? How many members here are are brushing their kitties teeth and what do the cats think of it? http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

Kirsten

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http://www.KirstenScheffel.de

Pam
02-18-2001, 08:27 AM
Although my cats allow me to look at their teeth, I don't think they would sit still for a brushing. When we go to the vets, though, part of his exam is to check their teeth and then he does a little scraping with his "tartar control gadget" and they let him!!! I think they are so nervous they would submit to anything he does. I bet they would even let him bathe them! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif Anyone else have cats that are timid at the vets?

bookitty1231
02-18-2001, 11:35 AM
My cats are bad enough when I have to bathe them, I've never atempted to brush their teeth. The vet is an experience in itself. The girls Cruella and Lianna did well the last time they went but they really didn't know what was going on. Wylie is another story. He was very sick when we found him and had to go to the vet once a month for about 4 months. The first time he was great but he'd never been so he wasn't sure what was happening after that he knows and hates it. He cries the whole way there as if begging me to turn around. The vet holds him and cuddles him and he just shivers. Last time when it was all over he actually ran back into his carrier. Imagine that a cat who can't wait to get back in the carrier, now that's funny.

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"As we all know, cats now rule the world."
--John R.F. Breen

Troy
02-18-2001, 08:40 PM
One of my cats Joe is a bit of a smooch. In general he loves people, he has never scratched or nipped anyone. He was attacked quite nastily once by another cat and developed an infected bite in his side. The local vet was going to have to give him an anaesthetic in order to cut open the wound and clean it, while he was under the vet suggested a tartar scrape of his teeth. It turned out that before they operated they decided to see how sensitive Joe was - they ended up performing all of the operation without a general anaesthetic or minor pain killers.

Not only did the vet say that Joe was the gentlest cat they had seen but he also saved me AUD $250 becase he didn't have a general...bless him.

D_J
02-18-2001, 08:52 PM
Hi there! Yes my vet did tell me to brush my cats teeth but,:O I can't get him to let me do it! So, I stopped trying....Jazz is just too cool http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/cool.gif I tried the little brush you can buy in a kit, no good, he just pushed it away and bit it. (over and over again:eek http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif and then I tried the finger brush....well, that didn't go over any better http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif My friend Larry says he never heard of anything so dumb as trying to brush a cats teeth, but what can I say, he grew up on a farm so you know where he is coming from http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif

D_J
02-18-2001, 08:55 PM
oops! I didn't mean to offend any farmers out there http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif But I think growing up on a farm made my friend a little less sensitive about animals....but he does have 2 cats, and would never brush their teeth http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif

Kirsten
02-19-2001, 06:00 AM
Well, I think I'll give it a try and buy a little brush today, but I won't force Luna to do it if she doesn't like it! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif I'll let you know what happens.

About being timid at the vet... My Luna isn't! When I went to the vet with her for the first time, she was friendly and curios. After a few experiences with injections and anesthesia, she hates to go there and she already scratched the vet very bad...

Kirsten

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http://www.KirstenScheffel.de

Kirsten
02-19-2001, 02:51 PM
Here's a little update:
I've bought the tooth brush meanwhile and offered it Luna as a toy, and she liked it. Immediately she started chewing the brush, so I tried to brush her teeth a bit. And she even seems to like it, at least for a while! LOL, I never expected this, on the other hand, I often see her chewing wood, maybe this is some kind of teeth brushing for her?

Kirsten

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http://www.KirstenScheffel.de

Troy
02-19-2001, 07:57 PM
Chewing bones is also very good for cats teeth. I feed my cats chicken, raw of course, twice a week. I usually use wings or drumsticks as they have a good amount of bone in them and keep the "boys" amused for ages.

This doesn't mean they don't need a vet excursion to get the tartar removed but it does slow down the build-up and keep their gums healthy.

4 feline house
02-19-2001, 09:14 PM
Troy-

Even tho some of the folks who have read some of my more controversial posts might disagree with me, I am really not the kind of person who tells someone else how to take care of their cat unless they have asked for my opinion, so forgive me if I seem to be minding your business, but I feel compelled to say that fowl bones are quite dangerous for cats (and dogs) because they splinter easily and are therefore likely to get caught in a cat's teeth, or worse, throat and cause injury and even death. Please reconsider giving your cats fowl bones.

[This message has been edited by 4 feline house (edited February 19, 2001).]

Troy
02-20-2001, 01:44 AM
4 feline house,

Thanks for your concern, and I'm not trying to sound like a "smart-arse" but only cooked fowl bones splinter in a way that is dangerous for cats. I have always fed my/our families cats chicken bones and in 30+ years and 20+ cats have never had a problem.

Cats evolved with a natural diet that is primarily made up of rodents and birds.

By the way, just out of curiosity, have you or anyone you've known ever lost a feline from choking on un-cooked fowl bones? It's just that I have often heard of the dangers but have never actually heard of anyone whose lost a feline this way...

"...forgive me if I seem to be minding your business..."
Don't apologise. I would rather be called an idiot and correct anything I was doing wrong than jeopardise the health and saftey of my cats. Thanks again.

Pam
02-20-2001, 07:44 AM
Troy,
Raw chicken? I would be afraid to feed anything raw. These days there are "safe handling" warning labels on most of the meat I buy so that meats are cooked to an acceptable internal temperature. The fear is salmonella and other food-borne bacteria which I think for some reason seems to be on the arise. This has led to an over-abundance of anti-bacterial soaps on the market (for use in the kitchen especially) which are supposed to be able to keep you one step ahead of these nasty things that may be lurking in our meats. Ever have a kitty get sick from raw meat? Just curious.

[This message has been edited by Pam (edited February 20, 2001).]

Helen
02-20-2001, 08:54 AM
My vet advised me recently to brush Sadie's teeth - but I haven't dared yet tell Sadie about this! Her reaction to this shocking affront to her dignity will, I know, ensure that the result will be a failure. I'm trying to improve things by giving her some dried food which is said to be good for teeth and gums, so I'm vainly hoping that things might improve. I know I'll end up doing as the vet says, and suffering in the process.

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Helen

Troy
02-20-2001, 08:38 PM
Pam,

My cats regularly get a variety of raw meat, mainly beef, lamb, pork, and chicken. I have never suspected an illness caused by raw meat. Cat's quite often barf if they are fed meat directly from the fridge due to it's temperature.

In regards to bacteria only chicken contains the dangerous salmonella. It permutes the muscle tissue and can only be killed by cooking the chicken thoroughly. Bacteria on pork also permutes the muscle tissue but none of this bacteria is harmful to humans (or other animals). Bacteria on lamb and beef is only superficial and is destroyed when cooked, even if only the outside is seared.
Despite all this none of these bacteria poses a real threat to kitty because their constitution is designed to cope with these bacteria. I don't believe it is a real problem for felines and in fact most vets here (and the UK) have always suggested raw chicken wings (and other meats) to promote good health in cats - in moderation.

...of course if you're talking about humans thats an entirely different kettle of fish. We aren't nearly as hardy as our feline friends.

"...This has led to an over-abundance of anti-bacterial soaps on the market (for use in the kitchen especially)..."

Excuse my ignorance, but I hope you don't mean you wash your meat with soap? http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

I guess I should also point out that my original recommendation was that felines be fed some foods that are not "soft" to give their teeth, gums, and jaws a decent work-out. Eating tinned and soft foods all the time is ultimately bad for the felines oral health.

Pam
02-20-2001, 08:55 PM
Troy you made me laugh out loud. No, I didn't mean I wash my meat. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif Some of the ads for these soaps tell you to be sure and wash with an anti-bacterial soap after you handle chicken especially. (I usually handle my chicken in the kitchen http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif ) The fear is that you would maybe begin to make a salad or something and your "salmonella laden" hands would contaminate your salad. I'm glad your kitties have suffered no ill effects. There does seem to be much more of a concern these days about this sort of thing than in years past. Eggs are scary things too. Soft boiled eggs are a thing of the past.

Troy
02-20-2001, 09:05 PM
Pam, yes, I can imagine the Sunday roast coming out of the oven only to be scrubbed with soap before being carved and served up http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/eek.gif Perhaps you could use a dishwasher?

Back to reality...as an human I am very careful about handling chicken and egg dishes. A study in New Zealand recently showed that a considerable proportion of "24 hour bugs" were in fact caused directly by bad cooking or reheating of chicken.

4 feline house
02-20-2001, 09:45 PM
Troy-

To be honest, I really don't know if all the warnings are about cooked or raw birds, I don't recall any distinction ever being made. But I have often wondered how cats managed for so long on their own if bird bones were indeed so dangerous! But, yes, sadly I have heard of a cat dying from a chicken bone. And it was a cooked chicken.

Also, you are right about cats being able to handle many bacteria that we humans can't. Acutally, most food poisoning is not even caused by a bacterial infection, per se, it is caused by toxins produced by the bacteria. If the host organism isn't sensitive to the toxin, no harm is done.

Martin
02-21-2001, 04:38 AM
Troy, you ask the most personal questions! That one was quite ... unbelievable!

Pat
02-21-2001, 06:28 AM
Let's get back to the brushing of cat's teeth for a moment. No, I have never tried to brush either Simon nor Kelly's teeth and I don't think I will. Simon might be very brave at the vet and will not complain but Kelly http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/eek.gif ... well, this is a different story. What I was told to do is give them chicken-necks to chew on. It's not bones but gristle and will not harm them. I for some reason don't like to give them chicken bones with all the stories I heard about it. If I am not sure, I will not feed. And yes, Kirsten, I also give them Whiskas Dentabits. I still have to make sure Kelly will chew it and not just swallow. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/rolleyes.gif

Kirsten
02-21-2001, 10:10 AM
Well, I don't know if only cooked chicken bones splinter, but what I know for sure is that it's always dangerous to feed raw meat.
Raw pork meat for example is dangerous for cats because of the Aujeszky-virus, which is letal for cats, raw chicken could cause salmonellosis and from ham they could be infected with the Parvo virus.

Pam, your Kelly tries to swallow the DentaBits? OMG, they're so big! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

Kirsten

pam_pesto
02-21-2001, 11:00 AM
My fiancee says that we don't need to brush Pest's teeth because she eats hard food. But she does enjoy a nibble on cream cheese or various sauces too. I can't imagine trying to brush her teeth; she is so bratty. Do you think that we don't really have to worry about it?

Kirsten
02-21-2001, 12:11 PM
I don't know, so far I thought it would only be natural not to brush an animals' teeth, especially when they eat hard food.
Now I've read several times during the past weeks that it's more and more recommended by the vets and that cats that eat can food would easily get tartar and lose their teeth. My Katz (R.I.P.) lost her teeth very young, she was only 7 when it started. So I thought I'd try to get Luna (10 months) used to it and she seems to like it, so why not? http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

Kirsten

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http://www.KirstenScheffel.de

Troy
02-21-2001, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by Martin:
Troy, you ask the most personal questions! That one was quite ... unbelievable!

...Martin, you lost me there - what did I ask? http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/confused.gif

Troy
02-22-2001, 12:44 AM
Kirsten,

I'm sorry to sound so dogmatic about the issue but personally I do believe it is OKAY to feed a cat its natural diet - raw meat. A cat is more likely to become ill/sick from processed foods, and in fact studies have proven that cooked meat will deteriorate the condition of felines whereas raw meat improves the condition.

I will say that there is a small risk in some countries of pork containing the psuedorabies virus (Aujeszky) but only in countries that have infected swine, and even then the risk is very low. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Norway, Finland and Luxembourg are free of the disease.

Lamb and beef are fine (excluding CJD) which, again, is not present in many countries and VERY low risk.

The salmonella carried in fowl meat is not the same salmonella that felines carry. As far as I know there is no concern for cats contracting salmonella. Some animals are naturally immune to salmonella - like fowl.

Only cooked fowl bones splinter in a manner dangerous to felines.

Parvo virus in felines, also known as feline distemper virus, is nearly always passed on through feline contact with other infected felines. I have not heard of it being passed on throught raw/cooked meat.

I guess we should also remember that some viral/bacterial problems exist in some countries and not others so one fixed rule is not possible. We should also remember that cats are not people (or dogs) and that their digestive systems are very efficient at ejecting toxic foods.

It just seems to me a bit strange that many of us (I'm guilty of this too) are quite happy to fill our felines with processed, canned, tinned foods (of which few are "natural") yet we fear giving them fresh raw meat which is what they are designed to eat. Considering felines thrive on disease ridden creatures like rodents and birds perhaps we are guilty of being slightly paranoid?

This is all said in a debating manner without grimmaces or frowns http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

Pat
02-22-2001, 04:28 AM
Kirsten, Kelly is a very greedy little creature and when she smells food it has to be eaten fast. I have tried to convince her that nobody would take it from her (not even Simon) but I have failed. Kelly just swallows if she is hungry (and she is always hungry) http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/rolleyes.gif
Troy, you are so right with what you say. Why should we worry about the fresh food. Simon would catch birds and mice outside and there is no way I could take it from him. Now, that is very fresh food. I sometimes wonder how much beef or chicken the canned food really contains. Is it as much as it says on the can http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/confused.gif

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Have a purr-fect day
Simon & Kelly

4 feline house
02-24-2001, 12:06 AM
Troy-

You are correct about keeping in mind that various countries and continents have varying diseases. Also, here in the US (I don't know how much of a problem this is elsewhere), even our "fresh" foods go through an awful lot of processing and handling before they get to our kitchen, increasing the likelihood of contamination and imporoper handling and storing. I frequently give my cats raw meat, as well as cooked, as treats. I do the packaged foods mainly for convenience and thrift. I couldn't say for certain that if I had the time and the finances, I wouldn't feed a raw meat diet, supplemented with grass. But then I do live dangerously when it comes to raw meat - I love raw beef. Give me steak tartare any day!

Troy
02-25-2001, 09:47 PM
4 feline house,

Yes I am a great fan of steak tartare, sashimi, and other raw meat/fish dishes too. We do seem to be lucky in this part of the world because much of our meat and fish is very fresh and cheap. It costs me as much to buy tinned food as it does fresh meat.