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Ask the Doctor March 2018 Issue

Dear Doctor: Dental Care Challenges

Cat with toothbrush

©ParkerDeen/Getty Images

Don't despair if your own cat isn't particularly cooperative when you try to brush her teeth. There are dental diets that can be beneficial, too.

Q I am a long-time subscriber and I really enjoy each issue of Catnip! Regarding dental health with my two cats, however, I am at a loss. They simply will not let me brush their teeth. I live alone, so there’s really no one who can assist me on a regular basis.

I feed them Natural Balance and Evanger’s wet foods. Is there a dry food that might help their dental health? I try to be careful of the sodium amounts and other ingredients that are harmful. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Kas Monson

A Dear Kas: What a great question! While toothbrushing is considered the “gold standard” for removing plaque and preventing gingivitis, not every cat is cooperative or trainable.

There are indeed some foods that may be helpful. The Veterinary Oral Health Counsel has awarded the seal of approval to four diets for cats to help reduce plaque, or both plaque and tartar.

These include Prescription Diet Feline t/d, Science Diet Oral Care for Cats, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets DH Feline Formula Dry Cat Food and Royal Canin Feline Dental Diet. These are all balanced diets. To learn more about these and other products that are beneficial in keeping your cat’s mouth healthy, please visit their website:

Bonnie Shope, VMD, AVDC

Veterinary Dental Services, LLC

Boxborough, MA

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