Anybody who knows me knows that I love animals. I tend to not descriminate, and I don't consider myself a "cat person" or a "dog person". I like different things about both species, and I've also had pets that didn't fall into either one of those categories.
Over a year ago, my wife and I adopted a new cat, Oliver, who I wrote about a few times on my blog as I was trying to get him and our indoor dog, Willy, to get along. (They're still pals, by the way.) I'm definitely quite attached to this guy, and he's definitely part of the family. He greets me when I come home, he frequently sits in my lap while watching TV or on the computer, and he's quite friendly when we have company. I definitely want to take good care of him, as he's like a good friend to me.
But I'm not paying $1300 to have his teeth cleaned. To be fair, that was the high end estimate. The low end was $600. Of course, this will also involve all sorts of blood tests, knocking him out, and of course, the teeth cleaning. Apparently, he has some tartar build-up, and that can lead to problems.
It's funny, but I've had cats pretty much all my life. My last cat, Tyson, lived to be eighteen years old. Guess how many teeth cleanings she had? Zero. Guess how many teeth she lost? Zero. Of course, that's not proof of anything. I managed to skip going to the dentist for more than ten years and I didn't have any cavities. Some folks who brush, floss and visit the dentist far more consistently (Quick side note - Oliver just hopped in my lap) than me have far more dental problems than me. After all, genetics does have a part, as some mammals have more troubles than others.
Still, I'm not going to spend all that money to have his teeth cleaned. I figure if something comes up, then I'll deal with it. Until then, my wife and I got this guy out of the animal shelter, and before that he was prowling around and no doubt impregnating dozens upon dozens of homeless females. How long would he have lasted living a life like that? His tartar would have been the least of his problems.
Does that mean that Kirsti and I are going to do nothing? Nope. Kirsti went to PetCo and bought some kitty dental care goodies. There's a little brush with some kitty toothpaste, some treats that help remove tartar, and a rubber mouse that cats like to chew on (because a treat gets lodged inside) and that helps remove tartar. The toothbrushing thing will probably take awhile until we have a successful trial, but considering that he purrs and cooperates when we hold him down to clip his nails, I'm confident that we can eventually get this done.
Total cost of all this kitty dental care? 20 bucks. That's a bit more like it.