Let’s talk about the dental habits of cats for a moment, shall we? I have had cats my entire life, I like them because unlike most other pets (I’m looking at you dogs) they are pretty self-sufficient and take minimal time to deal with. If our dog is a toddler with ADHD who can’t even bath himself than the cat is a 17 year high school senior who knows how to do everything for himself, disdains you and is ready to just leave and get to college already.
Because of all of this my history with cats has always been – I will feed you and pet you but you are responsible for your own grooming and medical care. Don’t come crying to me if you need anything. Our current cat was found huddled, dirty, sick and malnourished under a car in West Philly. I took him to the vet when I first got him to get medicine but after he was healed and had packed on another 5-7 pounds I washed my hands of his care and have spent the last five years simply petting him and providing a lap for him to nap on.
This past summer he developed an odor… a truly disgusting, foul stench that emanated from his mouth. I did what anyone with my disposition would do, I ignored it and re-positioned him on my lap so as to smell him as little as possible. Eventually it became hard to ignore, I did some internet research and decided he probably had some bad oral hygiene going on up in there. I went out and purchased some very expensive scientifically formulated cat food that is supposed to break up plague and take care of your cat’s oral care. Done and done.
Then this fall, as the stench not only returned but worsened (even with the expensive new food) I finally relented and made him a vet appointment but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was not going to be that person that paid hundreds of dollars to get their cats teeth cleaned, enough is enough you know? So imagine my surprise when the vet showed me the advanced stages of periodontal disease happening inside his mouth and as I looked at my poor kitty literally clinging to the front of my jacket for emotional support I realized that I wasn’t that person at all. I was the person who said “it’s okay, go ahead and pull all his teeth it doesn’t matter what it costs, I don’t want him in pain, we’ll do whatever we need to do”. I don’t really want to disclose how much oral surgery for a cat costs but let’s just say… I have reached a higher plateau of crazy cat lady status.