How Much Does Cat Teeth Cleaning Cost?

Written by: Staff

Periodically, a cat should have its teeth cleaned, just like a human being should.  By age three, close to 70 percent of cats will show some sign of dental disease.

Cat teeth by barbourians, on Flickr
Cat teeth” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by barbourians

How much does cat teeth cleaning cost?

The average price for cat teeth cleaning can range anywhere from $150 to $450, depending on the vet clinic, geographical location and the work being done.  This price range should include the cleaning and anesthesia if the cat needs it.  If the vet uses an ultrasonic method, the prices could be higher.

The Northern Illinois Cat Clinic says you should budget $250 to $300 for a cleaning.  This would price range would include monitoring by a veterinary technician, an IV catheter, fluids, ultrasonic scaling, polishing and fluoride treatment.  The clinic notes if blood work is included, the costs could be as much as $500.

For those who want to do it on their own will find a simple starter kit for home use can cost $5 to $40.  These kits will include a smaller human version toothbrush, a finger brush and a rubber finger glove. For example, the Proden Plagueoff Animal retails for $22 to $35.  Granted, this shouldn’t be substituted for a professional cleaning and should only be considered as a preventative measure to prevent plaque and tartar buildup.  Avoid using human toothpaste as this can be harmful to your cat’s health.  Veterinarians recommend cleaning your cat’s teeth daily. says the procedure can be anywhere from $300 to $1,400, depending on what’s being done.  Every vet will have their own charges and the price can depend on the condition of the pet and what’s found during the cleaning.

Cat teeth cleaning overview

The price quoted above should include the cleaning, polishing and the fluoride treatment.

The first step with a cleaning is an examination.  During this examination, the vet will review the cat’s health history and dental history if it has it.  At this time, the vet may run tests if they need to be done, such as blood work, an EKG or urine tests.  Older cats will often have an EKG, blood pressure test, x-ray and thyroid test to rule out any diseases.

If cleared for this procedure, the cat will be placed under anesthesia to help relax the cat during the cleaning.  A soft tube will be inserted down the windpipe to help with the breathing.

During the cleaning, the veterinarian will use ultrasonic hand instruments to clean the cat’s teeth, removing any tartar and plaque buildup from the upper and lower gum lines.  Once the cleaning is done, fluoride will be applied to polish the teeth, and the veterinarian will inspect the cat’s mouth for any signs of disease and/or cavities.  If anything is found, they will recommend a course of action.

What are the extra costs?

Some vets will require blood work done prior to the procedure, which can cost $75 on average, and this will be done to see if the cat will be able to be placed under an anesthesia.  Most vets will want blood work for older cats or for cats that already have an underlying disease.

Anesthesia will almost always be used, especially for cats that are jittery or if the vet deems it’s necessary.  This can cost anywhere from $50 to $125.  Some vets may bill this separately, while others may combine it with the total bill.

Cats with an infection of some kind may need to take antibiotics a week before the cleaning to prevent the weak gums from bleeding.  This medicine should be less than $35.

Depending on the vet, some may ask that the x-rays are performed as well to get a better look at the teeth.  This can cost an additional $50 to $150, depending on the number of x-rays taken.

Extracting a tooth, if necessary, can cost an additional $20 to $80, depending on the size and location of the tooth.  Fixing a cat tooth abscess could cost $300 to more than $1,200, while fixing a broken tooth could be $400 to $800.

Tips to know

If your cat’s breath smells bad, it isn’t because of the tuna he or she is eating; it could be due to something rotting in their mouth.  If your cat’s breath isn’t the greatest, it may be time for a checkup

If you have a pet insurance policy, it may be covered by it, depending on the fine print.  Check with your pet insurance company to see if it’s covered.

Cornell University states nearly 85 percent of cats will have periodontal disease by the time they are six years old.

Dry cat treats are available on the market that can help with strengthening and keeping your cat’s teeth healthy.

Unlike humans, you won’t know when your cat has tooth pain as they continue to act and eat normally.  To know if your cat is suffering from a dental condition, look out for bad breath, pawing at the mouth, grinding their teeth, grooming less often, red gums, exposed roots in the teeth or excessive drooling.  if you notice any of these symptoms, you will want to call a vet’s office immediately.

A cat, as an adult, will have 30 teeth but may start to lose some if signs are found.

Do cats lose teeth?  Cats will begin losing their baby teeth at 12 to 16 weeks, and by nine months, a kitten should have a full set of adult teeth.

Ultrasonic teeth cleaning risks can include excessive vibration or it could produce a fine aerosol mist. gives us five reasons to clean your cat’s teeth.

How can I save money?

Some vet offices may have discounted packages you can take advantage of.  Be sure to ask the office if you’re able to combine a dental cleaning with a well visit, for example.

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Average Reported Cost: $750

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Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. J. S. (Saint Joseph,  Michigan) paid $750 and said:

    Included blood work, radiographs, i.v. fluids, anesthesia, pain block, medications, oral surgery for neck lesion, periodontal therapy, in addition to scaling/polishing. Includes one week post surgery checkup.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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