How Much Does Cat Teeth Cleaning Cost?

Three Minutes
Apr 17, 2024

Cat owners know that protecting their feline’s teeth is an important part of managing their health. But do you know what to expect when it comes to cat dental cleaning costs? The truth is cleaning your kitty’s chompers could cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to over a thousand. It all depends on how bad (or good) your cat’s dental health is.

How Much Is a Cat Dental Cleaning?

The average cost of cat teeth cleaning is between $100 and $400.1 This can vary based on several factors, including your cat’s age and size, as well as where you live.1

Why is cat teeth cleaning so expensive?

Having your cat’s teeth cleaned is a bit more complicated than your average trip to the dentist. Most cats need to be anesthetized for the duration of the cleaning. Not only does this help reduce the stress and anxiety your cat may experience, but it also gives the vets enough time to do a thorough job.1

Anesthesia contributes to the cost of cat teeth cleaning, but it’s not the only item that could be on the bill. Other common expenses include:1

  • X-rays: Just like with humans, oral vets often want to take X-rays of your cat’s teeth and jaws to get a better picture of their dental health.
  • Bloodwork: Blood tests done before a cat teeth cleaning can help vets identify issues with organ function that could indicate severe periodontal disease.
  • Medication: Your vet might send you home with medication, such as antibiotics, to prevent infection and help your cat recover.

While cleanings may seem pricey, not caring for your cat’s teeth can cost more in the long run. Treatment for downstream oral health issues, like root canals or tooth extractions, can increase your expenditure to upwards of a thousand dollars.1

Periodontal Disease May Hurt Your Cat and Your Wallet

Pet Insurance Can Help

Why Your Cat’s Dental Health Matters

As many as 90% of cats have some form of dental disease, such as periodontal disease and gingivitis, by the time they’re four years old.2 Neglecting your cat’s dental care can lead to even more severe problems. In fact, plaque and bacteria on unhealthy teeth and gums can accumulate and cause damage to the tissue under your cat's teeth — potentially leading to gingivitis, periodontitis, and/or tooth loss.2

How to Clean Your Cat’s Teeth at Home

While you should be taking your cat to the dentist for an annual cleaning, you can also care for their teeth regularly at home. There are a few steps you can take to help maintain your pet’s dental health.

Brush your cat's teeth

That’s right! Just like you brush your own teeth two or three times a day, it’s a good idea to brush your cat’s teeth at least three times a week.3 Pet stores sell toothbrushes and toothpaste designed specifically for cats, including toothbrushes that fit on your finger.

While brushing your cat’s teeth may be intimidating, there are steps you can take to make it more pleasant for both of you. Ideally, start brushing your cat’s teeth when they’re a kitten. This way, they’ll become accustomed to the routine. If you have to start when they’re an adult, patience is key — and be sure to find a calm, quiet place to do it.3

Apply gel to your cat’s teeth

If your cat absolutely hates getting their teeth brushed, you could consider oral gel instead. While you’re still sticking your hand in your cat’s mouth, it can be easier and faster than brushing their teeth.

Give your cat dental treats

While dental chews aren’t an alternative to brushing your cat’s teeth, they can help support oral health.4 Dental treats are formulated with ingredients that help with teeth and gum hygiene. They’re also a bit harder than regular cat treats and kibble, which helps scrape the plaque and tartar buildup off the teeth as your cat chews on them.4

Does Pet Insurance Cover Cat Teeth Cleaning Costs?

Typically, cat insurance doesn't cover cat teeth cleaning costs. However, MetLife Pet Insurance offers a Preventive Care add-on that can help reimburse you for the cost of annual cat teeth cleaning. Preventive Care also helps cover the cost of other important routine services, such as vaccination, parasite prevention, and more!5

Keeping your cat’s teeth clean and safe from tooth decay should always be a priority. Learn more about how pet insurance works to keep your cat — and your wallet — safe. Or get started saving today with a free quote!

Help Keep Your Cat Healthy and Happy

**As with any insurance policy, coverage may vary. Review our coverage and exclusions.

1 “What is a Professional Veterinary Dental Cleaning?”, American Veterinary Dental College,

2 “Feline Dental Disease,” Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine,

3 “Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth,” VCA Animal Hospital

4 “Best Cat Dental Treats,” Rover

5 For IAIC policies, optional Preventive Care coverage is based on a Schedule of Benefits. For MetGen policies, optional Preventive Care coverage is included in the annual limit.

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, and Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85454. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota) and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

Disclosure for Maine Residents

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