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Home > Cats > How Much Does Cat Dental Cleaning Cost? (Price Guide 2024)

How Much Does Cat Dental Cleaning Cost? (Price Guide 2024)

cat getting teeth brushed

Humans need regular dental cleanings to prevent problems and maintain good oral health, and our pets are no different. If you don’t care for your cat’s teeth, you could leave them susceptible to a wide variety of health problems, according to the American Veterinary Dental Association.

Bad breath, discoloration, difficulty chewing, inappetence, drooling, bleeding, and swelling are all indications of a potential dental concern, such as an abscessed or fractured tooth. Your cat’s teeth and gums should be cleaned and evaluated yearly by a veterinarian, which is typically performed under general anesthesia. You may be wondering how much this can cost, but the price varies between $100–$400 according to the veterinary clinic performing the procedure and what’s involved.


The Importance of Cat Dental Cleaning

According to the American Veterinary Dental Association, periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats. By the time these pets reach the age of three, they will likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which can advance and cause serious problems like kidney, liver, and heart muscle changes.

Periodontal disease begins with plaque that hardens into tartar. When it goes below the gumline, it can set the cat up for infection and damage to the underlying bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place—just like periodontal disease in humans.

Regular dental cleanings under general anesthesia can remove plaque and tartar buildup, reducing the risk of infection. Your veterinarian also has an opportunity to thoroughly examine your cat’s teeth to look for signs of abscess, fracture, or other problems. In some cases, your cat may need one or more teeth extracted.

How Much Does Professional Cat Teeth Cleaning Cost?

Veterinarian examining teeth of Persian cat
Image Credit: didesign021, Shutterstock

Professional cat teeth cleaning can vary according to the age and size of the cat, the geographic location, whether extractions are needed, and more. In general, a professional cat dental cleaning may cost between $100 and $400.

Here are few factors that impact the cost:

  • Age: Older cats are more likely to have heavy plaque and tartar buildup, which may take longer to remove and may increase the cost of the anesthesia and procedure.
  • Size: Anesthesia and medication costs are weight-based, so your cat’s size may impact the cost of the procedure.
  • Individual clinic: Each veterinary clinic or facility charges its own rates.
  • Location: Costs may fluctuate according to geographic locations. For example, urban centers may have higher clinic costs than rural areas.

Additional Costs to Anticipate

The cost of a routine dental cleaning is typically a flat rate at most veterinary clinics, but the cost can increase with additional testing, medications, or procedures.

  • X-rays: If your vet needs a closer look at the condition of your cat’s teeth, such as with fractures or cavities, X-rays may be necessary.
  • Pre-surgical testing: Your cat may require bloodwork to check overall health and organ function prior to receiving anesthesia.
  • Extractions: The flat rate covers the routine cleaning, but extractions may be additional for each tooth.
  • Root canal: If an infected or damaged tooth is important for function, such as the canines, a root canal may be preferred over an extraction and adds to the cost.
  • Medication: Your cat may need an antibiotic to treat or prevent infection and pain medication to manage discomfort following the surgery, which will be added on to the total cost of the procedure.

You can ask your vet for a cost estimate prior to your cat’s surgery. This should include the low-end estimate, which is just the routine cleaning and expected medications, and a high-end estimate, which may include any possible extractions, root canals, or other services. Keep in mind that this estimate is exactly that—and estimate—and may be higher or lower.

How Often Should I Get My Cat’s Teeth Professionally Cleaned?

cream colored maine coon cat getting teeth brushed by owner
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Cats should have a professional dental cleaning at least once per year to remove plaque and tartar. If your cat has severe dental problems, like periodontal disease, more frequent cleanings may be recommended.

Keep in mind that problems can come up the rest of the year, such as abscessed or fractured teeth, that may require treatment. If you notice excessively bad breath, broken or loose teeth, abnormal chewing, drooling, bleeding, or other signs of pain or discomfort, it’s important to have your cat’s mouth checked by your vet.

If your cat does need treatment for a dental problem outside of the regular dental visit, it may be beneficial to opt for a full cleaning along with the treatment. Then, you can discuss the best time for your cat’s next routine cleaning.

You can do your part at home as well. Work with your cat to allow regular brushing with a cat-approved toothpaste and toothbrush. Ideally, you should brush your cat’s teeth every day, but even a few times a week can make a difference. Remember that brushing isn’t a substitute for professional dental cleanings, however.

Continuing the dental visit example, cats need teeth cleaning every x months. Also, talk about signs that prove a cat needs cleaning outside of the scheduled visit, i.e., bleeding gums, discolored teeth, etc.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Cat Dental Cleaning?

Many pet insurance companies cover pets’ dental needs, including routine cleanings, tooth extractions, and periodontal disease treatment, provided there aren’t pre-existing conditions. Check on the details of your policy to see if routine dental cleanings are covered as part of preventative care. You should also check if dental procedures like extractions or root canals are covered.

What to Do for Your Cat’s Teeth in Between Cleanings

brushing cat's teeth
Image Credit: cynoclub, Shutterstock

As mentioned, you can do your part to keep your cat’s teeth healthy in between professional cleanings.

Brushing: This may take some training, but you can brush your cat’s teeth at home to reduce plaque and tartar buildup. A finger brush may be the best option for your cat, but be sure to use toothpaste designed specifically for cats.

Dental chews: You can find dental chews and dental treats designed to improve your cat’s oral hygiene.

Gel and water additives: Gel and water additives designed to reduce plaque and tartar may help keep your cat’s teeth clean. Be sure that your cat doesn’t drink less water as a result, however.

Kibble: Kibble is hard and crunchy, naturally cleaning your cat’s teeth as they chew.



Routine dental cleanings for your cat aren’t cheap, but they’re a necessary part of preventative care. Prevention is often cheaper than the cure, and the same goes for dental cleaning. A routine cleaning keeps plaque and tartar from creating problems like infections and periodontal disease, which can be expensive to treat, not to mention keeping your cat more comfortable.

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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