Dental disease in cats is a serious and potentially life threatening health problem.
Most cats will have a decline in their oral health as they age, so anything we can do to ward off potential problems means a lowered risk of disease, and a lowered risk of a cat having to undergo surgery for a tooth extraction, amongst other health concerns that can result from poor dental health.
Please note: this article is not a replacement for veterinary advice, nor are supplements a replacement for veterinary assessments and diagnosis of your cat’s oral health status. Ideally, cats should be checked annually to ensure their teeth and gums are in good condition, with all veterinary recommendations followed.
PlaqueOff is, despite it’s popularity by those in the know, a pretty well kept secret. Most people seem to hear about it through word by mouth or after hitting the web desperate to find a maintenance solution for dental health in their cat, because the consequences of poor oral healht and potential extraction surgery (not to mention dental disease) is rather frightening and something we all want to help our beloved felines avoid if possible.
I only recently discovered it myself and have started all of my cats on it, including those older ones with some existing early stage gum disease and mild gingivitis (sadly common amongst all adult cats out there).
Will I see some of the “miraculous” results so many others are talking about? I hope so, but only time will tell and I look forward to updating this guide with my own personal experiences with Plaque Off in the coming months.
I do want to talk about those who should not use this product. It concerns those cats who have known or suspected thyroid issues (not sure? Please see your vet and don’t just guess). This includes not just hyperthyroidism as is often stated, but any type of thyroid health problem.
The reason for this is the existence of iodine in Plaque Off, which is present in rather high amounts in the main seaweed ingredient. If your cat has thyroid problems, Plaque Off is not going to be an available method for maintaining dental health (but you will have other options)
This is not a miracle cure for existing dental conditions. If your cat has a tooth infection or other dental problem SEE YOUR VET.
Sadly I’ve come across comments from a minority of people stating they tried to use this for a tooth infection or other painful and serious dental condition instead of taking the cat to the vet (and hence prolonging the extreme pain and suffering that comes with tooth and gum problems.
PlaqueOff, or any product, is not a veterinary replacement.
What are the ingredients in PlaqueOff?
There are two versions of Plaque Off that cats can use: the feline-specific formula, or the one that is made for both dogs and cats. What’s the difference? The cat only formula has an added ingredient – brewer’s yeast, which gives the powder a more appealing taste.
Brewer’s yeast is perfectly edible by humans (though not in this product, obviously), and some people supplement it in their diet, particularly vegans. As cats are known finicky eaters compared to most dogs, this added ingredient can mean the difference between a cat eating their food with PlaqueOff powder in it, or turning their noses up.
The best way to introduce a cat to the powder is to begin with a very small dose, and increase it slightly every day, until you reach the recommended dosage.
Summary of PlaqueOff for Cats vs PlaqueOff for Dogs & Cats:
|PlaqueOff Powder for Cats||PlaqueOff Powder for Dogs & Cats|
|North Atlantic alga Ascophyllum nodosum and contains 10% brewer’s yeast, a taste that most cats find appealing.||North Atlantic alga Ascophyllum nodosum.|
|Simple 1 scoop dose||Based on small dog weight: 1/2 – 1 scoop|
As you can see, there’s really no difference besides the addition of brewer’s yeast in the cat only version of this supplement. If you’re concerned that your cat might not want to eat their food with this (very small amount) of powder in it, then the cat specific version is probably going to be your best choice.
If on the other hand you have a dog and you want to give both your cat and dog PlaqueOff, there’s no harm in trying the Dog & Cat version first, as it’s certainly not all cats that will require the added yeast for taste.
How Do You Use It?
PlaqueOff comes in a powder form, and there’s a supplied small scoop in the bottle. Follow the directions on the bottle for dosage instructions; however, the dose for PlaqueOff For Cats is one scoop daily in a meal.
It’s recommended that you start off using less – about half a scoop – to begin with. This gets the cat used to having the powder in his food. You can then adjust it a little higher as time goes on.
The product is said by the manufacturer to be safe for continual long term use, and they make it clear that its benefits are only effective while you’re using it. In other words, if PlaqueOff is having a positive effect on the dental health of your cat, this won’t continue happening if you stop using the powder.
Expect it to take a couple of weeks or more to start seeing positive changes in the mouth once you’ve started using it, though this will obviously vary with each cat and any other lifestyle and diet factors that might be affecting her oral health.
Who’s It For?
PlaqueOff can be used by cats that are no younger than 6 months old, starting from the age all their permanent teeth have come through. This is generally around the 6 to 7 months of age mark. Just like humans, kittens have “baby teeth” which fall out and are replaced by “adult teeth” or permanent teeth.
This whole process is usually complete by 6.5 months of age on average. But see your vet if you’re unsure of what stage of teething your kitten is at.
Which Cats Should Not Use It?
Cats with thyroid problems should not be given PlaqueOff at all.
The main ingredient Ascophyllum nodosum, a type of kelp or seaweed, has a high level of iodine in it. It is often used as an iodine supplement for humans for this very reason.
Cats with hyperthyroidism already have too much thyroid hormone thyroxine being produced in the body.
Eating foods that contain iodine results in even more of this hormone being produced, leading to a serious health condition that can be life threatening if not treated. Cats with hyperthyroidism are prescribed a diet that has restricted iodine, like Hill’s Prescription Diet Y/D.
It’s not just hyperthyroidism though, ProDen states that cats with any thyroid problems should not take PlaqueOff, and to see your vet for advice.
Better to be safe than sorry. Cat has thyroid problems? Avoid PlaqueOff and any supplement or food that contains seaweed or other iodine-containing ingredients.
Cats under 7 months old who haven’t yet got all of their permanent adult teeth should also not be given the supplement until their teething process is complete (see above).
What Are The Potential Side Effects of PlaqueOff For Cats?
Being an all natural product, a lot of people will believe that there is no risk of PlaqueOff having side effects. This isn’t necessarily the case though.
When I’m trying anything new with my cats, the first thing I want to know is what are the potential risks or side effects, and what side effects might others be experiencing that we can learn from.
You can then be in a more informed position to weigh up the pros and cons, potential risks, and then make a decision based on that as to whether you want to use a new product – in this case, PlaqueOff.
This is an all natural supplement. So to determine potential risks, each ingredient should be looked at. As it stands, the possible side effects are minimal with Plaque Off For Cats, and the main risk is in giving it to cats who have a thyroid condition, which must be avoided.
What Are People’s Experiences With PlaqueOff?
The experiences and comments out there about people’s experience in using PlaqueOff with their cats leans more towards the positive end.
I’ve studied extensively the experiences, comments, reviews and general consensus surrounding PlaqueOff, firstly so I could decide whether I felt comfortable using it for my cats, and whether I believed it could be effective, and of course so I could share my research here and compile it into easy-to-read form.
There are hundreds, possibly thousands, of comments and reviews around the web about this supplement, and I’ve spent many (too many perhaps) hours reading them all and noting down the various points (both positive, negative and neutral) that cat owners are sharing.
Hopefully my research will save you the time so you can make a quicker and more informed decision about whether or not PlaqueOff is something you’d like to try for your cat.
Positive Things About PlaqueOff
The negative things that people are saying about PlaqueOff
Didn’t Work – Amongst the more negative experiences out there regarding Plaque Off, not seeing any improvements in their cat’s teeth is the most common negative complaint.
While this is not a good result for those people, it’s certainly a more reassuring complaint to read than that of a lot of other products out there, where negative exeperiences with a health or food product might be more along the lines of causing harm or sickness to a cat.
While it’s a shame that some people have not seen the expected results with PlaqueOff, there are a myriad of reasons why it may or may not bring about improvements.
When it comes down to it, it might just not work well for some individual cats, while others see excellent results. Plaque Off is one of those things that you just don’t know until you try.
Possible side effects – it’s almost impossible to connect any side effects with PlaqueOff use with scientific evidence. It goes wihtout saying, that is someone starts to use PlaqueOff and at some point notices health issues with their cat, questioning whether PlaqueOff is the cause is certainly not unreasonable. But tehre can also be a myriad of other reasons a cat experiences health issues, and that’s why a proper diagnosis is vital. In any case, stopping the use of PlaqueOff if you suspect anything wrong with your cat is a smart decision (as it is with any other non-essential products you might be using) – until your vet investigates.