Cats and their Teeth
Cats do not have flat teeth for grinding. Their four molars are sharp, and evolved to shear and cut meat into pieces for swallowing. Oddly, the shape of the kibble is very important to cats: some like to bite and crunch kibble, while others prefer rounder pieces they can swallow whole.
Although cats have preferences, the kibble shape has little effect on a cat’s dental health. Raw bones, tooth brushing and nutritious foods can all help maintain a cat’s teeth. There are also dental supplements available that can be added to a cat's food, if the cat is too touchy about his mouth to allow brushing.
A recent dental study,"Influence of Diet on Oral Health in Cats and Dogs,"also indicates that the inclusion of dry food in a cat's diet may significantly decrease the risk of periodontal disease and other dental problems.
Taking care of cats’ teeth and gums can actually contribute to extending their lifespans. When plaque and tartar cause infection and bleeding gums, harmful bacteria enter the bloodstream and can gradually damage the heart, kidneys and liver. For more information about feline dental health, visit our Oral Health for Cats and How to Brush a Cat's Teeth pages.
For a demonstration of how to brush a cat's teeth, visit the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Feline Health Center.
Please visit any of our stores, we’ll be happy to help you help your dog or cat.
We’re not veterinarians. Mud Bay staff are well educated, and our writing is well-researched, but neither the advice of a Mud Bay staff member nor reading Mud Bay's written materials can substitute for visiting a veterinarian. We offer carefully chosen, natural solutions, but we believe that veterinary conditions should be diagnosed and treated by professionals.
For more information on feline dental health, stop by one of our stores for a free copy of our brochure, "Chewing Basics," and a helpful conversation with one of our staff members.