Can or should we buy chews or bones for our cats? I wanted to buy some to
help their teeth but they all say they are for dogs.
In cats, chewing on things that aren't food is generally considered to be an
abnormal condition called "pica." Siamese cats who chew or suck on wool fall
into this category. Pica can be a sign of dental disease or abdominal pain, so
get your cat checked by the vet if your cat suddenly starts this behavior or
does it excessively. Teething kittens (between 4-7 months of age) will often
chew anything in sight, but this is usually temporary.
Lots of cats lick or chew plastic or styrofoam, which is sometimes attributed to
the animal by-products in those items. (My personal theory is that they like the
noise it makes!) However, it’s best to keep those items out of reach. Many cats
chew on plants. The stiff, crunchy leaves of a spider plant, for instance, seem
to be irresistible!
Kitty's Garden cat grass would be a big hit with them.
Not many cats like to chew on toys, and in general it's not necessary to buy
them for an adult cat.
But there are cats who do like to chew; if yours is one of them, you’ll want to
provide an acceptable alternative to wires, shoelaces, leather, and other
tempting items. Try a
Catnip Chew Ring; it’s one of the only chew toys designed for cats.
Teething kittens may also appreciate the satisfying feel of this toy.
Some other good choices include
Ark Naturals Breath-Less Brushless-Toothpaste,
Ark Naturals Sea Mobility Mighty Mini Jerky Squares, and
Bell Rock Growers Pet Greens Dried Catnip Buds for Cats.
Because cats are sensitive to carbs, chewy, jerky-type treats rather than
biscuits are most appropriate. Also remember that these edible chews will add
calories (mostly fat), so you may need to adjust your cat's food intake
By the way, you can't rely on treats or chews for your pet's dental health. Talk
to your vet about how to truly keep your pet's mouth healthy.
Jean Hofve, DVM
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