Cat's teeth (tooth:-) photograph copyright sachama
The argument goes that dry food cleans a cat's teeth. This is probably a selling point for the big manufacturers and it looks sensible on the face of it. You know, nice hard crunchy pellets rubbing against the teeth and cleaning them instead of sticky, gluey wet food in jelly producing a beautiful breeding ground for bacteria and the formation of plaque. But one well known veterinarian (Elizabeth Hodgkins) and author disagrees and I am sure that there are many more.
Most cats eat dry cat food because it is convenient for us and we think that cats need to graze (they don't, think wild cats). Despite the massive increase in dry cat food vets still see lots of cases of bad teeth and gums (periodontal disease).
Elizabeth makes a good point. We as humans are not told by our dentist to eat more crisps and hard dry food to keep our teeth clean, that would be laughed at.
Dry food becomes wet food in the mouth anyway and as the constituents are less healthy for a cat (so says Elizabeth), the effect on the teeth is not beneficial. Apparently dry food:
- Sticks more easily to the teeth when masticated
- The higher levels of carbohydrates in dry food supports bacteria growth more than for wet food
- The acid coating on dry cat food can help to damage cat teeth enamel
These elements combine she argues to make dry cat food worse for a cat's teeth than wet.
From Cat Teeth Dry Food to Low Carbohydrate Cat Food