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Feline Periodontal Disease:
I recently received this email asking about Cats with Bad Teeth and Gum Disease:
Q: I have a question about tooth and gum care – my cat has had some troubles – is bad teeth in Ragdoll cats common? He eats nothing but raw meat, fish and chicken …. and some good cat biscuits as you recommend on the site. What are your thoughts please.
Here are my thoughts on Feline Periodontal Disease:
A: … Tooth and gum problems in cats are no more common in Ragdoll cats than other breeds (IMO). Although I have heard different breeders say they think gum problems are more prevalent in certain genetic lines of their cats. Feline periodontal disease is a big problems in most breeds.
What exactly is your cat eating? Meat is good, but if it is not BIG pieces then yes, just like anything else it can harm a cat’s teeth overtime.
As often as we need to brush our teeth, cats need to have theirs brushed too . .. and the natural way for them to do this by chomping through larger pieces of food.
My advice for cats with Feline Periodontal Disease, is to make sure they have at least once meal a day of something that is big. Big meaning like a chicken neck, wing or back. This helps to massage the cat’s gums, remove debris and plaque, and also keeps the cat’s jaws strong.
I don’t recommend feeding cats minced or ground meat at all, any more. Apart from the high bacteria content, this type of food is often sticky and tends to wedge in around the gum line.
And because cats don’t brush, they have no real way of dislodging and removing it. Of course the bad bacteria love it in there! This is what causes gum problems and feline periodontal disease in cats who otherwise have a healthy raw meat diet.
I also believe that dry food and other commercial foods alters the bacteria in cats mouths, changing the whole climate. They need a specific bacteria to keep everything healthy; raw foods promote the existence of this bacteria in cat’s mouths and other foods do not.
If you think about this concept a little more … and of course this is only my own musings … grains are used for fermenting, meat products are not. The bacteria required is totally different in each type of food. I reckon that feeding carnivores foods that encourage fermentation, as in grain-based dry and canned food, sustains and feeds incorrect bacteria inside the mouth.
Any cat with teeth and gum problems should have ALL food containing grain removed from it’s diet completely, in my opinion.
And it is very interesting to note here, that apparently the only animals who suffer from periodontal diseases and gingivitis etc., are us humans and our domesticated animals. Food for thought?
I have seen cats come back from the brink of having to have teeth removed, just by changing what they are fed. If a cat has gingivitis, inflamed gums or even stomatitis, and their whole mouth is sore, it can be hard and takes a fair bit of understanding and care … but is not impossible.
For more information, please visit my page here: Best Food For Cats
Other than that, if your cat is eating as above, then I could suggest to try brushing his teeth regularly yourself. If you start off very gently with only a few seconds each time, make it fun and just work your way up massaging his gums slowly, it can work.
I hope this helps somewhat with your cats gum and teeth problems.