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Searching for information about why dry food is bad for teeth

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I read something in the past few days about dry food being worse for a cat's teeth than wet. Unfortunately I can't for the life of me recall the article, and it wasn't one of the many I have bookmarked re wet v dry food. It may have been from a link on here but I can't remember now how I stumbled across it. I have lots of articles explaining why dry isn't beneficial to teeth, and lots about the importance of wet food, but I'm desperately trying to find something that talks about dry food actually being worse for the teeth than wet (I want it to post on another forum). I think the article I found talked about bacteria in dry food encouraging plaque formation. Something like that. Can anyone help?
post #2 of 15
How far back does your internet history go? Can you look there?
post #3 of 15
There are a lot of theories out there. I think that this one is wrong. Dry food is not, in itself, bad for the cat's teeth. A good quality dry food is just as good as a 'good' wet as long as the cat drinks enough water to stay hydrated. Poor ingredients make some 'wet' foods very bad indeed for the cats.
My girl eats only dry food. I'm going to use toothpaste on her teeth but her furry chew toys are taking a great deal of tartar off the teeth without human intervention.
So I can state that genuine fur chew toys for cats are far better for their teeth than polyester fake fur. That's another theory. Your mileage may differ.
post #4 of 15
I found this one quite interesting even if it is promoting the sale of a book about cat nutrition ...
post #5 of 15
Originally Posted by gayef View Post
I found this one quite interesting even if it is promoting the sale of a book about cat nutrition ...
That and lets see if I get this right

Dry food with lots of water isnt as good as canned ... Dry food is only 8-10% moisture ... Canned is 75% -85% moisture.... so for every 6 ounces of dry food a cat would have to drink 4 ounces of water to equal the moisture of 6 ounces of wet food ...
post #6 of 15
Well, my cat drinks about 4 oz. of water a day. I've checked her two water bowls. She's hydrated and seems to be healthy.
post #7 of 15
I don't have time right now to go through all my links, but I've been researching dry food vs wet food. Each of the links below should refer to the teeth issue including all the long term possible disease connections.

I think it's quite interesting that people seem to only be worried about their cats teeth when looking at the dry vs wet debate. I'd be more worried about the long term diseases that may result from feeding only dry instead.,,p8ds,00.html

Catkins Diet – Deborah Greco

Diabetes – Dry Food

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the links, esp Russian Blue! I'll trawl through them all. Even if I don't find exactly what I'm looking for there may well be some I want to bookmark anyway. I did find an article that suggests the lack of water in dry food produces a thicker saliva which encourages bacteria, although that's not the original article I was thinking of.

I agree, Russian Blue - I see food as being for nutrition and dental care being something separate. I was looking for links as I recalled seeing stuff about dry food actually being bad for teeth and wanted to be able to counter the "dry food is good for their teeth" argument on another forum with something that indicated the not only might dry food not help clean teeth, but might actually be worse for them than wet food.
post #9 of 15 Scroll down to "Dental Disease" - is that what you're looking for?
post #10 of 15
This is my peronal experiance, I got an 8 month old black Maine coone from Battersea Dogs home in London and for the 6 years I had him he would only ever eat wet food, wouldnt touch dry and would rather starve!and guess what, his teeth went rotten covered in tartar, breath stank and was advised by the vet for him to have them taken out (he got run over in January so didn't make it to the vets) My other cat however a female white short haired moggie, will only eat dry food even if she was starving and had no other option... her teeth were perfect, not tarter and healthy pink gums!

so thats my experience.... I fed them what they would eat, as the constant meowing racket was not a pleasant experience!!
post #11 of 15
I agree with fecker22. I fed Gizmo some wet fish food and her breath stank. She's now getting her teeth brushed, but she has not had bad breath with the dry food.
It all depends on which dry food you use.
post #12 of 15
I look at it this way. Cats in the wild eat flesh and bone. Cracking the bone with their teeth. My 4 all have good teeth and I do not worry about taking them to the vet for such. They are out/indoor cats has they have their own front and back doors to the house. Each night they come in around 9pm and get feed a quarter can of wet. Depending on what it is they will eat or not. Does not matter, Miss Piggit will eat whatever the rest leave behind. I have them ranging from 14lb female to a 6 lb female with the 2 males in between. Mine are just normal cats, not breeders. All fixed and we have only the oldest male who will spray still sometimes when we have wild cats come around us. we live where they have woods, but for the most part they stay close by... if not sleeping in the house when I am home.

So to this I say it would depend on the cat. Needing the liquid, males more then females in my experience I would say let the animal decide. They are our children, but dang smart kids when they need to be.

Just my thoughts
post #13 of 15
I think wet food is worse for teeth as it tends to stick, therefore leaving a build up of bacteria. Especially on the premolars.

On the other hand, cats with bad teeth (if they still have them!) are often recommended to start a dry dental diet (T/D hills or Dental RCW).
I have to say that this is slightly different from the normal biscuit though, as the biscuit doesn't shatter until the tooth is about three quarters of the way through, so it scrapes stuff off the tooth. But I still think that any dry is better for teeth.

Just as long as the cat is drinking enough water. All would be fine.

I feed my boy on mainly dry but a little wet food in the evening or every other day.
post #14 of 15
I've always fed my cats both wet food and dry food. The wet food I regulate, I feed them it twice a day. And I leave dry food out all day for them to eat free choice whenever they want. I've never had any problems feeding them in this way. All of my cats have lived a long full life without any teeth problems.
post #15 of 15
Well, one poster here lets her cats outside. It's all a matter of perspective. This is a dangerous practice, but some cats might do well at it. I'd never, EVER, let a pet of mine, of any species, run around outside.
Some people swear by wet food. My cat won't eat canned anything but catfood tuna, which is bad for her, and it makes her breath stink. The main thing is to feed her something that is good for her that she will eat. The dry food I'm using has given her a clean bill of health on two separate vet visits-this is a cat with asthma, allergies, and a heart condition, so you can understand the implications of that last statement.
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