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Studies on dry food and teeth

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Ok I think someone has brought this up before. That there are studies that have been done that have shown that dry food is not as good for cat teeth as once thought. Does anyone have any links to said studies. Or at least good articles on this? Thanks.
post #2 of 29
try here
www.catinfo.org
post #3 of 29
This doesn't appear to be a real study it just looks like someone's(a vet's) own experience or did I read it incorrectly?? I would also like to know what kind of dry food they are talking about one specificially or all of them..
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by EMW View Post
This doesn't appear to be a real study it just looks like someone's(a vet's) own experience or did I read it incorrectly?? I would also like to know what kind of dry food they are talking about one specificially or all of them..
That site is a info site.. my guess is compiled from various studies..
ALL of them... dry food for cats is what juice is to a under two yr old child...
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
For what its worth i was asking because on another site someone keeps saying that the only food you should feed is straight dry because of the teeth unless you brush your cats teeth everyday. And from what I have read here its best to do a mixture of wet and dry. Which is what we now do. We feed wet in the moring, dry during the day and wet again at night. We now have Ping on Evo dry during the day and he likes it. And for wet we have gone between Meow Mix(pouches) and Natural Life Pet Food (canned) Lamaderm Feline. And while I have ya'll here do these ingredents looks good:

Ingredients: Lamb, lamb broth, lamb liver, kidney, ground brown rice, peas, carrots, lecithin, calcium carbonate, flaxseed meal, potassium chloride, guar gum, cranberry meal, minerals (iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, potassium iodide), yucca schidigera extract, vitamins (vitamin e, a, d3, b12 supplements, thiamin mononitrate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin), choline chloride, taurine, carrageenan.
http://nlpp.com/products.html?topic=cannedcat

Ping seems to really like it better than the higher end wet food like Merricks.
post #6 of 29
This article cites some studies at the bottom

http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.ph...dcleantheteeth

The general concensus of opinion re dry food being bad isn't just that it's not as good for the teeth as originally thought, but that it's too high in carbohydrates and too low in water to be an ideal food for cats.
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
This article cites some studies at the bottom

http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.ph...dcleantheteeth

The general concensus of opinion re dry food being bad isn't just that it's not as good for the teeth as originally thought, but that it's too high in carbohydrates and too low in water to be an ideal food for cats.
I just went looking for that article before reading to the bottom
post #8 of 29
http://home.ivillage.com/pets/cats/0...=adid=15884520

This is the article I always refer to.
post #9 of 29
Unfortunately it seems this myth about dry food being so good for the teeth refuses to die. I was at Petco yesterday and I've discovered that if I mash up the chunks in gravy in the Nutro gourmet classics with a fork it turns into pate and then my cats eat it so I went to the Nutro isle and selected a few flavors of the gourmet classics to sample and there was the Nutro lady explaining to a customer all about the Nutro products. Somehow I got into a conversation with those two people and I shared my suggestion of mashing the chunks into a pate so the cats don't just lick the gravy and walk away. She said she wanted to try that but her cat is a dry food kitty and only eats a little bit of wet food and she can't leave it out long. because she gets ants. I mentioned that ever since I've read about the benefits of canned I've been feeding more of it and the customer said that she's been advised by someone that she ought to feed more wet food because her cat is getting older but her cat won't eat much of it and she can't leave the stuff out. And I said that yeah, I understand many cats just don't eat much wet food in one sitting and if I was home morning, noon and night every day I may be able to feed more wet food to my cats, if they are willing to eat it all but people work and that's where the dry stuff comes in handy. Then the Nutro lady started telling the customer how important it is to feed dry food for the teeth and then I saw the customer agree and at that point I walked away because it would have been 2 against 1 and there is no point in arguing. This myth about dry food promoting dental health is as difficult to kill as roaches who can survive a nucelar war. And I've had many sales reps at pet supply stores tell me that dry food is better for cats and I'm so tired of hearing it. If I express the wet food point I usually appear to be the one who is wrong. So I just have to walk away and say Thank you very much. Have a nice day.
post #10 of 29
HAHA the Science Diet and Purina reps stay well away from me when I go to our local 'big' petstore... its just not worth the argument.
Once in front of several people, I asked him for proof of his 'knowledge' in pet nutrition, he said he had intensive training from said company, at which point I said 'oh so you don't have a degree or any independent training then?' and everyone else left and carried on shopping ignoring him. ooopsie
post #11 of 29
It really is an uphill battle trying to "re-train" some folks. They believe the pet stores/reps and vets words are gospel. I've been doing my bit by trying to stress the importance of wet food for our kitties. Even if we only convert a few then some cats will at least get the benefit of the wet food.
post #12 of 29
Thanks for all the information. What about the nutritional value of dry food, is is comperable(sp)? My Amanda (15 yrs.) would not even touch wet food and she never really had dental problems, she ended up with the fatty liver problem, for whatever reason, she was not an overweight cat, but kind of a finicky eater.

I feed mine mainly dry now because they all seem to do well on it. I do treat them from time to time and they always have plenty of water available too. I have the same problem as related above to, when I give them the gravy and giblets they just lick up the gravy..
post #13 of 29
Nutro has done some retraining ... one of the meetings we did learn about wet food and that all cats should have it ...
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Thanks for all the information. What about the nutritional value of dry food, is is comperable(sp)? My Amanda (15 yrs.) would not even touch wet food and she never really had dental problems, she ended up with the fatty liver problem, for whatever reason, she was not an overweight cat, but kind of a finicky eater.
The only health different between feeding dry and wet is that "technically" a cat eating dry food only is more dehydrated than a cat eating wet food. Cats generally don't drink much water, and that can sometimes cause urinary tract problems because the urine can get really concentrated. Cats on wet food are less likely to have urinary tract problems because they have a better urine PH with more water in their system. Mostly male cats have problems, my vet said that he would recommend feeding cats a wet diet.

Most cats do just fine on a dry diet, I think if Amanda has been doing well for 15 years, she doesn't need wet food, and I highly doubt she'll change her mind on whether it's yummy or not if for 15 years she hasn't liked wet food :p
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for the wealth of info you posted here. What amazes me sometimes is that in this day in age why people don't research a little before feeding their pet something. Case in point. On another site I posted some of the informative links that was provided here on another site in relation to cats teeth and dry food.I also posted some of the reasons why cats need at least some wet food in their diet everyday. Well someone came into the conversation and said they had never heard that cats ,could quite possibly, not be getting enough water by eating dry food alone.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plebayo View Post
The only health different between feeding dry and wet is that "technically" a cat eating dry food only is more dehydrated than a cat eating wet food.
Plus the fact that dry food is much higher in carbohydrates than the natural diet of a cat and the amount found in good quality canned food. The only carbs a cat would eat naturally are the stomach contents of their prey. Even the best quality dry foods tend to be 25-30% carbohydrate. Cats are just not designed to digest such a high proportion of carbs.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
I've had many sales reps at pet supply stores tell me that dry food is better for cats
I see them all the time too, and I always find myself wondering, hmmm, wonder what they're resume looks like. How DOES one become a food rep?? How extensive is your pet care experience?? And if I were to ask a question that can't be answered by reading the bag or the brochure, chances are, they'd be stumped!! I think ya'll get my point.
I met a guy once who did this as a "summer gig". He spent an occasional weekend at a store I was grooming for at the time. He was a college student studying to be an engineer. So how did he get the job?? His father worked for the comapany and told him that this was how he was going to spend his summer.

When I need advice, I'd rather come here and ask the REAL pro's!! The one's who know because they care about their animals. I would never seek advice from a person/company who's only goal is to push a product and make a profit.
I had no idea that dry food is not the perfect diet for my girls. I have 2 sp. indoor fe's. They refuse to eat ANYTHING but their dry food. They've turned their noses up to wet food every time I've tried giving to them. I've even given them solid white tuna before...as a treat..they sniff it and walk away. They are ages 4 & 6. Are they being harmed by being on a dry diet only?? I know that if I set wet food out, or even mixed it in, they'd walk away from it. They love their food....and they KNOW when it's time to be fed....and they seldom leave any food behind so I've always figured "if it is'nt broke don't fix it". Until I read some of the articles you all posted here. Now I'm a little concerned. Should I be???
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittiLuv View Post
I had no idea that dry food is not the perfect diet for my girls. I have 2 sp. indoor fe's. They refuse to eat ANYTHING but their dry food. They've turned their noses up to wet food every time I've tried giving to them. I've even given them solid white tuna before...as a treat..they sniff it and walk away. They are ages 4 & 6. Are they being harmed by being on a dry diet only?? I know that if I set wet food out, or even mixed it in, they'd walk away from it. They love their food....and they KNOW when it's time to be fed....and they seldom leave any food behind so I've always figured "if it is'nt broke don't fix it". Until I read some of the articles you all posted here. Now I'm a little concerned. Should I be???
They may be just fine on dry food, the only problem is you don't know whether your cat is one of those who will be ok or one of those who will suffer from FLUTD or kidney problems until they actually happen. I would continue to try and get some wet food into them (one of the articles at the beginning of this thread contains tips on how to get dry food addicts to eat wet food) but don't stress about it if they won't eat it. Just try to make sure they have lots of opportunities for drinking water - lots of water bowls of different sizes and shapes around the house, water fountain etc.
post #19 of 29
I agree -- if people think dry food is best it is hard to change their minds. I have heard "dry food is better for their teeth" and "canned food makes their poop stink" (sorry -- who's poop doesn't stink??).

I wish my kitten would eat more canned food but for now he is happy with 1/2 of a 3 oz can per day.

BTW, my sister only fed her cat dry food (she was in the wet food is too smelly category) and the cat died of kidney failure when she was 14. The cat also refused to drink water out of a bowl (only the toilet or sink).
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittiLuv View Post
I see them all the time too, and I always find myself wondering, hmmm, wonder what they're resume looks like. How DOES one become a food rep?? How extensive is your pet care experience?? And if I were to ask a question that can't be answered by reading the bag or the brochure, chances are, they'd be stumped!! I think ya'll get my point.
I met a guy once who did this as a "summer gig". He spent an occasional weekend at a store I was grooming for at the time. He was a college student studying to be an engineer. So how did he get the job?? His father worked for the comapany and told him that this was how he was going to spend his summer.

When I need advice, I'd rather come here and ask the REAL pro's!! The one's who know because they care about their animals. I would never seek advice from a person/company who's only goal is to push a product and make a profit.
I had no idea that dry food is not the perfect diet for my girls. I have 2 sp. indoor fe's. They refuse to eat ANYTHING but their dry food. They've turned their noses up to wet food every time I've tried giving to them. I've even given them solid white tuna before...as a treat..they sniff it and walk away. They are ages 4 & 6. Are they being harmed by being on a dry diet only?? I know that if I set wet food out, or even mixed it in, they'd walk away from it. They love their food....and they KNOW when it's time to be fed....and they seldom leave any food behind so I've always figured "if it is'nt broke don't fix it". Until I read some of the articles you all posted here. Now I'm a little concerned. Should I be???

Yes you should... I am going to be silly now and ask what types and brands you tried ... My youngest hates canned food but I have found a few shell eat the "recommended" 5-6 ounces a week( it is about a tablespoon a day)
post #21 of 29
I know there was a study done but it wasn't very well researched... I left a vet once for telling me to get my cat (Clover at the time) off of wet food and do dry only because of this *new* research that was done. Basically it told me she didn't know much about cats so I found a new vet. Of course since then I like doing raw foods but Clover is still on dry/wet diet as he is no longer in my household (but still considered one of my babies!).

This is a breeder that does raw and is a bit on the extreme side but makes a lot of good statements about dry. She has also authored some books on felines and has done a lot of research:
http://www.blakkatz.com/dryfood.html

I do agree with her though..the only way to successfully eliminate gum/tooth problems in cats is chunks of meat. I have been feeding ground meat to my cats (with bone too) and still find they have mild gingivitis. Now I feed chunked beef a couple times a week and it thrills me to see them gnawing/chewing more on each piece (to soon to tell if the gum health is improving). Plus they just love it. I know its so healthy for their gums. My vet also has given me those peacock feathers. Evidently chewing on the stem of these feathers is great for the teeth and acts as a natural tooth brush. So far Meeka is the only one that has figured out she can gnaw these to death but maybe the other 2 will come along with it eventually.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarityBengals View Post
My vet also has given me those peacock feathers. Evidently chewing on the stem of these feathers is great for the teeth and acts as a natural tooth brush. So far Meeka is the only one that has figured out she can gnaw these to death but maybe the other 2 will come along with it eventually.
That may explain why Bijou and Mika's teeth looked so good at their last vet visit. A friend of mine gave me a whole handful of peacock feathers and the kits love them.
post #23 of 29
Feeding dry food offers no more of a oral hygiene benefit then us eating a pretzel does.

Cheers!
post #24 of 29
BTW, my sister only fed her cat dry food (she was in the wet food is too smelly category) and the cat died of kidney failure when she was 14. The cat also refused to drink water out of a bowl (only the toilet or sink).[/quote]


sorry if this sounds argumentative but id say 14 years is a good life span for a cat. im sure there are cats eating wet food that dont live past 14 either. all bodies get worn out at some point even if they re fed the best food possible.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
I would think though dieing on kidney failure is not very nirmal though. And that something had to have caused that. And after being here and reading lots of great info. I started paying closer attention to health problems in people's cats and what the cats ate. I noticed a higher incidence of UTI's, crystals in urine, urine blockage and kidney problems with cats fed soley dry food. No wet at all. IMO that shows me that dry alone may not be best.
post #26 of 29
12-14 years is ave for a cat ... though thru better nutrtion and better educated owners they are living much longer... An old country vet told me that if a cat lives long enough 90% will have some kidney disease .... While not NOrmal it is a old age issue in many cats not just a diet issue
post #27 of 29
Exactly what Sharky said...many cats now live to late teens, early 20's and my vet also said this is why they now see certain conditions in many oldsters. It is my strong belief that chronic renal failure, hyperthyrodism are no longer unusual to see in the older cat population.
post #28 of 29
What exactly are the symptoms of a UTI? I don't think my kitties ever had one.
post #29 of 29
Some good points in here. Sharky probably already knows what I'm going to say.

Dry food is not the best for your cats. As everyone else is realizing, it doesn't clean their teeth in any way. Watch your cat eat some dry, most of them don't even bite it, it's down in one piece. Also, pieces of dry food are high in carbs. Saliva converts these carbs into sugars. Bacteria love sugars. Any dry food bits left in their mouth after eating will promote bad breath and tooth decay. Dry food is also harder for you cat to digest. It absorbs a lot of water from your cats body to hydrate, it contains a large portion of undigestable plant materials, and most of the meats are cooked which makes nutrients less bioavailable to your cat. All of this serves to slow digestion. This is why dry food has so many additives and suppliments to ensure the correct nutrition. But your cat will get the correct "nutrition".

Wet foods contain a lot more moisture which will help with hydration. This has numerous benifits already listed including a reduction in UTI's and crystals. Wet foods also contain a much lower percentage of carbs and undigestable matter. This usually reduces the amount of waste your cat will produce. The smell is not caused by the food being wet but actually the preservatives, additives, suppliments, and the cooked meats. Not all cats will have smelly feces on wet food and usually a different kind of wet food will help if you have issues. As for their teeth, the reduction in carbs will help some, but the cooked meat chunks require very little chewing and still won't really clean their teeth. Brushing and cleanings will still be required but possibly at delayed intervals.

Raw food when ground up is much the same as prepared food with possibly less carbs and undigestable matter depending on the manufacturer or what you choose to put in. Raw food however has no preservatives and very few additives or suppliments, again depending on manufacturer or personal addition. Cats on raw food will produce less feces and the odor is reduced significantly.

Chunks of meat and raw meaty bones like chicken necks have the added benifit of allowing you cat to chew, rip, tear, and gnaw the meat off which assists in cleaning teeth.

My cats are currently on a ground raw diet as I am unable to find a suitable supplier of free range meats. They still require the occasional brushing but nothing like they did on dry food. They also produce much less waste and drink much less water.

Q: Will your cat be fine on a dry food diet?
A:For sure.

Q:Are there better choices available?
A:You bet.

Q:Will your cat go straight for canned food or raw food?
A:Not likely, would your kids rather have pizza or a salad? Just because they like it doesn't mean it's good for them.

Qo I have any degrees or certifications to back my statements
A:Nope. I'm just another concerned pet owner like the rest of you. I've done a lot of research and feel comfortable with the information I posted but it's always up to you.

PS: You can find confirmation of anything you want to belive on the internet if that's all you look for.
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