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2010-26

Dear Christopher Cat

When I was young, my mother let our family’s cats chew on cooked chicken necks. Should I offer them to my cats too?

Christopher Responds

Chicken necks were once given to cats to keep their teeth clean and their gums healthy.

Chewing the tiny bones removed plaque from the teeth, while the ligaments in the chicken necks functioned liked dental floss.

Sadly, I’ve never had the pleasure. Mom is worried a bone splinter might perforate my gastrointestinal tract.

Instead, she feeds me dry food, gives me tartar-control treats and brushes my teeth with pet toothpaste.

The best foods and treats are those approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. Visit www.vohc.org for a list of products.

By far the most effective strategy for minimizing gum disease is to brush your cat’s teeth with a pet toothpaste, like CET enzymatic toothpaste. It tastes good, and it’s safe to swallow, so you don’t need to rinse your cat’s mouth after brushing.

And pet toothpaste will freshen your cat’s breath better than a chicken neck.

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