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I've had a large patch of wheat grass (cat grass) growing that my cats mostly enjoyed chewing on more than eating. Unfortunately one cat frequently ate way too much and threw up so it needed to be taken down.

I've also noticed a few objects like ends of screw drivers or anything with a small butt to it, corners of wood furniture get chewed on periodically.

I do brush my cats teeth occasionally but it is very difficult. Ideally I'd like to be able to provide them with the tools they need to keep their own teeth healthy like they appear to be trying to do instinctively.

Mine are indoor only but I imagine outdoor cats have a slight advantage in having lots of stick/plants to chew up as needed.

Is there something I can buy or grow for them that lets them clean their teeth how they want to?

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You have a few options:

1) Greenies

2) C.E.T Oral hygene chews for cats

3) RC Dental diet or Hills T/D (note for cats we like for them to have a good amount of wet food in their diet).

4) DentaChlor oral rinse

If you go to the petstore they have dental chew toys for cats as well just keep in mind that it shouldn't be hard (stay away from bones) or have pieces that could fray and become ingested.

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Yes - meat :D

Seriously though, cats are naturally carnivorous and don't really chew as much as slice (but thats being a bit pedantic) in order to keep their teeth clean. Eating grass/plant matter helps with digestion but can be overindulged in - especially with house cats, since to them it can be something special/zomg amazing, but you already know that.

If your cats aren't used to eating raw meat, I would start with something soft like pure chicken meat, then maybe offer necks that are already cut in half (again, needs to be raw, cooked bones get brittle). If they master that you can stop cutting the necks in half and move on to halved chicken wings f.e.

Best stuff to clean cat teeth are dense cubes of beef or chicken wings in my opinion. Anything thats a bit harder to separate.

Rules for feeding raw meat: - For yourself / humans only: The usual rules for handling raw food - and especially meat - apply, so wash your hands after feeding/handling the meat etc.

  • Preferrably give them their meat in a small, easily cleanable area. They will usually play with it and carry it around, so close the doors first.

  • Cat muscles can get sore, too - so don't do it too often in the beginning :)

  • It is not uncommon for them to require smaller pieces of meat at the beginning as they're simply not used to separating large pieces of meat (or 'worse', cracking bones). Adjust to their pace.

  • In general, don't give them raw meat more often than about once every 2 weeks. If you want to give them raw meat more often, you need to supplement it properly (it's not the same/as easy as raw-feeding dogs and a lot to read up on, but can be worth it) or they might get sick long-term.

  • Growling and 'hiding' meat is normal - thats why a small closed room is recommended :)

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  • You should add a disclaimer that raw diets are a health hazard around the immunosuppressed (children, elderly, pregnant or the sick). Wear gloves/ wash hands when handling feces and wash your hands after playing with the pet, listeria and salmonella are pathogens that can be very harmful to us. I know you mentioned once every 2 weeks so risks are fairly low :P – Rebecca RVT Jan 24 '17 at 15:32
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    Thanks, I added a small bit - didn't consider it necessary honestly as anyone who cooks even irregularly with meat should already know these rules. – psycoatde Jan 24 '17 at 15:50
  • You'd be surprised! Owners never tell us so when we find out we need to put cautions on their file to prevent face licks and the like. – Rebecca RVT Jan 24 '17 at 15:51
  • Sort of half answers my question but very promising prospect. I'll certainly look into occasionally feeding some whole/partially whole meats for the experience. I'd be psyched if mine started touting it around like caught prey - certainly something indoor cats are missing that I'd wager provides a certain level of satisfaction for them. – Enigma Jan 24 '17 at 21:09
  • @Enigma : I mean, if you're feeling really generous you can absolutely tie the meat to a stick&twine combo as well and have a fun hunting experience for them. :) I admittedly don't do that often because of the cleanup involved, but - once accustomed to eating meat - they love it. – psycoatde Jan 24 '17 at 21:33

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