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Animals (Basel). 2015 Feb 16;5(1):101-9. doi: 10.3390/ani5010101.

The Choice of Diet Affects the Oral Health of the Domestic Cat.

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School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK.


In this cross-sectional study, the gingivitis and the calculus indices of the teeth of N = 41 cats were used to model oral health as a dependent variable using a Poisson regression. The independent variables used were "quadrant", "teeth type", "age", and "diet". Teeth type (p < 0.001) and diet (p < 0.001) were found to be significant, however, age was not (p > 0.05). Interactions were all significant: age x teeth (p < 0.01), age × diet (p < 0.01), teeth × diet (p < 0.001), and teeth × age × diet (p < 0.001). The probability of poor oral health is lower in the incisors of young or adult cats, fed a dry diet in comparison to the cheek teeth of older cats fed a wet diet. Diet has a higher contribution to poor oral health than age. It is argued that cats' oral health may be promoted with an early age hygiene of the cheek teeth and with provision of abrasive dry food.


cat; diet; oral hygiene; periodontal disease; teeth

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