The title is the advice of Dr Bruce Fogle. He confirms what vets know, namely that feline gum disease is one of the top cat diseases. Dr Fogle says that gum disease is the most common reason why he has to anethetise cats. I believe the same could be said about dogs. It is expensive and there are dangers in cat anaesthesia.
I can remember Martin Stucki of A1 Savannahs feeding his Savannah kittens with raw chicken on the bone. It seems he had the same thoughts. He used to drive into Ponca City and buy several large boxes of frozen chicken and let it thaw outside before feeding the cats.
Really something needs to be done about the unacceptably high incidence of gum disease in cats.
I would imagine that Dr Fogle is not alone in stating that if kittens learnt to eat bones and therefore ate raw chicken bones throughout their life it would greatly reduce the incidence of gum disease.
The idea is that this is the natural way. Wild cats eat bones and they don’t suffer the level gum disease it is believed.
The bones clean the teeth and help keep gums healthy whereas sticky wet cat food and even dry food more or less does the opposite.
Dr Fogle started his kittens on chicken bones at 8 weeks of age.
Of course there are potential health drawbacks. A bone may become lodged in the mouth or gullet. He says that very rarely a bone might become trapped between the teeth and the roof of the mouth. Extremely rarely a cat might eat the bone like a dog (too fast he means) and the bone may create a blockage. Another potential problem that requires knowledgeable and sensible cat caretaking is to avoid poisoning by salmonella bacteria. Chicken requires careful storage and usage.
However, all these potential hazards are not enough to outweigh the benefits of a cat gnawing on bones. Dr Fogle says the benefits far outweigh the risks. Why aren’t we following his advice? Perhaps there is too much business wrapped up in not preventing gum disease.