Why don’t cats get teeth cavities like humans?

Human and cat molars comparison.
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Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Summary: Cats don’t get teeth cavities like humans because their molars are not horizontal at the top with peaks and troughs but are slopping like the blades of a thick pair of scissors.


Domestic cats don’t get cavities in their teeth like humans. They get oral health problems and normally they are worse than for humans because we don’t brush their teeth and wet cat food is sticky but the problems are along the boundary between the gums and teeth where plaque forms and where it erodes the teeth and damages the gums causing periodontal disease. But cavities in the molar teeth? No.

The reason is because humans have flat headed molars, with hollows and peaks, providing nice receptacles for food to remain and where it can gradually erode the enamel and cause a cavity. Technically the molars have ‘occlusal tables’ – horizontal surfaces.

Cats on the other hand have molars which are not flat-headed but slopping and jagged which allows food to fall off. Perhaps it falls off onto the margin between gum and teeth.

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