Do cats chew their food?

Cats are finicky eaters. Unlike dogs that would wolf down food, cats would act like little ladies and eat their food daintily. With the slow eating habit of cats, one would think that the food is carefully and thoroughly chewed. The truth though is that cats don’t chew their food.

Adult cats have a total of 30 teeth. Felix the cat has 4 canines, 12 incisors as well as 10 premolars and 4 molars. Cats are predators. Cat teeth are specially adapted to do a specific job. Cats use the four sharp fangs to fight predators. The large 4 canine teeth will grab and kill the prey. When a cat bites the prey, the large pin sharp fangs on the upper and lower jaws will stab the prey’s neck to sever the vertebra. Humans would use the premolars and molars to chew food. In cats, molars have a different function because these animals do not chew their food. The minor and major molars are used to tear meat of the prey into easy to swallow pieces. With the help of the forepaws that would hold the prey, the small but sharp incisors would separate the meat from the bones. Cats are adept at exercising control when using their incisors. Queens would use her incisors to grasp the kittens at the scruff of the neck. Incisors are used by tom cats to hold on to the female cat when mating. Cats have short but very strong jaws that cannot move sideways. This is one of the reasons why cats do not chew their food. Cats’ jaws would only move up and down. Cats cannot chew with their mouths closed.

Swallowing food that was not chewed is a normal behavior of cats. Cats are carnivores and their natural diet is raw meat of prey. This is the kind of diet that cats would have if they are living in the wild. In the wild, a cat’s stomach would contain the brain, other organs, the stomach and the intestines of rodents and other small animals. A lot of cat owners these days are supporting the idea of providing the cat with a diet where they are naturally attuned. More and more cat owners are giving their pets raw meat diet instead of manufactured dry cat foods. Aside from the fact that dry cat foods contain cereal fillers that would not benefit a cat, as these animals do not have the enzyme necessary to digest carbohydrates, swallowing unchewed dry biscuit can be a problem for these pets.

Cats make wonderful pets. Loving and caring cat owners would provide the pet with easy to eat canned cat food. These owners would go to the extent of cutting fresh meat into small pieces especially if the pet is old and has lost most of its teeth. Would you do the same thing for your cat too?