5 Steps to Help Your Cat Chew Like a Lion

5 Steps to Help Your Cat Chew Like a Lion

Chewing is a natural behavior exhibited in all cats, large and small, wild and domestic. Cats evolved to rip through the fur, flesh, tendon, and bone of their prey. However, it is a behavior that has not been nurtured, and therefore a habit that has been lost to our cats at the expense of their dental and mental health. We tend to think of chewing as a dog behavior, but it is equally important for your cat to chew. Not only does it help keep their teeth clean and their jaws strong, but it is also physically and mentally stimulating for them, therefore providing ample enrichment.

Our first and most important tip is to play with your cat before offering them a chew. Cats are meant for hunting and exploring, when you play with your cat with toys like Go Cat Da Bird or Go Cat Mouse, you are creating the “hunt” Then when your cat has had ample play and has “caught” the toy, offer them a chew. This is completing the hunting cycle, which in turn creates a restful body and mind.

Because most cats have not been introduced to chewing, it is important to keep a couple of things in mind so that your cat can become a successful chewer. Below is a general progression of chewing, however, every cat is different so use your best judgment and knowledge about your cat.

  1. Start with smaller and softer pieces, such as hearts, livers, rabbit organ mix, or smelt: Starting small gets your cat used to the idea of eating something much larger than they are used to.
  2. Once your cat is used to eating larger pieces, introduce freeze-dried necks and rabbit ears. The smell and texture are highly appealing and it is a great introduction to tackling larger chews. Necks provide more of a challenge to your cat and require that they use more jaw strength than softer pieces of organ meats. If your cat still doesn’t know where to start, you can cut off a piece of the neck, and then gradually increase the neck piece size.
  3. Once your cat is eagerly taking on chicken necks, consider expanding to pheasant, duck, and turkey necks to provide a longer chewing experience. 
  4. Is your cat a master at munching through necks or rabbit ears? You’re ready to introduce dehydrated or freeze-dried pheasant heads, dehydrated or freeze-dried poultry feet, and whole sardines. These are tougher than necks and present more of a challenge due to their shape and size.
  5. The ultimate goal is to get your cat to eat rabbit heads. Rabbit heads provide the ripping and tearing that will greatly satisfy your cat’s primal instinct and the largest surface area that can clean numerous teeth at once. Alternating chews will provide your cat with diverse nutritional benefits, an enriching variety, and different shapes and sizes that can help clean different teeth. 

You’re now on your way to cat-chewing success! Remember, feel free to reach out with any cat chew questions, suggestions, or recommendations. 

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