Are Greenies Good for Cats?

by Jeff Katz, Demand Media
    Feline Greenies products are designed to promote good health in cats.

    Feline Greenies products are designed to promote good health in cats.

    Greenies products are designed to promote good health in dogs and cats. The Greenies line includes three products for cats—Dental Treats, Pill Pockets and Smartbites Treats—all of which have been approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council and the Association of American Food Control Officials.

    Feline Oral Health

    When plaque and tartar develop on the teeth of dogs and cats, the result is bad breath and, ultimately, gum problems. In order to prevent these unpleasant and potentially severe problems, veterinarians recommend regular checkups and tooth cleaning with specially designed feline brushes and toothpaste. Brushing a cat's teeth, though, requires practice and time. Some cat owners prefer to have brushing done by a vet, meaning that another method of maintaining oral health between visits is necessary. Greenies are one alternative.

    Greenies Dental Treats

    As the Greenies website, greenies,com, points out, Greenies Dental Treats were created in order to help reduce harmful tartar and plaque buildup, thereby promoting good oral health. The fiber found in Feline Greenies Dental Treats helps to "scrub" a cat's teeth, acting as a kind of "natural" toothbrush—not a substitute for actual brushing, but a healthy accompaniment. Greenies Dental Treats are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council, meaning that there is some professional support for their effectiveness and safety.

    Claims

    Pet Product Advisor states that many vets recommend Greenies and that the products do help reduce plaque and tartar, as well as the risk of gingivitis. It is always important, however, to consult your own vet and get as much information as possible from reliable sources such as the ASPCA and Cat Fanciers' Association before introducing any new food item to your cat's diet.

    Considerations

    Greenies are "not intended to replace your cat's maintenance diet of dry or wet food." They are treats for adult cats only and specific directions are provided for sharing them safely with your pet. You also need to consider the present state of your cat's teeth—if teeth are damaged and gums are sensitive, a dry treat such as Greenies may be difficult to chew or swallow.

    Ingredients

    It is also important to examine ingredients listed on labels. Greenies Pill Pockets, for example, contain the artificial preservative potassium sorbate, and the texture enhancer methylcellulose. Some cats may be allergic to such synthetics. If your cat has no allergies to any Greenies ingredients, Greenies should present no problems and might prove to be beneficial to the health of your feline friend.

    About the Author

    Jeff Katz has been a professional librarian, educator, historian, writer and editor for almost 20 years. He holds a Master of Library Science degree from the University of British Columbia and a BA degree in Classical Studies from Hunter College of the City University of New York.

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