這些牙齒不是用來磨乾穀片的!Those teeth aren't made for munching dry cereal!
總而言之, 我們人類在咀嚼的時候會用牙齒前後左右咬. 這讓你的下排牙齒可以上下前後左右移動對吧? 肉食性動物完全不是這樣.
Anyway, you know how when we humans chew there's a back-and-forth and side-to-side action happening with the teeth? The movement that makes it possible for you to jut your lower row of teeth out in front of your upper row of teeth? Or that lets you move the lower jaw left and right? Not so with carnivores.
對他們來說, 下巴不能往前移動, 左右移動的範圍也很小. 貓咪的下巴是個簡單的關節, 就跟你的膝蓋很像.
For them, the lower jaw cannot move forward and has very limited side-to-side motion. The jaw on a cat is a simple hinge joint that lies on the same plane of the teeth; the hinge pivots. It's a lot like your knee joint.
當肉食性動物的下巴合起時, 在臉頰的像刀一般的牙齒會滑過彼此, 以讓他們可以把肉從骨頭上刮下. 當下巴移動時, 顳肌啟動下巴的運動.
When the jaw of a carnivore closes, the blade-shaped teeth at the cheek slide past each other and that's what allows them to shear meat off of bone. As the jaw moves, the temporarilis muscle triggers the movement of the jaw.
草食性動物的咀嚼包含了前後左右的動作, 下巴會藉由舌頭與臉頰肌肉將食物前後推來推去到磨齒. 這個聰明的設計讓草食性動物可以磨碎植物的細胞壁.
For herbivores, conversely, the chewing action involving forward and backward and side-to-side movement of the lower jaw pushes food back and forth into the grinding teeth - with the help from tongue and cheek muscles. This is a brilliant design that lets herbivores mechanically break down the cell walls of plants.
同時, 一個會消化碳水化合物的酵素—唾液澱粉酶會開始行動並分解充滿澱粉的碳水化合物. 貓咪不會製造唾液澱粉酶.
Meanwhile, a carbohydrate-digesting enzyme - sailvary amylase kicks into action and breaks down starchy carbohydrates. Cats don't produce salivary amylase.
這唯一的因素的影響很大. 我有時候會想這個網站的名稱應該叫做”貓咪沒有唾液澱粉酶!” 不是很好記, 而且在Google搜尋榜上的名次應該也很低.
That fact alone, by the way, is huge. I sometimes think the name of this website should be, "Salivary Amylase is Not Found in Cats!" Not very catchy, though, and I'd probably get lousy Google rankings.
這是另一個不應該給貓咪吃植物和碳水化合物的原因. 這些沒有被分解的碳水化合物, 可能會形成黏狀物而造成牙菌斑及牙垢.
This is yet another reason not to feed carbohydrates or plant matter to cats. The un-broken-down carbohydrates, it is posited by some, can form a sticky paste that creates plaque and tartar in the mouth.
就是這些令人討厭的小事情告訴你餵乾糧對於口腔健康有幫助是沒什麼邏輯可言的. 在貓咪咬比較大的乾乾的時候, 或許在牙齒內側有一點點磨擦會產生. 但是牙齒外側才是牙菌斑和牙垢形成的地方—通常來說, 貓咪的舌頭會幫助移除牙齒內側的牙垢.
It's the specific geeky details like these that explain why feeding dry kibble based for dental health makes very little sense. There's probably a little abrasive action on the inside of teeth when kitty closes the top row down on the bottom row with a large piece of kibble. But it's the outer teeth where plaque and tartar form - generally, a cat's tongue will help remove plaque from the inner surfaces of the teeth.
(這邊我要尤其感謝Milton R. Mills, MD, 因為他跟我解釋了”飲食解剖學”. 他是史丹佛大學的醫生, 專長是營養學. 他寫了一篇很好的文章”飲食解剖學之比較”)
(Big thanks and credit, by the way to Milton R. Mills, MD to thank for his work explaining "eating anatomy" in a way that made sense to me. He's a Stanford University physician specializing in nutrition and he wrote a wonderful essay called "The Comparative Anatomy of Eating.")
所以你可以做什麼來幫助維持貓咪的口腔健康呢? 這會依你自己和貓咪的意願而定. 初心者請看我的網站中對於牙周病的介紹. 另外有些在你停止餵食乾糧後應該想想的事情(停止餵食乾糧並不是一個”選擇”):
So what can you do to accommodate these biological facts and do your best to keep kitty's mouth healthy? It depends on what you and your cat are willing to do. Please see my web page on periodontal disease, for starters. And other to consider - after you've eliminated dry food (which is not 'optional' in my book) include:
- 定期檢查貓咪的牙齒與牙齦, 而且, 如果需要的話, 向合格獸醫安排洗牙(這需要麻醉!). 當然最好是不要讓貓咪承受洗牙與麻醉的壓力, 但是有時候這是必須的. 去看看Dr. Andrea Tasi的超有用文章, 他有提到在安排口腔手術前你一定要問獸醫的問題. 閱讀它, 研究它, 把它印出來並在你下次要跟獸醫討論口腔問題的時候帶著. 一定要記住, 貓咪的牙齒在嚴重問題下有可能還是看起來沒事的. 有個說法會勸人至少每年要藉麻醉完整的檢查貓咪的口腔, 以確保沒有肉眼看不到的問題. 但我個人認為沒有必要去承擔麻醉的風險.
- Having your cat's teeth and gums examined regularly and, if needed, scheduling dental cleanings (under anesthetic!) by a qualified veterinarian. While it's preferable to never have to subject your cat to the stress and anesthetic of dental cleanings, sometimes it's the very wisest thing to do. Do check out Dr. Andrea Tasi's extraordinarily helpful article (link at bottom) on what questions to ask your veterinarian before scheduling dental work on your cat. Read it, study it, print it, and take it with you the next time you're talking to your vet about dental work for your cat. Bear in mind, too, that a cat's teeth can look just fine and still hide serious problems. There's a compelling argument in favor of having a cat's teeth and gums thoroughly checked at least once a year under anesthetic to make sure there aren't issues lurking under the gum-line that aren't visible to the naked eye. That said, I personally have a tough time justifying putting a cat through the risks of anesthesia when there's no obvious reason to take the risk. It's a judgment call.
- 幫貓咪刷牙. 我知道其實蠻多人能夠輕鬆的做這件事. 技巧是要慢慢的進行, 越早開始越好, 將牙刷與某個有趣的活動連結在一起. 你不想讓這個變成一場戰爭. 貓咪會不喜歡然後你就放棄了. 康乃爾大學有一個很好的影片教你怎樣在四周內學會幫貓咪刷牙. 我從2011年開始幫我的貓咪刷牙, 而且我認為這其實沒有那麼困難. 我遵照著那個影片的指示去做, 而且我發現在他們睡覺的時候進行比較不會被哈氣. 他們兩個傢伙也適應得很好. 記住—你不用刷牙齒的內側, 外側就可以了—只需要快速重覆的刷過上排及下排的牙齒. 我們用海鮮口味的貓咪牙膏, 這也讓事情更簡單了一些.
- Brushing your cat's teeth. I know more than a few people who manage this with more ease than you'd think is possible. The trick is to proceed slowly and to, early on, link tooth brushing with a pleasurable activity. You don't want to make this a battle, after all. Your cat won't like it and you'll give up. Cornell University has a terrific video on how to approach cat tooth brushing using a four-week program that incrementally introduces cats to tooth brushing. I began brushing my cats' teeth (finally!) in 2011 and it's much less of a big deal than I'd presumed. I pretty much followed the guidelines and tricks on that Cornell University video, though I find that tooth-brushing is more hassle-free around here if I catch the critters when they're asleep. They're two fairly mellow guys and seem to take to it well. Remember - you do NOT have to brush the inside of the teeth, only the outside -- and really all it takes is some swift, repeated swipes of the upper and lower rows of teeth. We use seafood-flavored cat toothpaste here and it seems to be a hit.
- 經常餵食大塊的肌肉. 許多的貓咪很明顯的會拒絕吃塊狀物-我有兩隻貓咪也曾是這樣. 如果你有耐心且你的貓咪肚子餓, 貓咪可能會讓你感到驚訝. Wilson就讓我們很驚奇. 當小Wilson在2011年來到我們家前, 他吃了好幾年的乾糧, 但是他幾乎是馬上就接受了生食(我知道我很幸運). 而且, 更好的是, 他很快的就同意吃較大塊的肌肉塊. 肉食性動物在撕咬生肉塊的過程是對他們的下巴很好的運動, 且對口腔健康很有幫助.
- Feeding regular meals of nothing but large chunks of muscle meat. Granted, many cats absolutely refuse to eat chunks - I had the darndest time with two of my cats when it came to eating chunks. If you're persistent and your cat is hungry, your cat may surprise you. Wilson sure surprised us on this front. When Little Dude (Wilson) arrived in our house in 2011 after years eating pretty much only dry food, he took to raw almost instantly (yes, I know I was very lucky) and, even better, quickly agreed to to eat/shear/gnaw on fairly large-sized chunks of muscle meat. The shearing and tearing action of a carnivore's teeth against raw meat is fantastic exercise for the jaw and goes a long way to creating the pre-conditions for great oral health.