Gum disease is the most common reason we are obliged to anaesthetise cats, to attend to their diseased gums and teeth. Most tooth and gum disease can be avoided if a cat learns early in life to eat bones. We advise starting kittens at eight weeks of age on cooked chicken bones. There are possible drawbacks. Raw chicken bones may carry Salmonella bacteria, potentially dangerous to your cat and to people. A raw or cooked bone might get caught between the teeth in the roof of the mouth. Very, very rarely in our experience, a cat will try to wolf down bones in a cat-like manner and may develop a blockage. This is exceptional and the benefits to a cat from gnawing on bones outweigh the risks.