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What Is The Best Cat Food For Older Cats With Bad Teeth?

The best cat food for older cats with bad teeth is chunks of food that are reasonably small. Why? Cats do not chew or grind food (like we do). If the pieces of food are small enough, your cat with dental problems will be able to eat to satisfy his hunger.

Cats don’t use their teeth for grinding food in the same way that we do.
Cats do use their teeth for tearing and ripping as they would have done when hunting prey in the wild.

Your cat may need to have a tooth extracted or all teeth extracted or may just have bad teeth. Any trip to the vet will also include a quick dental check. Surprisingly, your cat with dental problems will be able to manage with less teeth or no teeth.

As humans, we think that a cat losing some or all of its teeth will make eating difficult because that is what happens to us. There’s no false teeth for cats. Not yet anyway!

Food Reviews For Senior Cats With Bad Teeth

1. Royal Canin – Aging – Thin Slices In GravyTop Choice Formulated For Senior Cats
2. Hills Science Diet – Senior Cat Food Huge Range To Cater For Specific Ailments/Conditions
3. Nutro Perfect Portions All Round Good Performer
4. Purina Fancy Feast Fancy Feast and Sheba are stalwarts in the pet food industry. Both are well balanced and suitable for older cats.
5. Sheba Perfect Portions

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1. Royal Canin – Aging – Thin Slices In Gravy

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Aging 12+ Thin Slices In Gravy Canned Cat Food, 3 ounce Can (Pack of 24)

An aging cat with sensitive gums and teeth will be able to manage this food as it consists of thin slices of protein in gravy.

Cats of all ages like to lick the gravy from their food. That is fine as the gravy has the moisture content. The problem can be that sometimes cat food can be all gravy and not much meat. Not so with Royal Canin. A big PLUS for this food is that it does have plenty of meat and also fulfils the desirable moisture content factor.

If your older cat with bad teeth has any problems eating this food, add a small amount of warm water. This food definitely covers the older cat in terms of diet as well as the no teeth aspect.

This wet cat food is specifically formulated for older cats and contains high levels of essential fatty acids, EPA & DHA for healthy joint function. As cats age they can have issues manoeuvring themselves into a comfy sitting or lying position so healthy joint function is definitely a factor when considering the optimum diet for older cats. This food also supports kidney health with controlled phosphorus levels.

Royal Canin is a top quality brand as cat owners would be aware, however you may not have known that there is a special variety for senior cats.

Note the ‘Aging’ description to look out for on the label of the can.

Pros

Many people report their senior cats responding positively in terms of general movement after switching to this diet.

This food is specifically formulated for aging cats.

Cons

It is more expensive than other brands.

Specifications

This is a gravy style, wet food. The cans are 3 ounces and are available in a case of 6, 12 or 24.

Ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, pork by-products, chicken, chicken liver, wheat flour, gelatin by-product, powdered cellulose, natural flavors, fish oil, corn starch modified, leucine, calcium sulfate, guar gum, calcium carbonate, taurine, potassium chloride, carrageenan, vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), niacin supplement, biotin, D-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement], glucosamine hydrochloride, marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), trace minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), chondroitin sulfate.


2. Hills Science Diet – Adult Cat Food

The Hill’s Science Diet consists of many different products to treat specific conditions for cats and dogs. This link will take you to all of the cat food products from Hills.

Hill’s make dry cat food (shown below) that is formulated for dental care and suits adult or older cats.

Hills Dry Cat Food To Improve Oral Health

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Oral Care, Chicken Recipe

Hills Science Diet Oral Care dry cat food provides precisely balanced nutrition to improve dental health. Plaque and tartar build up is reduced. teeth are cleaned and breath freshened. Omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamin E are added for luxurious fur. Help avoid dental health problems in your older cat.

Hill’s Science Diet cat foods boast high-quality protein including real chicken, lamb or salmon as the first ingredient.

Hill’s Science cat food is also formulated for specific dietary issues. In this way it is possible to provide the best possible cat food for older cats to cater for health and dental issues. Hill’s Science Diet cat food addresses specifically, weight control, hairball control, sensitive skin and stomach issues, to help manage your senior pet’s special diet requirements. There are no artificial flavors or preservatives.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Hairball Control Savory Chicken Entree Canned Wet Cat Food
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Hairball Control Ocean Fish Entree Canned Cat Food
Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach, Skin Tuna & Vegetable Entree Canned Cat Food
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Urinary & Hairball Control, Savory Chicken Entree Canned Wet Cat Food
Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Roasted Vegetable and Chicken Medley Canned Cat Food

This nutritionally balanced food will help to keep your older cat in good health whilst at the same time providing the easy to eat option.

Hill's Science Diet Wet Cat Food, Adult 7+ for Senior Cats, Minced Savory Chicken Recipe, 2.9 oz Cans, 24-pack

Pros

Food scientists use scientific knowledge to combine ingredients that support health.

Cons

Depending on which product you choose, this brand will still be at the higher end of the price range.

Specifications

The Hills Science Diet is available in a wide variety of dry and canned foods to suit different different health needs including dental care. For a full list of all the products with all of the accompanying information such as ingredients, click here. If you are unsure about which product would be best for your cat to satisfy bad teeth and any other health issues, a discussion with your vet is the best way to go.

Senior cats do eventually lose their agility and often suffer in silence with arthritis. Elderly cats do best with a litter box with a low entrance as described in this article. A litter box that they can just step into is ideal.


3. Nutro Perfect Portions

NUTRO Grain Free Natural Soft Wet Cat Food Cuts in Gravy Turkey Recipe and Chicken Recipe Variety Pack, (12) 2.6 oz. PERFECT PORTIONS Twin-Pack Trays

This food has no corn, wheat, or soy protein, no chicken by-product meal, and no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors.

When reading the ingredients label it is much like reading the label for food for human consumption. The ingredients at the beginning of the list weigh the most so if grain products were near the top of the list for this food it would be a product to avoid for an old cat. Turkey or Chicken are the main ingredients in this food which is perfect for your older cat.

This is not an exact science. Chicken might be at the top of the list however moisture will also add to the weight. If I don’t like the look of the first few ingredients of any product, I don’t purchase that product and look for another where protein is in the number 1 position.

It is made in USA facilities using the finest ingredients from different parts of the world. The ingredients from other part of the world include lamb from Australia, venison from New Zealand and some vitamins and minerals from China.

Nutro state that they have strict and thorough standards of their own Supplier Quality Assurance program.

One cat owner found it hard to find something to feed a 13 plus years cat that had become a picky eater. The cat loves Nutro and this is a common thread amongst Nutro cat food purchasers.

This is a direct quote from a satisfied cat owner and a Nutro cat consumer.

My 18 year old Maine Coon had dental problems, like most old kitties. Because of these dental problems, he had been loosing weight drastically! Being so elderly, it was heart wrenching watching him slip away because he couldn’t chew his food. After cleaning and having 6 decayed teeth removed, it was still difficult for him to eat most cat foods. The pain was gone, but so were the teeth! NUTRO grain free, soft loaf pate became a fast favorite of his! He is able to “chew” this soft meal! The variety of flavors are just GREAT, I can tell by the way he enjoys his meal…cleaning the bowl each time! The high protein content is excellent for his weight management; he is starting to regain muscle mass! The old guy just about dances every time I put his bowl in front of him! THANKS NUTRO!

Pros

Convenient, single serve meals in a twin pack.

Snap and peel packaging.

Budget Price

Cons

Opening the packaging is definitely an issue. Ok for some not for others. If you have difficulty taking the top of a yoghurt tub, this packaging may be difficult to open, for you.

Specifications

The product reviewed here is Chicken and Turkey. The ingredients are listed below. Nutro has other flavor combinations. These are Beef, Chicken, Salmon, Tuna, Turkey. Variety packs: Chicken, Beef Tuna, Beef and Chicken, Chicken and Catfish, Chicken and Salmon. They are available in packs of 12 or 24 twin pack trays.

Ingredients: Chicken Recipe: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Pork Plasma, Tapioca Starch, Potassium Chloride, Sunflower Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Salt, Dried Tomatoes, Magnesium Sulfate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Choline Chloride, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Taurine, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Copper Sulfate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity). Turkey Recipe: Turkey Broth, Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Pork Plasma, Tapioca Starch, Potassium Chloride, Sunflower Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Salt, Dried Tomatoes, Magnesium Sulfate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Choline Chloride, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Taurine,Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Copper Sulfate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity).


4. Purina Fancy Feast

Purina Fancy Feast Gravy Wet Cat Food Variety Pack, Poultry & Beef Grilled Collection - (24) 3 oz. Cans

Fancy Feast is a household word at our house. The cat had a fondness for Fancy Feast that was unsurpassed. He really would have been the best ‘Influencer Cat’ for Fancy feast! He usually began his meal by licking the gravy. He so loved Fancy Feast that we often joked about the secret ingredient, to keep him hooked. He did like fresh meat and fish also.

All Fancy Feast meals contain protein, essential for cats health, even for aging cats.

This is a wet food selection so a good choice for cats with bad teeth or no teeth.

Pros

The cat loved it for many years, what more can I say.

Good budget choice.

A variety of different flavors.

Does not have a strong smell of “cat food”

Cons

The cans are 3oz, which some find too small. They were fine for us. The cat had one can in the morning and one at night.

Specifications

Ingredients: Chicken Feast In Gravy: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Liver, Wheat Gluten, Meat By-Products, Corn Starch-Modified, Artificial and Natural Flavors, Salt, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Protein Concentrate, Added Color, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Magnesium Sulfate, Mono and Dicalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Manganese Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide. C-6922. Turkey Feast In Gravy: Turkey Broth, Turkey, Potassium Iodide. C-6930. Beef Feast In Gravy: Meat Broth, Beef, Potassium Iodide. C-6920.


5. Sheba Perfect Portions

SHEBA Wet Cat Food Cuts in Gravy Gourmet Salmon Entrée and Signature Tuna Entrée and Delicate White Fish & Tuna Entrée Multipack, (24) 2.6 oz. PERFECT PORTIONS Twin-Pack Trays

This is economical option that is suitable for older cats with bad teeth.

Purina Fancy Feast and Sheba Perfect Portions are two examples of a balanced diet supplying all the necessary vitamins and minerals whilst still being suitable for older cats.

If you think you may need specific dietary advice for your older cat with bad teeth consult a veterinarian.

Pros

Suitable for all age cats.

Snap, peel and serve packaging – no messing around with cans.

No grains or corn (this is a plus for cats)

Good Price

Cons

The packaging, although made for convenience may be hard for some to open without squirting or splashing the contents.

Specifications

Flavor combinations are: (Salmon, Tuna, Whitefish & Tuna) – (Chicken, Tuna) – (Chicken, Turkey) – (Chicken, Salmon, Turkey) – (Salmon, Tuna) – (Chicken, Tuna, Turkey) – (Chicken, Tuna, Salmon). The tray packs are available in different quantities, packs of 12, 24 or 36, all twin pack, for convenience.

Ingredients: SALMON: Water, Salmon, Chicken, Poultry Liver, Animal Plasma, Tapioca Starch, Glycine, Potassium Chloride, Fish Oil, Natural Flavor, Magnesium Sulfate, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Oxide Color, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex TUNA: Water, Chicken, Poultry Liver, Animal Plasma, Tuna, Tapioca Starch, Glycine, Fish Oil, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Natural Flavor, Magnesium Sulfate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Oxide Color, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex WHITE FISH & TUNA: Water, White Fish, Chicken, Poultry Liver, Animal Plasma, Tapioca Starch, Tuna, Glycine, Fish Oil, Potassium Chloride, Natural Flavor, Magnesium Sulfate, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex.


Helpful Info – Feeding A Senior cat With Bad Teeth

a senior cat
A lovely senior!

You may find that costs associated with caring for your senior cat have risen as more specialized products are needed to keep him healthy, active and content. It can also be quite a rapid onset. For years and years, kitty is kitty and then a few more years and a couple of trips to the vet and kitty is now requiring extra care.

It is comforting to know that even without teeth your cat can still eat wet food comfortably and meet dietary requirements.

Tip: When giving your cat canned wet food, try adding a small amount of ground or minced beef or chicken.

Even if the meat is not ground it can be sliced into thin slices and added to the canned food or used half and half. This will provide an extra source of protein for your old cat. Their protein needs increase as they age as this article in Pub Med illustrates.

It is not necessary to buy the most expensive cat food.
Ensure that the food choice fits the following essential criteria:

  • The food needs to be in small chunks and be protein based
  • The food needs to preferably have gravy to help satisfy moisture needs
  • The food should have little or zero grains, as cats find it hard to digest carbohydrates and this can be problematic in old cat

Wet Or Dry Food For Older Cats With Bad Teeth?

wet cat food for senior cat
Wet cat food in gravy!

Because your senior cat needs moisture and may not drink as much as he did once, canned wet food is the best choice and some fresh protein when possible. The wet food provides some moisture which can be added to with a little warm water.

Note: Dry cat food can still be eaten by old cats with no teeth, however as a main dietary source, dry food for older cats is not recommended. Dry food by nature usually contains carbohydrates which are difficult for cats to digest. If your cat has developed feline diabetes, like our elderly cat, carbohydrates are off the menu.

If you prefer to feed your older cat with teeth problems, fry food, be sure to read the ingredients to ensure that protein is at the top or near the top of the list.

Note: Some dry cat food is a suitable cat food for older cats with teeth problems. The Hill’s Science Diet Dry Food Oral Health Formula has its first listed ingredient as protein indicating that protein is the main ingredient.

Cats Can Get Gum Disease?

Cats can get periodontal disease (gum disease) which can cause pain.

If you are unsure about this please take your cat to the vet as there are other oral diseases that can cause pain for cats. Plus, as we know, your cat won’t necessarily show his pain.

Keep an eye out for drooling, red gums or a lack of appetite.

If your cat does have to have a tooth or teeth extracted it will be far better for the cat to be living without pain plus you know that your cat can still eat, even without teeth.

Food for cats with no teeth may include dry food. If your cat has always been a dry food eater he may use his tongue to scoop the kibble. Choose a dry food that is formulated to optimize the oral health for older cats.

How Can I Improve My Cat’s Dental Health?

Just a few changes and you can improve the diet of your senior cat.

Cats can suffer from bad breath which is caused by bacteria. The bacteria is formed from an accumulation of food and saliva which becomes plaque on the teeth. The bacteria grows and the plaque mixed with saliva becomes tartar. Tartar build up can lead to gum disease and eventual loss of teeth.

The best way to keep dental health in check is to visit the vet who usually will perform an oral heath check. The teeth can be cleaned at the visit if necessary. The vet will advise if there is any advice specific to your cat. To maintain good oral health or and prevent teeth problems in your senior cat there are some simple everyday practices that will benefit your cat.

Feeding cats dry food is recommended (particularly a veterinary recommended diet) where protein is the main ingredient and not carbohydrate. Some dry food is specifically formulated for dental care.

There are cat treats that are designed for oral health. If you give your cat treats, it makes good sense to make sure that the treat is high quality.

VetriScience Laboratories – Perio Plus Feline Bites, Dental Crunchy Bites for Cats, Chicken Flavor, 60 Bites

Give your cat a raw chicken neck or wing from time to time. Warning here, never give your cat cooked bones. Cats love a raw chicken necks or a raw wing. The cartilage and bones helps to scrape plaque from the teeth.

What Do Cat’s Teeth Look Like?

This diagram below shows the upper and lower position of cat teeth.

Most cat owners do not really know what the inside of their cat’s mouth looks like.

It is often not until the cat has teeth or gum related issues that we go to the vet for a check up. Then we become acquainted with the teeth, what they are called and where they are and their function.

Maybe your cat is or has been a rat catcher and you have seen the results close up of a rat execution. It almost looks surgical in precision so those teeth are made for specific purposes.

Having even just a basic understanding of how cats teeth are used will help you choose the best cat food for older cats with bad teeth. Read the very simple explanation below while looking at the chart.

Sometimes elderly cats need to be contained for their own safety (even if they get cross with you).

How Do Cats Use Their Teeth?

Use the diagram above to help identify the teeth in the explanation below.

The canines are used for biting and shredding.
The incisors are used for tearing and to help hold prey.
The premolars are used for chewing.
The molars are also used for chewing and cutting through meat and bone.

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best cat food for older cats with bad teeth
Did you remember to brush dear? Teeth check up tomorrow.