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.

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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. 

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.

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. Yet! 

Food Reviews For Senior Cats With Bad Teeth

1. Purina Pro Plan - True Nature

Purina Pro Plan Natural, Grain Free Pate Wet Cat Food, TRUE NATURE Natural Chicken & Liver Entree - (24) 5.5 oz. Cans

This cat food is grain free so although we are primarily concerned with cats with no teeth, grain free is also a big consideration for senior cats as carbohydrates are difficult for cats to digest. As cats age excess carbohydrates can lead to other health problems.

There are no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives in this food and it is made in the USA.

For a cat with teeth problems the smaller chunks and moisture content of the cans with gravy will be easier to eat than a pate. If your cat prefers pate or has always eaten pate and also has bad teeth, make sure the food is mashed to make it easier for him to eat. Adding a little liquid to wet the food may help too.

Often no teeth and senior cats go hand in hand so the gravy is a useful addition for moisture needs and would be the preferred choice.

Remember that animal protein should be the major source of the cats diet as cats are obligate carnivores so plant protein is not a consideration when feeding cats. High protein is always preferable for senior cats.

Purina Pro Plan Natural, Grain Free Pate Wet Cat Food, TRUE NATURE Natural Chicken & Liver Entree - (24) 5.5 oz. Cans

2. Royal Canin - Aging - Thin Slices In Gravy

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Aging 12+ Loaf In Sauce Canned Cat Food, 5.8 oz 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 and that is fine as the gravy has the moisture content however sometimes the food can be all gravy and not much meat. A big plus for this food is that it does have plenty of meat and fulfills the desirable mositure content factor.

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 maneuvering themselves into a comfy sitting or lying position so healthy joint funtion is something to pursue.

The cans are 3 oz each and there are 24 cans in a pack.

This 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.

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Aging 12+ Loaf In Sauce Canned Cat Food, 5.8 oz Can (Pack of 24)

3. Hills Science Diet - Senior Cat Food

The Hill's Science Diet consists of different products, wet canned food and dry food for cats. The wet cat food has the advantage for senior cats as it contains moisture that cats need, particularly older cats.


Hill's also make a dry cat food (shown below) that is formulated for dental care and suits adult or older cats. Hill's Science Diet cat foods boast high-quality protein including real chicken, lamb or salmon as the first ingredient.

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 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.

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. 


4. Nutro Perfect Portions

NUTRO Grain Free Natural Soft Wet Cat Food Paté 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 form New Zealand and some vitamins and minerals from China.

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

One cat owner found it hard to find something to feed a 13plus 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!
NUTRO Grain Free Natural Soft Wet Cat Food Paté Turkey Recipe and Chicken Recipe Variety Pack, (12) 2.6 oz. PERFECT PORTIONS Twin-Pack Trays

5. Purina Fancy Feast

Purina Fancy Feast is a household word at our house. One particular cat had a fondness for Fancy Feast that was unsurpassed. He often began his meal by licking the gravy. All Fancy Feast meals contain protein, essential for cats health, even aging cats. 

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

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

6. Sheba Perfect Portions

SHEBA PERFECT PORTIONS Soft Wet Cat Food Cuts in Gravy Roasted Chicken Entrée, Gourmet Salmon Entrée, Tender Turkey Entrée Variety Pack 2.6 Oz. (24 Twin Packs)

This is economical option that is suitable for older cats with bad teeth.  Some of the cat food reviewed here is aimed at providing nutrients for health conditions.  

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. 

Our First Choice Is...

1. Purina Pro Plan - True Nature

Purina Pro Plan is our number 1 choice because it is specifically formulated for older cats.  As our cats age it is often not one ailment like poor teeth, it is usually accompanied by joint problems or kidney problems or diabetes so often more than one factor needs to be considered. This is the best cat food for older cats with bad teeth.

It is also grain free.

Purina Pro Plan Natural, Grain Free Pate Wet Cat Food, TRUE NATURE Natural Chicken & Liver Entree - (24) 5.5 oz. Cans

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 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.

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 cats.

Wet or Dry Food For Older Cats With Bad Teeth?

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.

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 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. Dry food then, is not always the best cat food for older cats with bad teeth.

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 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?

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 and 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 often recommended, particularly a veterinary recommended diet where protein is the main ingredient and not carbohydrate. 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.

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 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 and become acquainted with the teeth, that we find out what they are called and where they are. 

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 just a basic understanding of how cats teeth are used will help you choose the best cat food for older cats with bad teeth.

How Do Cats Use Their Teeth?

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

cat dental chart
  • 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.
cats reading the paper in bed

Did you remember to brush dear? Teeth check up tomorrow! 

Just a few changes to be made to optimize the diet of your senior cat.

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

Elderly cats lose their agility and often suffer in silence with arthritis. Elderly cats need a litter box with a low entrance.