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

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The best cat food for older cats with bad teeth is cat food that is in small chunks. Why should the cat food be in small chunks? Cats, unlike humans, do not chew or grind their food. If the pieces of food are small enough, your older cat with bad teeth, will be able to eat enough to satisfy his hunger.

Your older cat may need to have a tooth or even all teeth, extracted, or it may just have bad teeth. Any trip to the vet with your cat, will also include a quick dental check. Surprisingly, your older cat with dental problems will be able to manage with fewer 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!

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.

a senior tabby cat
No false teeth for me. I’m keeping my mouth shut!
Contents
How To Feed An Older cat 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
Wet Or Dry Food For Older Cats With Bad Teeth?
How Can I Improve My Cat’s Dental Health?
What Do Cat’s Teeth Look Like?

How To Feed An Older cat With Bad Teeth

a black senior cat

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. Older cats protein needs increase as they age, as this article in Pub Med illustrates.

Also, your senior cat would benefit from his food bowl being raised slightly from the floor. Not having to bend right down to floor level to access food will make it easier on old arthritic joints.

It is not necessary to buy the most expensive cat food.

Ensure that the food choice fits the following essential criteria listed below:

  • 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

All of the cat food shown here is for older cats and each type of cat food has been assed for suitability for older cats that may have bad teeth or even no teeth. See the cat food choices below.

1. Royal Canin – Aging – Thin Slices In Gravy

 Feline Health Nutrition Aging

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, including older cats, like to lick the gravy from their food. it is fine to lick the gravy, as the gravy has the moisture content. The problem that sometimes occurs with licking the gravy, is 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 cat owners 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 Of Royal Canin – Aging

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

Ingredients of Royal Canin Aging for CatsWater 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. If you would like to see the Hills products all in one place, 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

 Dry Cat Food, Adult, Oral Care

Hills Science Diet Oral Care dry cat food provides precisely balanced nutrition to improve dental health.

Plaque and tartar build up is reduced and teeth are cleaned and breath freshened. Omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamin E are added for luxurious fur to the Oral Care diet from Hills.

Help avoid dental health problems in your older cat by using this diet to improve oral health 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 in these specially formulated diets for cats.

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.

 Wet Cat Food, Adult 7+ for Senior Cats

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 Of The Hills Science Diet

The Hills Science Diet is available in a wide variety of dry and canned foods to suit different different health needs, including dental care.

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 always the best way to go.

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

3. Nutro Perfect Portions

 Soft Wet Cat Food

This cat 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.

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

Nutro states that they have strict and thorough standards for their own supplier quality assurance program.

One cat owner found it hard to find something to feed a 13-year-old 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

There is convenience with single serve meals in a twin pack.

The budget price of this cat food is a plus.

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 of Nutro perfect Portions

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

Ingredients of Nutro Perfect Portions for cats – 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

Wet Cat Food

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 always 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 Fancy Feast for many years, what more can I say.

Fancy Feast is a good budget choice.

Fancy Feast has variety of different flavors.

Fancy Feast does not have a strong smell of “cat food”

Cons

The Fancy Feast 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 Of Fancy Feast

Ingredients of Fancy Feast for cats – 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

 Wet Cat Food in Gravy

Sheba perfect Portions is an 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

Sheba Perfect Portions are suitable for all age cats.

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

Sheba Perfect Portions have no grains or corn (this is a plus for cats)

Sheba Perfect Portions are an good price.

Cons

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

Specifications Of c

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 of Sheba Perfect Portions for cats – 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.

best cat food for older cats with bad teeth  - Pinterest image

Wet Or Dry Food For Older Cats With Bad Teeth?

wet cat food in gravy
Wet cat food in gravy!

Because your senior cat needs moisture and may not drink as much as he once did, canned wet food is the best choice, along with some fresh protein when possible. The wet food provides some moisture, which can be added to even more, 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. By nature, dry food 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 dry 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 suitable for older cats with teeth problems. The Hill’s Science Diet Dry Food Oral Health Formula has protein as its first listed ingredient, indicating that protein is the main ingredient.

Older 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 as signs of gum disease.

Drooling can be a sign of other things not just gum disease.

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 are formed from an accumulation of food and saliva, which becomes plaque on the teeth. The bacteria grow, and the plaque mixed with saliva becomes tartar. Tartar build up can lead to gum disease and eventual tooth loss.

The best way to keep dental health of your older cat in check is to visit the vet, who will usually perform an oral health check. The teeth can be cleaned at the visit if necessary. If your cat requires any special care, the vet will let you know. There are some simple everyday practices that will benefit your senior cat’s oral health and prevent tooth problems.

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.

   Dental Crunchy Bites for Cats

Give your cat a raw chicken neck or wing from time to time. Warning: Never give your cat cooked bones. Cats love a raw chicken neck or a raw wing. The cartilage and bones help to scrape plaque from the teeth of the cat.

What Do Cat’s Teeth Look Like?

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

cat teeth dental chart

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 cat’s teeth, what they are called and where they are and their function.

Maybe your cat is or was a rat catcher, and you’ve witnessed rat executions up close. It almost looks surgical in its 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.

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.

vector - two cats reading
Did you remember to brush, dear? Tomorrow is our dental check-up.

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