As cats get older, their dental health declines. This will result in tooth loss until all their biters are gone. Knowing what to feed a toothless cat, in this case, is much needed to ensure that your pet will remain healthy. Don’t worry because your toothless furry friend can still receive its much-needed nutrition with the right diet plan.
Why would a cat lose all its teeth?
Like humans, cats will lose their teeth at some point. The following are some of the common causes:
- Old age. Senior cats are more likely to lose all their teeth than younger ones. The teeth will fall off due to the feline’s declining health. Also, as the adult teeth get worn out, it becomes loose and brittle, which is prone to damage.
- Dental problems. Dental problems like periodontal disease and gingivitis will rot the teeth and cause eventual tooth loss. Cats across ages can develop this, but older ones are more prone due to the wear and tear in their mouths over the years.
- Injuries. While rare, some cats will lose multiple teeth due to an injury. Some will need all the teeth pulled out, especially if the injury is serious and life-threatening. Proper veterinary care is necessary here.
What should I feed a toothless cat?
Feeding a toothless cat may seem like a big challenge for owners. If you’re facing the same dilemma, the following food options will help you:
1. Wet cat food
The easiest solution here is switching your cat to wet food. Choose saucy pate food since it doesn’t have large chunks that require chewing. The goal here is that the wet food should be easy to break down so your cat’s tongue can easily pick it up.
2. Mashed homemade food
Cat owners, with the time to spare, prepare homemade food for their cats. This gives them control over the feline’s nutrition. The good thing about preparing homemade cat food is that you can put all the ingredients in a food processor to ensure no hard-to-swallow bits.
I suggest consulting with your cat’s vet if you’re planning to switch the kitty to homemade food. This way, you will get proper cat nutrition advice. The vet might even give you a recipe guide to get you started.
3. Softened dry food
Some toothless cats will prefer to eat the same dry food in their diet. In this case, make sure that you soften it up for easy swallowing. You can use hot broth to soften the kibble, but let it cool a bit before giving it to your cat. The kibble should mash easily when you press it so your toothless cat won’t choke while eating.
4. Lickable treats
As for the treats, it’s best to switch to lickable treats. These are very popular and can be bought in a wide variety of flavors. These are made of pureed ingredients, so there’s no chewing needed.
If your toothless cat still prefers the old treats, make sure that you soften it up or tear it to tiny pieces that are easy to swallow.
How to care for a toothless cat
Caring for a cat with no teeth is focused largely on its diet. There are also other things that you have to keep in mind, including the following:
Keep the vet involved
It’s important to keep tabs on your toothless cat’s health. If tooth loss was due to dental problems, you should regularly bring the cat to the vet’s clinic. This will ensure that the cat’s mouth is healthy and not experiencing any infections.
Moreover, senior cats require frequent vet checks to ensure that they are in good shape. This will also guarantee that your cat is in good health after revamping its diet.
Avoid stiff toys
Aside from regular vet visits, you should also get rid of stiff chew toys. Toothless cats won’t need any of it. Instead, opt for plush toys that are gentle on the gums. Those infused with catnip are also good options.
Keep the food soft
Lastly, make sure that the cat’s food is soft. While some toothless cats can swallow dry kibble as-is, it will cause gastrointestinal problems. Unchewed food is harder to break down, so it will cause distention, gassiness, and digestion problems.
Adding warm water or broth into the kibble should do the trick here. Nevertheless, you can always switch your kitty into wet food.
At what age do cats lose their teeth?
In general, kittens will lose their baby teeth by six months. This will be replaced by the permanent adult set. After that, there’s no definite age as to when it will fall off.
A lot of factors affect the longevity of a cat’s teeth. Dental hygiene is one of the leading aspects here. Felines that aren’t given proper dental care are more likely to go toothless before seniorhood.
While many senior cats will go partially or fully toothless, some will live with a complete set of biters. Keeping up with your cat’s dental health will reduce the likelihood of infections that could lead to tooth loss.
Can a toothless cat eat baby food?
I don’t recommend giving cats food made for humans. Nevertheless, most baby food products are made of water and chicken puree. This is safe for cats, but you always have to be careful with the ingredients. Other baby food products have onion and garlic, which are both toxic to felines.
If you have a toothless cat, it’s best to buy it some wet food instead. This is nutritionally designed for cats without the harmful ingredients found on human-grade products.
Can a cat with no teeth eat dry food?
Yes, but I don’t advise giving the cat dry food without making it moist. Many cats can pick up kibble pieces due to their tongue’s structure. However, there’s no way for them to tear the kibble into tiny bits because of tooth loss.
Once ingested, the feline’s digestive system would have to compensate to break down the food. This can lead to digestive issues and discomfort to the feline.
If your toothless cat will only eat kibble, I suggest that you crush it first. This will give your cat a headstart in terms of digestion as if it chewed the food.
Can a cat live with no teeth?
Yes! Cats with no teeth can live happy and fulfilling lives. Your cat only lost its teeth, not its personality. Just make sure that you revamp the kitty’s diet to ensure that it still gets proper nutrition.
Aside from that, you should still get your cat checked to ensure that it’s in good health. Unless your toothless cat is exhibiting signs of an illness, it can live happily just like any other feline. The consolation here is that there would be no more painful bites!
Most of the time, veterinarians can treat any feline dental problem. There are cases when the cat’s teeth have to be removed, but it rarely causes life-threatening side effects.
Knowing what to feed a toothless cat is easy with some easy steps. You can switch to cat food or soften its old kibble with added broth. Most of all, you should consult with the vet to know what’s best for your pet.