The best cat food for older cats with teeth problems is a very common concern among pet parents. Sadly, this is probably an inevitable question for most cat owners. It seems that when we domesticated the cat, we also domesticated her diet. When we feed Kitty kibbles and/or soft canned cat food, it provides little or none of the tooth cleaning/gum stimulation of, say, nibbling on a raw Ostrich neck. If Kitty lived on the African Savannah and dined daily on wildebeest, her teeth would be in better shape.
In this article:
- Our selection at a glance
- An ounce of prevention
- How to choose cat food for older cats
Our Selection of Best Fish Oils for Cats
|Vital Pet Life|
Before She Needs Cat Food for Older Cats With Teeth Problems: An Ounce of Prevention
Okay. Sit down. We have a surprise for you. The condition of your cat’s teeth has an enormous impact upon its overall health. Yep. Other ailments will develop when Kitty’s teeth and gums are not getting the proper care they need. She may not be able to eat without discomfort, and when nutrition suffers, so does Kitty. Taking steps to protect your cat’s dental health is an important part of being a good pet parent.
When plaque – the same stuff you fight in your own mouth – develops along Kitty’s gum line, painful inflammation often follows. When infection develops, it travels through the blood stream to compromise your pets vital organs. Obviously, the responsibility for our four-legged kids includes regular trips to the vet for dental checkups and teeth cleaning.
Oh. And regular teeth brushing. (But that’s another article.)
Fortunately, there is a new commitment among pet food manufacturers to the overall health and well-being of your pet. So, yes. A change in diet can help cats preventing tooth problems. Your first best source for information on cat health and nutrition is, of course, your veterinarian.
Foods promoting to have a special formule for older cats don’t always meet their needs. FYI: cats don’t age the same as dogs or people. Your cat at one-year-old is effectively a young teen. At 7 to 10, your feline is a Senior cat citizen. At 12, she’s ready to enroll in Medicat. In the insult to injury department, we find no senior discounts that might make it worthwhile for Kitty to actually admit her advancing age.
Tips for Choosing Cat Food for Older Cats With Teeth Problems
If your cat has other health issues apart from the arthritis she’s bound to have as time passes, your vet will suggest an appropriate food to fortify your friend. Like their wild cousins, domestic cats don’t necessarily chew their food. In the wild, they mostly need their teeth for ripping and shredding. That’s a good thing because it means that they do not need teeth to eat foods as long as they are not too hard and tiny enough to be swallowed without too much discomfort. That means that domestic cats get by just fine with toothless munching.
If you’re winging it, here are a few suggestions:
- Your Kitty isn’t Vegan. Cats are carnivores. In order to thrive, they must have nutrients such as taurine and arachidonic acid, found only in animal sources. Look for real meat among the first ingredients. (Tip: The makers of “Go! Fit and Free” list chicken meal and duck meal among the ingredients. The word “meal” simply means that the natural meat undergoes dehydration during processing. In order to eliminate the word meal in the labeling, the meat would have to be complete with its water.)
- Watch those Carbs! Essentially, things like grains and vegetables included in your cats food are more to produce a sense of fullness or satiety. They are non-essential to your cat’s health, so why buy them?
- Senior cats benefit from Omega 3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA in their diets. These can come in the form of supplement pills or liquid sprays, or they can be included in Kitty’s daily meal plan. Royal Canin and Natural Balance dry and wet foods contain these essential supplements as does Go! Fit and Free. Like other Omega 3 supplements these derive from cold water fish like salmon and supply a boost to Kitty’s overall health.
- A raw diet is probably best for your kitty but freeze dried foods arrive in second place. Manufacturers like Stella and Chewy‘s produce freeze-dried cat foods to be re-hydrated at mealtime. Another interesting offering is ZiwiPeak Air-Dried Cat Cuisine. This New Zealand company features choices like Beef, Lamb, Venison, or Mackerel with Lamb. All of these blends supply the Omega 3 fatty acids by way of New Zealand Green Mussels.
- Be wary of an all-dry diet. Dehydration can quickly overcome a senior cat. If she’s not drinking enough, a diet of strictly kibbles won’t provide the liquid she would be getting if she were in the wild. Also if your cat swallows hard kibble without crunching them a tiny bit, they may face gastro intestinal problems. In that case there are a few things you can do :
- Mix his/her usual kibble in warm water or gravy to soften it up
- Mix his/her kibble with wet food and let it soak for a while
- Transition completely to soft food (but do choose quality even if it’s pricier! Cheap wet cat food is the worst for your cat).
Final Thoughts: Cat Food for Older Cats with Teeth Problems
Our investigation reveals that the best food you can offer your elder-cat is the most raw and natural a diet you can find and afford. Good quality, high protein wet or dehydrated food comes in second.
We happily report that there are various and sundry products on the market today that produce excellent, quality nutrition for older cats.
Unfortunately, medical issues often afflict older cats. Conditions like arthritis, obesity, hyperthyroidism, or troubles with her heart and/or kidneys can develop as cats – and people – age. These ailments will alter Kitty’s dietary requirements in her Golden years, making it nearly impossible to find a ‘silver bullet’ cat food that can take care of everything she needs. Therefore, our research on this subject leads us to recommend that you consult with a veterinarian you trust about the best diet for your elder cat.