Is your cat getting older? Does it have bad teeth?
The best cat food for senior cats that have teeth problems is
I have two cats, technically they are both seniors, but Grandma Cat is 24 this March (2020). She is old and definitely needs care and attention on a pretty regular basis.
Recently we had a vet visit with grandma cat and her teeth are ok to continue eating and don’t need an extraction, but her teeth are deteriorating because she is so old.
You probably don’t pay a lot of attention to your cat’s teeth except when he’s gnawing on your hand for the fun of it. As a responsible cat owner, however, dental health should be a concern and it is your job to make sure your cat’s teeth stay healthy as he gets older.
5 things you should know about dental problems in senior cats
- Healthy Teeth Start with Good Nutrition. A cat’s diet is its primary source of health and wellness. Making sure your cat’s food provides all that is needs is essential. This is true for health and for its teeth, or dental health.
- Yes, Cat’s teeth need to be brushed. You probably don’t often think of it, but it is the same as your teeth, they need to be cleaned. It is the best way to prevent periodontal disease in cats. Bacteria can form on the teeth of your cat quickly, so it can be part of the regular grooming.
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- Gum Disease in a cat has various stages. We all know about gingivitis, this is the first stage. It is fixable with regular brushing at home in addition to professional cleaning. If this progresses it can become much more serious and affect the cat’s ability to eat and stay healthy.
- Teeth can benefit from dry food. As a cat chews on dry food it actually can help clean the teeth. The idea is that the food actually cleans the teeth as it chews. Sometimes wet food cat gets stuck in the teeth and or forms a film on the surface.
- Weight issues in Cats can be from bad teeth. Many older cats typically eat less as they age, but bad teeth can make it worse. If it is painful or they can’t chew that will affect their ability to eat and keep their weight.
As you get to know your cat and get to know the issues surrounding its dental health you can avoid these things. As your cat ages, these typically become more difficult. Even still, there are a number of things you can do to help prevent and fix teeth issues.
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Dental Health Tips and Suggestions
Taking care of your cat’s teeth should start when your cat is a kitten…if you got it as a kitten. If not make sure you start something right away. As your cat eats, some of the food can get stuck in its teeth where it can be a health problem. If you don’t brush your cat’s teeth that bacteria can become tartar which will harden into plaque. This can be difficult to remove and may damage the bones under the gum line.
Brushing your cat’s teeth is generally the best way to handle this, but there are some other things you can do in addition to that to keep up on the dental hygiene of your cat.
- Make sure a healthy balanced diet is what your cat gets. It is important that your cat gets the right food so that it gets the right nutrients and teeth health
- Get em brushed. This may be an ongoing thing as most cats will probably not just sit there and let you do it. So you may need to work with your cat. And give it treats.
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- Make sure your vet is involved. As a part of your regular vet checkups, your vet should be checking your cat’s teeth. I realize it is expensive but that’s pet ownership in a nutshell…expensive.
- Dental Treats can Help. Manufacturers make dental treats for cats just like ones for dogs. These typically help the cats clean their teeth. They are designed to help with the process.
- Dental Toys Can Help. There are a number of dental toys on the market that can aid in the teeth health process. Your cat may or may not love toys but you can definitely try these to see if they work.
- Look at your cat’s teeth. As you are doing all of these things make sure that you are checking your cat’s teeth regularly. You can lift up the side of its mouth and look at the teeth. It is important to keep an eye on things.
Something else that most people don’t know is that you can have your cat’s teeth professionally cleaned once a year and it will help. Especially if your cat has problems or is prone to getting problems. For cat’s this procedure typically requires an anesthetic so that the cat is not fighting with the vet. At this time x-rays can also be done so if you are paying for it you might as well get things sorted out at that time. Your vet can also recommend certain things to do at home after this because they will get a really really good look at your cat’s teeth.
What is Considered Old Age for a Cat?
What Can I feed my Cat with Bad Teeth?
The Solution for a senior cat is to give it small pieces of food so that no tearing or ripping is involved.
Cat’s actually don’t really chew food or grind food, and they can eat without teeth. So it is important that you give them small food they don’t have to use their teeth for.
Fresh protein and canned food that is high in water content is a good choice. Older cats can benefit from both of these things.
Dry food is still a good option for cleaning the teeth. It is also ok for health and nutrients. However, you need to monitor if your cat is able to actually eat the pieces. Just make sure that they are not high in carbohydrates as that can lead to other issues.
What to Look for in Senior Cat Food
My Cat is definitely older and needs to be looked after. Her metabolism has slowed down and she isn’t as active as she used to be. Having said that she still does laps around the island in the kitchen. Her diet needs to remain consistent and full even though she may eat less. It really means that the food she does eat has to be right.
The basics don’t really change much with age and the way the diet is constructed remains the same. Potentially you can play with the amount of fat your cat gets so that the weight stays where it needs to be but the nutrients and protein need to stay the same. Sometimes for a senior cat the protein needs to increase.
Here are some other things to look for in senior cat food:
- Good Proteins from Animals. Cats require a minimum of 20% protein because they are obligate carnivores. This just means that more protein is better than less. For senior cats, this is important to keep up their muscle mass and remain at a healthy weight.
- Good fat but moderate amounts. If your senior cat is a little less active then you can adjust the number of calories and fat it gets so that it doesn’t get fat. If you are having trouble keeping the weight on then you can up the fats. 12-15% fat is typically a good range but you just need to watch and see.
- Fibre and water. These two are critical…just like it is for us. Dehydration is a common problem for older cats, so choosing a cat food high in moisture is important. A diet rich in moisture and fibre is also important for healthy and regular digestion which is also linked to your cat’s ability to absorb essential nutrients.
- Highly digestible ingredients. Many older cats develop food allergies and sensitivities, so choose a senior cat food made with all-natural, easily digestible ingredients.
- Beneficial supplements. Vitamin and mineral supplements are a staple in commercial cat foods to ensure optimal nutritional balance. It doesn’t hurt, however, to include fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources of key nutrients and chelated minerals offer high bioavailability.
- No artificial additives. Artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives have no place in high-quality cat food and they are only likely to upset your senior cat’s stomach.