Best Cat Food for Older Cats with Bad Teeth

best cat food for older cats with bad teeth

As your cat ages, its teeth can start to deteriorate. Strong teeth are important to your cat’s health, especially as they age, when nutrients are more important than ever.

In fact, healthy teeth can work to prevent more trips to the veterinarian, meaning a more healthy version of your favorite feline.

To help you find the best cat food for older cats with bad teeth, we’ve put together the following list. These cat foods are all rated for cats with bad teeth, who are also getting a bit long in the tooth as well.

Plus, we’ll talk a bit more about dental health for your cat in later sections.

Are you ready to find a better cat food that will help improve your older cat’s dental health? Let’s get started.

Here is our list of the best cat food for older cats with bad teeth.

IAMS proactive formula is great for older cats with bad teeth. The crunchy kibbles will help in reducing plaque buildup on his teeth. The main ingredient in this dry food is chicken. The chicken is made up of high-quality proteins with zero fillers that will provide the nutrients your cat’s muscles need to recover and heal.

The main keyword is zero fillers. This usually means a higher quality product or blend which is healthier for your cat.

The digestive system is also very important in an older cat. The older your cat, the harder food will be on their digestive systems. IAMS includes a special blend of fiber that has prebiotics and beet pulp. These 2 ingredients are key to your cat’s digestive health. 

The next thing that comes to mind with an older cat is their bones and joints. This dry cat food is well formulated for senior cats to help nourish their bones and joints. The food is also enriched with many antioxidants, which will help support a healthy immune system.

In conclusion, this cat food hits all the main points that you need for an older cat. It targets teeth, digestive system, immune system, bones, and joints all at a reasonable price.

Hill’s Science Diet cat food is another excellent choice for older cats with bad teeth. The Hill’s Science senior cat food is very well-rounded cat food. 

One of the main targets of this cat food is your cat’s digestive system. The cat food was specifically developed with added fiber to aid in digestion, which can also help in easy litter box cleanups.

This dry cat food blend is also made up of high-quality proteins to help keep your cat at a good weight. Some cat foods have excess carbohydrates and fats which can actually make your cat gain weight. An older metabolism is usually slower than that of a younger one, so a protein-rich diet helps maintain a healthy weight.

This dry food blend was formulated with optimal levels of key nutrients to help support eye, kidney, heart, bone, and joint health for senior cats. The blend also contains an antioxidant blend with vitamins C and E, which are very important in supporting a healthy immune system. 

This dry food is also good for cats with bad teeth. It is softer than normal dry food, which makes it easier on your cat’s teeth if they are starting to become soft.

This dry cat food from Purina includes chicken as the first ingredient. Purina also includes live probiotics to help maintain a healthy immune system. This proprietary blend from Purina incorporates ingredients to extend your cat’s life as well as to improve it on a daily basis.

One of the coolest things about this particular cat food is that it includes an ingredient to reduce the Fel D1 allergen that’s found in cat hair and dander. This can ease the irritation of any allergies you may have to your cat.

In fact, Purina boasts that the allergen is reduced by as much as 47% after feeding this Pro Plan LIVECLEAR senior cat food to your feline friend for three weeks.

High protein in this dry cat food helps support older cats’ overall health. Senior cats require more from their food, much of which can be found in Purina’s Pro Plan LIVECLEAR senior cat food.

Blue Buffalo is known for making some of the best cat food, which is why we’ve included their Healthy Aging lineup on our list. This particular cat food for older cats is flavored chicken and rice, but there’s plenty more goodies in store for your cat.

For example, Blue Buffalo infuses their cat food for older cats with vital minerals and vitamins necessary for healthy aging. The kibbles, or LifeSource Bits, are cold-formed to protect the potency, so you can count on the antioxidant-rich ingredients to support your cat’s immune health.

The chicken, whole grains, garden vegetables, and fruit found in this bag of Blue Buffalo food provides your cat with plenty of energy to stay active, plus taurine for overall health.

NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Senior Indoor Natural Dry Cat Food
$44.98 $31.94 ($2.28 / lb)
  • Contains one (1) 3 lb. bag of NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Senior Cat Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Natural Cat Food Plus Vitamins, Minerals, & Other Nutrients
  • Real chicken is the #1 ingredient in this delicious older cat food that’s rich in nutrients and full of flavor
  • Fortified with essential nutrients like taurine to support heart health in aging cats, as well as antioxidants for healthy immunity
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/29/2023 02:15 pm GMT

You can count on NUTRO to keep out the chicken meal, corn, wheat, soy protein, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives when it comes to food for older cats.

Instead, their soft dry cat food is rich in essential nutrients, such as taurine, as well as antioxidants. Plus, there are no GMO ingredients to worry about either.

NUTRO provides for older cats by adding in Omega-6 fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin. This dry food is chock full of protein, which is the first ingredient on the list. This cat food for older cats is geared mostly towards those felines who are older than 7 years.

We chose to include this wet cat food on our list for a number of reasons. Wet food works well for older cats with bad teeth, especially those who may or may not have a lot of teeth left.

This blend is salmon and tuna, but you can also vary your flavors easily, which is another reason why we’ve chosen the Purina Pro Plan Pate for our list.

This wet food is made with real salmon and works best for a senior cat that’s 11 years of age or older. Senior cats will love the smooth pate of this wet food, which contains no artificial colors or preservatives.

Purina is actually made right here in the USA, so it’s a great way to support the national economy as well.

Purina incorporates antioxidants and 25 essential vitamins and minerals into this pate. The highly digestible formula contains taurine as well, which can help your cat’s health overall.

Plus, for cats with bad teeth, it could be the best way to get all the nutrients they need without having to crunch down on hard kibble.

If you’re looking for some of the best cat food for senior cats, check out Purina’s pate lineup.

For those older cats that may also be cats with bad teeth, Hill’s Science Diet 11+ could be the perfect medium between hard kibble and pate. This easy-to-digest formula can support dental health in older cats with bad teeth.

This chicken-flavored food for older cats contains taurine for heart health, as well as many natural ingredients.

Contained within each bite are balanced minerals for your cat’s kidneys and bladder, as well as natural fibers to keep them regular.

Plus, Hill’s Science Diet also includes omega fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6) and Vitamin E.

Purina ONE High Protein Natural Senior Dry Cat Food
$17.79 $10.28 ($1.47 / Pound)
  • Made for senior kitties, these deliciously crunchy bites are bursting with high-quality nutrients, each chosen to support your good girl's nose to tail well-being.
  • Real chicken is the #1 ingredient, helping create a high protein cat food that supports her strong muscles, including her healthy heart.
  • Four antioxidant sources promote your furry pal's strong immune system, a natural fiber blend helps minimize hairballs, and added calcium helps keep her teeth strong.
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12/29/2023 02:30 pm GMT

Made from real chicken and chock full of protein, this dry food for older cats from Purina might just be the blend your older cat wants.

This soft dry cat food is specially formulated for your senior cat to help support their golden years.

Purina makes their cat food for older cats right here in the USA. There are no fillers, no artificial flavors, and no artificial preservatives in this food, but plenty of good stuff instead.

For example, there are real carrots and peas within this kibble. There’s also fiber for hairballs, as well as calcium for strong bones.

Four antioxidant sources, as well as plenty of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, are all your senior cat needs to stay healthy as they age.

Hill's Science Diet Senior Adult 7+ Dry Cat Food
$25.99 $23.99 ($0.43 / Fl Oz)
  • Perfect poop in 7 days
  • Supports ultimate digestive well-being and a healthy microbiome for adult cats age 7+
  • Premium cat food that promotes regularity and healthy stools
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/29/2023 02:35 pm GMT

We’ve included dry food as well as wet food for older cats on this list, but healthy digestion is also part of aging well. That’s why Hill’s Science Diet Senior Adult 7+ Perfection Digestion made our list.

This particular dry food contains ActivBiome+ technology with prebiotics to help support healthier catgut. The food itself promotes regularity and a healthy microbiome by incorporating whole grain oats and pumpkin into this easy-to-digest formula.

High-quality protein, in this case, chicken, is also one of the first ingredients in this cat food. Animal protein can help with weight management, as well as build muscle mass in old cats.

For the best dry cat food for older cats that also helps with digestion, check out Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Digestion.

Purina Pro Plan Senior Cat Food With Probiotics for Cats
$21.35 $17.08 ($5.34 / Pound)
  • With a proprietary blend proven to improve and extend the life of cats age 7+
  • High protein formula, with real chicken as the first ingredient
  • Fortified with guaranteed live probiotics to support digestive and immune health
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/29/2023 02:40 pm GMT

If your cat is over the age of 7, Purina’s Chicken and Rice Formula can help to improve their life and potentially extend it as well.

This particular blend is made from chicken and includes plenty of live probiotics to stimulate a healthier gut and immune system.

Purina makes their cat foods right here in the United States. They also pack this dry food with vitamin A and taurine to help your cat’s eye sight.

How Do You Tell If Your Cat Has Teeth Problems?

cat with teeth problems
Veterinarian opening cat’s mouth for animal teeth examination.

Though it might seem obvious, knowing that your cat has teeth problems isn’t always easy to identify. Here are a few behavior changes you might notice that can point to dental problems.

  • One of the first signs that your cat may be having teeth problems is halitosis. Halitosis is the medical terminology for bad breath. Bad breath can be caused by an infection, tooth or gum disorders, tooth decay, periodontal disease, or cancer.
  • Another sign that your cat may be having teeth problems is difficulty eating. If you notice that your cat chews on one side of his mouth while chewing, this can be a major sign of teeth problems.
  • Drooling is another sign that your cat may be having teeth issues. Drooling is a symptom of gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gums.
  • A decrease in self-grooming is another tell-tale sign that your cat may be having teeth problems. Oral problems make self-grooming painful. If you notice your cat not cleaning themselves as often, it may be a good idea to get their teeth checked out.

If you think your cat may be having issues with their teeth, check in with your vet. They can inspect your cat’s teeth to see what state they’re in and may even suggest a cleaning if necessary.

Cleanings may solve most dental problems, but a positive diet change can make a huge difference as well.

What Causes Tooth Decay in Cats?

The most prevalent cause of tooth decay in senior cats is odontoclasts that attach to the surface of the teeth. There are many different reasons for why these cells attach in the first place.

Cracked or broken teeth, worn teeth, poor oral care, certain mineral imbalances, and increased presence of plaque are just some of the reasons for tooth decay in cats.

Many of these issues can be resolved with a well balanced diet and routine oral care. It’s a good idea to clean or brush your cat’s teeth on a regular basis, as well as giving them a proper diet full of nutrients and minerals.

If your cat is experiencing mild tooth decay, then your veterinarian would most likely advise a very thorough cleaning. This will usually occur in your vet’s office and will most likely involve anesthesia.

There is a small risk when putting your cat under anesthesia for the treatment. This is especially true for older cats, who may not respond well to anesthesia. However, it does allow your vet to deep-clean the gum lines that can host bacteria.

For severe treatment of tooth decay, your cat’s vet will need to perform oral surgery. During the surgery, removal of the decaying teeth is the only option left to stop the spreading of bacteria.

This is usually done when the teeth are severely damaged because your cat can run the risk of attracting additional growths of bacteria in your cat’s mouth.

Your cat will need to be placed under anesthesia during the surgery. Afterwards your vet will prescribe antibiotics to help fight and prevent any infection after the surgery. If absorbable stitches are not sewed during the procedure, you may need to follow up to have the stitches removed.

What Causes Cats to Have Bad Teeth?

causes of bad teeth in cats

There are many reasons why cats can develop poor dental health. After all, cat’s teeth are one of the many parts of their body they use not only for eating, but surviving as well.

One of the most common causes of poor dental hygiene is a lack of proper nutrition. Cats with bad teeth often come from a life spent mostly outdoors, where the wild life may not be as easy on their bodies as indoor life can be. If your cat is not able to get the nutrients they need to grow and maintain their bodies properly, a cat’s teeth can be the first sign.

Senior cats who have lived hard lives can also have a hard time with their teeth. With any senior cat, the wear and tear of eating, biting, and chewing can deteriorate a cat’s teeth to the point where they just wear out. They may become worn down, or even come loose from your cat’s mouth.

Infection is another common cause of a cat’s teeth falling out. Cat owners know that a curious cat can be a cat soon in trouble in the best of circumstances.

However, if a cat were to get an infection, especially in the mouth, their teeth can easily be affected. Bad teeth can also decay to the point where they fall out, which only compounds those dental problems.

Dental problems can typically be avoided by having your cat’s teeth cleaned on a regular basis. You should also watch what your cat eats, so you can be sure they’re not gnawing on something that could cause them to lose a tooth.

What are the Best Brands of Cat Food?

best brands of cat food
Cat eating dry cat food

The best cat foods come from a variety of brands. For example, the best cat foods for older cats come from many of the brands we’ve listed above, such as Purina, Blue Buffalo, Hill’s Science Diet, and more. They may also offer food for cats of many ages, not just older cats with bad teeth.

When it comes to the best cat foods, however, it’s not always about brand. In fact, while brand can help you to identify which particular food to purchase, it’s more about the ingredients and what that food is geared towards in terms of issues.

For example, younger cats may not have as many issues with chicken by product meal in their food. However, senior cats with dental problems do better with high quality protein and a grain free recipe.

Gum disease can cause senior cats to chew less efficiently than younger cats as well, so soft cat food can help not only to keep your cat’s teeth clean, but to also aid in digestion. Dental disease causes a lot of issues in older cats with bad teeth, so a suitable cat food may be one that easily absorbs into their system.

Is Dry Cat Food Better Than Wet Cat Food for Older Cats?

Some of the best cat food for older cats with bad teeth is wet cat food. While dry foods certainly have their place, they may not be the best choice for those cats who already have bad teeth. Having to bite down on a hard kibble piece could push your cat to eat less, thus depriving them of the valuable nutrients they need in order to function properly.

That said, wet cat foods can be better for older cats. The canned food works best for adult cats with bad teeth, since they’re able to lap up the food rather than having to chew it. Some of the best wet cat food is packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals to help your older cat absorb the proper nutrients in order to stay healthy.

The best cat food for older cats with bad teeth can oftentimes be a mix between canned food and dry food. Many cat owners will also mix wet food with the dry food in order to transition their cat from one to the other. No matter which type of food you choose, ensure it’s meant for older cats who may or may not have the best teeth.

What Ingredients are in the Best Senior Cat Food? (And Which Should You Avoid?)

You’ve probably seen many commercials that tell you to avoid chicken meal when it comes to your cat’s dry food. However, there are some caveats to this statement.

For example, many of the dry cat foods we’ve included above contain chicken as their first ingredient. This is particularly good because your cat should be eating a protein first, rather than a by-product of that protein.

That being said, chicken meal is often used to bind ingredients together into kibble form. As long as the chicken meal isn’t one of the major ingredients that replaces straight protein, it’s not a bad thing to see in the ingredients list.

When it comes to what to look for in those ingredients, it can vary. For example, senior cats benefit from cat foods with essential fatty acids and omega fatty acids. Your cat’s oral health depends as much on their mouth as their digestion as well, so soft food can be a plus for cats with bad teeth. You should avoid foods with artificial preservatives.

Buying cat food that supports a particular need for your cat is good practice, but you should also consider the larger picture. For senior cats with bad teeth, that might mean purchasing affordable cat food that targets dental health, dental disease (such as gum disease), or any other dental problems.

In the end, the best overall cat food is the one your cat finds tasty. As cats age, they can become pickier when it comes to eating, so pay attention to what your cat eats and doesn’t eat to find out what food to buy.

Final Thoughts

Every cat will encounter teeth problems at some point in their lifetime. Older cats with bad teeth will usually need an altered diet, where the cat foods are soft and not hard and crunchy. Soft food or food that is specifically designed for cats with bad teeth are the best options for your cat if they are having problems eating.

It’s best to catch teeth problems early on so they can be treated by a veterinarian. Always consult a vet before making any special changes to your cat’s diet. This is especially true for senior cats.

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