What’s the best way to feed a cat with few or no teeth?FamilyPet
As cats grow older they may experience dental problems, which make it difficult for them to eat crunchy food—and this can result in indigestion and regurgitation or vomiting of undigested pieces, because a cat may swallow whole, undigested pieces of dried food.
Take some precautions and prepare for that possibility. If you feed your cat dried kibble, start to get her used to something softer, such as canned food, as she starts to age. If you give her tinned food (home-made canned and preserved), it can always be mashed up with a little pet gravy, or even water, to soften it.
Treats should be soft, too! Hard biscuits or bones will just be swallowed whole, becoming a potential choking hazard.
Older cats may also need a little extra fiber because they have challenges with constipation and weight gain. One good way is to mash a little canned pumpkin into the food; it’s full of fiber, cats love the taste, and it’s still soft enough for a tooth-challenged pet to eat.
Always talk to your veterinarian or pet nutrition expert to be sure the diet is completely balanced. Cats are strict meat-eaters and seniors might also need additional supplements such as glucosamine/chondroitin for joint health.
It’s not unusual for an older cat to also experience a loss of appetite. The first thing you must do is take her to the vet so she can be examined to rule out any underlying problem.
If your cat receives a clean bill of health, the loss of appetite could be the result of a diminished sense of smell, common among older animals. If this is the case, try putting the food in the microwave for a few seconds to bring out enticing aromas. If you’re still feeding a dried kibble, add a strong smelling liquid like cat gravy or tuna juice.