The best cat food for older cats with bad teeth or missing teeth

best cat food for older cats with bad teeth
This post contains affiliate links and may earn a commission on any purchases you make through those links.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the best cat food for older cats with bad teeth. When you’re the parent of a kitty who’s having trouble chewing it can be heartbreaking to watch them struggle.

When cats have dental issues it can cause them pain when they eat. This could even cause some cats to stop eating almost entirely to avoid this discomfort!

This is a serious issue that should be taken care of immediately. Not eating is extremely dangerous to cats, and not eating for as little as two days can cause huge health complications for them.

That’s why in this article, we’ll be giving you some recommendations for the perfect foods for older kitties with bad teeth, and we’ll even give you some helpful tips on what you can do to protect the teeth that they have left!

If you don’t have time for the full article, we understand. So, here’s a list of our top picks for cat food for older cats with bad teeth, including estimated cost and their pros and cons. We’ve only chosen wet foods, because cats with bad teeth may stop eating from the pain of hard kibble foods.

Beanietoes Top Soft Cat Food Picks

best cat food for older cats with bad teeth
NomNomNowI and love and YouHalo
$$$ Most Expensive$$ Moderately Priced$ Cheapest
Fresh CookedCannedCanned
Coupon: Save 50%Coupon: Save 30%Coupon: Save 30%

Our #1 Top Pick is for NomNomNow

cat food for older cats bad teeth
Pictured: NomNom’s tasty chicken recipe is great for enticing cats with poor appetites.

If you have an older cat and you really want to offer them the best nutrition, then NomNomNow is the best of the best.

This is not a canned food. It’s a fresh human-grade food that is cooked every week in a commercial kitchen and then mailed straight to your door.

For an older cat who has trouble chewing, this is the ultimate food. Since they use only fresh meat ingredients, it’s the tastiest option available.

This is very important for older cats, because in many cases, their appetite fades with age, and it can be tough to get them to eat.

These diets are also great for cats with allergies or health issues, because the NomNomNow staff avoids common allergy triggers, and the transparency surrounding their ingredients means that you can be sure that you are only feeding them the healthiest ingredients.

cat food for old cats

It’s also much more affordable than other fresh food diets, because they give discounts for multiple cats and if you choose to opt for bulk shipping! In fact, you can save substantially by choosing this option at check out!

If you want to know the full details on this food then you can read our full length review which gives background on the company, how to save the most money, and a look at how the service works.

PS. Beanietoes readers save 50% on their first box with this link!


cat food for senior cats with no teeth

While fresh food is the best when it comes to flavor and nutrition, sometimes it’s just not in the budget. However, canned food can be a close second if you know where to look!

That’s why our second pick is for the fantastic brand I AND LOVE YOU. This premium canned cat food uses only healthy ingredients and no fillers. That means your cat is getting the best nutrition.

food for senior cats with bad teeth
Pictured: Ingredients list for I and love and you’s chicken recipe

We can see chicken and chicken liver as the first two ingredients. This is great, and it means this food is mostly high-quality meats. In addition, the veggies included here are healthy and easily digestible. There’s no low value ingredients like corn or wheat either.

If you have a kitty who has digestive issues, then we’d recommend this recipe. Everything in this food should be easy to digest, and the chicken liver and broth will entice picky kitties to eat.

This food is also very attractively priced, but you can save even more if you place an auto-ship order with Chewy. This will save you an additional 30% on your first order and 5% on all subsequent orders. Click here to get this deal and start feeding your senior cat a better diet.

#3 – Halo Cat Food

cat food for senior cats

Halo is a fantastic and affordable cat food brand that makes it easy to feed your senior cat a healthy diet without breaking the bank. Personally, I love this brand, and the only reason it did not make number two was the inclusion of potatoes.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with potatoes but some animals have trouble digesting them. However, this is not a problem for most cats, and Halo is highly digestible.

cat food for old cats bad teeth
Pictured: Halo’s Chicken Stew Recipe Ingredients

In fact, it’s a great choice if you have a cat which experiencing litter box issues. They also have different recipes for senior pets, grainfree, sensitive stomach, and other specialty recipes.

Halo also has a lot of flavors. This makes it easy to shop for a variety which your cat will eat if they are very difficult to feed.

Fortunately, you can save even more by shopping at Chewy. You’ll get the 30% discount for your first order of this food as well, and the further 5% discount on subsequent orders too.

Well, those are our top picks! However, if you’d like to know a little more about what to look for when choosing a food for your senior cat, keep reading. We’ve included a whole section on that.

How to choose a food for an older cat or a cat who has dental problems

When choosing a cat food for an older cat who has problems with their teeth, there are a few things that need to be considered. For starters, many older cats actually experience a loss of appetite as they age.

This is partially to do with the fact that their sense of smell may no longer be what it once was. For cats, smell is the primary way that they interact with food, and for an older cat, a food with a more pungent scent, such as fish, may be more attractive.

Of course, dental disease is also a common cause for a cat’s reduced appetite(( )), and simply offering them a food that is easier for them to eat, such as a fresh or canned food, could end up helping them to maintain a healthy weight.

Consider choosing a food with these features

  • Foods with a strong smell (like tuna or chicken liver)
  • Fresh or canned foods
  • High meat content for improved taste
  • Free of grains, corn, and junk fillers for good nutrition and digestion

What about kibble foods?

While kibble foods are cheaper, they are a poor choice for an old cat who has no teeth! These foods are just too hard for your cat to eat, and feeding them this is just putting them in unnecessary pain.

Not to mention the fact that many cats, but especially older ones, simply do not get enough liquid. This can have dire health consequences that can lead to vet visits and a reduced lifespan. Cats who are short on fluids could experience life threatening urinary blockages.

While many people believe that kibble and chews help to remove tartar from their pets teeth, the truth is that this is not always the case. These items are not regulated, and many of them do nothing at all to help your pets(( )).

While chewing does produce saliva, which can help to fight off plaque, many cheaper cat foods are actually full of sugar and starches which will just make the situation worse.

If you’re feeding your cat a hard kibble food for this reason then you should stop. This is just causing your cat discomfort and offering them no real benefits.

Your feline friend would be much better served if you were to start an oral hygiene routine for them. It’s easy to do this yourself using some basic materials, but you can also get your vet to clean their teeth regularly and help with this.

If your cat has really bad breath, then they likely have an oral hygiene issue. Halitosis is often a sign of tooth decay, and it should be taken seriously. Cats with bad breath tend to also have bad teeth to go with it.

Remember, lost teeth are forever, but even if your older cat has already lost a good deal of teeth you can still save the remaining ones! Here’s how to do it.

How to save your cat’s remaining teeth

If your older cat is losing their teeth, then it’s not too late to help them! While offering them a better food that’s easier for them to chew is the first step, there’s still more that can be done.

Your first order of business after this is to get a good oral hygiene plan in place. If your cat’s dental problems are advanced, then you should schedule a check up with your vet, and they’ll be able to advise you on the correct course of action.

However, a once per year cleaning simply won’t cut it, and if you really want to help your cat with their dental hygiene, then you’ll need to brush their teeth. This is the only way to prevent tooth loss.

You should periodically check your cat for signs of periodontal problems such as pronounced bad breath and excessive tartar. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to remove tartar yourself.

Benefits of brushing your cats teeth

  • Avoids further tooth loss
  • Prevents gum disease
  • You cat will have fresher breath
  • Improves your cat’s overall health
  • Avoids nasty mouth infections

While your cat won’t be thrilled, at least initially, with you sticking your fingers in their mouth, they will eventually get used to it. So, the first step is a visual inspection of your feline friend’s teeth and gums.

During your visual inspection you should be assessing the condition of their teeth and seeing the level of plaque and tartar build up in their mouths. You should also look for red and swollen gums which can be a sign of gingivitis in cats(( )).

It should be noted that you should not attempt to remove tartar yourself. These are the hard deposits which appear when plaque has been left to its own devices for too long. Only your vet should do this, because your cat needs to be put under anesthesia for any dental procedures requiring sharp tools for their own safety.

However, you can help to deter further tartar deposits by getting rid of the plaque on your cat’s teeth before it evolves into those hardened deposits by establishing a regular dental routine for your cat.

While brushing your senior cat’s teeth is certainly a challenge, it’s worthwhile to do so to save your cat’s remaining teeth. If you can commit to doing it every other day, then you will improve their quality of life for their remaining years.

Why brush every other day?

In general, it takes about 48-72 hours for plaque to make the transition into tartar. While some people brush their pet’s teeth a couple of times per week, this may not stop build up completely.

Brushing more often helps to stop additional build up and keep your cat’s mouth in good health, much like you do for your own teeth.

How to brush your cat’s teeth

While brushing your cat’s teeth seems like an intimidating chore, it doesn’t have to be. It really only requires a couple minutes per day to do, and once your cat is used to it, there should be no problems. Here’s a video that explains how to get started with brushing your kitty’s teeth.

We’ve also done another article about this topic here which covers why and how brush your cats teeth. While it’s tempting to try to use dental treats, they really just don’t do the best job. Plus, a cat who already has bad teeth will likely refuse them since the hard pieces will likely cause them pain.

Michelle Rei
Michelle Rei
Michelle is a pet parent turned amateur pet product researcher. After adopting a fur baby with digestive issues caused by bad pet food, she's poured hundreds of hours into research to find the best of the best to help him and other pets live happier and healthier lives.
Share this post
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on email
Share on print
Share on pocket

More From The Beanietoe's Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon or other affiliate networks. If you purchase a product through a link on our site, you’re helping to support our writers and website.