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CatDefender September 3rd, 2013 08:29 AM

Bad Teeth, diet, special care considerations?
I rescue cats. I have an elderly Siamese (Jixy), when I rescued her she was an adult and I've had her for 12 years so I estimate she is around 15 years old. She has bad teeth, she has had halitosis as long as I can remember. Now she has only a few good teeth left and she isn't eating dry food. She will eat some finely chopped wet food. I'm taking her to the vet soon for a checkup but I wonder, can a cat survive on a liquid diet if necessary? I feel guilty about the condition of her teeth but I have tried the brush her teeth as well as all my cats but none will sit still for it. I don't want her to have surgery because of her age. Anyway, I'm just worried about her and was wondering if anyone had gone through this experience, and any successful strategies you used to make sure that the cat's nutritional needs were met.

marko September 3rd, 2013 08:52 AM

My 10 year old sphynx cat twiggy has bad teeth. We adopted her at 8 and she has had 7-9 extractions since then. She only has 4 teeth left. Those too, may have to be removed as she gets abscesses near her remaining teeth. For now we are fighting the abscesses with antibiotics and a drug that helps her immune system. She has a brother Baci who is young and occasionally they play fight and nip at each other.....or I would have removed those last 4 teeth.

Like your cat, her breath was disgusting due to the rotten teeth. What happens in many cases is that rotten teeth produce gingivitis and other bad bacteria that enters the bloodstream and weakens the immune system. Gingivitis shortens the lifespans of both humans and cats.

In terms of cat still eats kibble for breakfast and soft food for lunch and dinner.... I think eating soft food should cause your cat less pain than hard food if her teeth are really messed up...

I'd encourage you to go for a vet visit though (perhaps for antibiotics - pain meds)...tooth pain sucks for humans so it's got to suck for cats as well.

Good luck!

Winston September 3rd, 2013 09:07 AM

What about adding a tad bit of water to soften the kibble? I agree on seeing the vet to at least confirm if she is in pain from her teeth.

Barkingdog September 3rd, 2013 10:03 AM

You could try feeding your cat some salt and sugar free chicken baby food and adding a little water to it .

sugarcatmom September 3rd, 2013 11:11 AM

If your kitty is otherwise healthy, there is no reason that she shouldn't be able to undergo general anesthesia for a dental procedure. You'll need to have a senior blood panel and urinalysis done first, and maybe an EKG, and the anesthetic/analgesic protocol should be tailored to her needs (eg: IV fluids before and during the dental, blood pressure monitoring, no NSAIDS, etc).

My own geriatric cat has undergone 2 dentals in the last year, and he is 20 yrs old. He did great! (and he has CKD, a heart condition, and diabetes). When it becomes a quality of life issue and starts affecting a cat's food intake, I believe that it would be kinder to euthanize than to not do anything. Painful teeth can be agonizing to live with, and we all know how well cats hide pain.

lindapalm September 3rd, 2013 12:25 PM

If it was me, I would take the chance and have all the teeth pulled if your vet feels the cat is in pain. We have two cats without any teeth, and one with only four. They eat wet food and will eat the dogs dry food if I'm not watching.

marko September 3rd, 2013 05:17 PM

[QUOTE=lindapalm;1061278]If it was me, I would take the chance and have all the teeth pulled if your vet feels the cat is in pain. We have two cats without any teeth, and one with only four. They eat wet food and will eat the dogs dry food if I'm not watching.[/QUOTE]

Just a note because we have looked into this, the 4 that are left are likely the canines, the most deeply rooted ones. The ones on the bottom are even more deeply rooted from my understanding. Sort of a tip of the icebug thing. Sometimes removing those last 4 teeth are difficult is what we were told anyway. But certainly if teeth are so rotten, to the point of pain and infection, best to remove them unless there is severe risk to the cat according to a responsible vet. :2cents:

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