If you have recently adopted a cat only to find out from your veterinarian that your new family member is missing some teeth, you may wonder how something like that could happen and what you should do for your furry friend to ensure that he or she eats properly. Here's a look at some of the things you should know about cats with missing teeth and how to care for them.
How Does a Cat End Up Missing Teeth?
Although many cat owners think that it's unusual to find that their feline friend is missing teeth, it's actually not that strange. While very young cats could be missing teeth because they've lost their milk teeth and are awaiting their adult teeth to come in, adult cats can lose teeth for a number of reasons.
The most common reason for adult cats to lose teeth is due to health issues. Adult cats whose health and well-being has been neglected may lose teeth due to malnutrition, infection, or poor dental care. This is especially common in rescues that were strays for a long time.
However, you may also find that your adult cat has lost teeth due to fights with other cats. Even if you don't notice a visible wound, your cat could have lost a tooth or two. Cat teeth aren't rooted as deeply as a person's teeth, so they can lose them much easier than people can.
What Do You Do About Aa Cat's Missing Teeth?
When your cat is missing teeth, you need to be attentive to their eating habits. When your cat refuses food, that's an indication that either there's still trouble with the teeth and gums or it's difficult to eat dry food.
Your vet may suggest feeding your cat a mixture of both canned and dry cat food. Canned food feedings would be designed to supplement the diet, ensuring adequate hydration and nutrition. The dry food can usually be left for grazing, encouraging your cat to eat what he or she can throughout the day.
It's important not to remove dry food completely from your cat's diet because the dry food is important for dental health. If you eliminate it totally without your veterinarian's recommendation, you could actually unintentionally encourage further dental problems.
If your cat isn't eating like they normally do or seems to have discomfort when eating, reach out to your veterinarian right away. He or she can determine the cause and recommend a plan of action.