As cats age, their teeth often deteriorate, which can make eating food increasingly difficult. This is especially true for rescue cats or cats that haven’t had their teeth maintained or looked after.
When this happens, cat owners often look for food that is easier to digest or won’t worsen their cat’s already bad teeth.
Some recommend moving to wet/canned food as it lessens the need for the use of teeth, but others will recommend dry food as it can help keep teeth clean.
We’ve done the leg work for you and put together a shortlist of cat food recipes that are well suited to older cats with bad teeth.
We aren’t going to discuss it in-depth here, but if you are interested in learning more about feline nutrition and diet, then we highly recommend heading over to our Cat Food Guide for a detailed breakdown and discussion.
Best Cat Food For Older Cats With Bad Teeth
NomNom Chicken Cuisine Review
Nom Nom is one of the biggest players in the growing trend of fresh pet food and like many of its competitors, utilizes the growing trend of subscription services.
Pet owners receive their pet’s food in pre-portioned packaging by home delivery at regular intervals, which is a positive for many as it helps eliminate waste and adds serious convenience over traditional pet food. You can read the outline of this delivery method on their FAQ Page.
While Nom Nom isn’t tailor-made for older cats with bad teeth, many cats will fare better with it. Its use of fresh ingredients and high meat content will ensure that many older cats do not worsen further.
In addition, in its wet form and with its appealing taste, even cats with particularly bad teeth should have no trouble eating it.
We would highly recommend checking out our dedicated page to the Nom Nom brand (which you can find here) to discover more about how this new type of cat food works and its benefits.
While Nom Nom tends to focus most of its efforts on dog food, they have a single cat food recipe which we have highlighted above. This bulk of the recipe is made up of a mix of Chicken and Chicken Liver.
While we do not need to explain the benefits of Chicken, the inclusion of Chicken Liver is important to point out. Organ meat ingredients like Chicken Liver can noticeably enhance the flavor of a cat food recipe and provide beneficial vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in traditional cuts of meat.
Given that the bulk of this recipe is Chicken-based, it only includes a small portion of Carrots and Spinach as its plant-based content.
This small portion of familiar vegetables provides a modest proportion of carbohydrates and fiber and brings the recipe’s nutritional profile in line with a cat’s natural diet.
Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+ Salmon & Tuna Entree Classic Review
While Purina Pro Plan can be a controversial brand to many, its well-known across the globe as a provider of specialized pet food recipes for pets with health issues.
Purina and Purina Pro Plan invest thousands of hours into the research and development of their product lines and stand out in comparison to smaller brands that can’t afford or justify such detailed research.
To learn more about the monster-brand that is Purina Pro Plan, head on over to our Purina Pro Plan Review.
Purina Pro Plan has a range of specialized cat food recipes for older cats over the age of 11. These recipes are designed to provide older cats with the specific nutritional balance they need as well as make them easy to consume.
The above Salmon & Tuna Entree is a prime example of these traits and has an extremely soft and easy to eat texture that even cats with the worst teeth could cope with.
Salmon is the recipe’s primary ingredient and is an excellent choice. Salmon is one of our favorite fish ingredients thanks to its core nutrition of protein and fat, but also the high levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids that it contains.
These fatty acids can be particularly potent to senior cats and can help them reduce the risk of certain diseases as well as improve the condition of their skin and coat.
Outside of this Salmon, the recipe contains a mix of other meat and fish ingredients, including Chicken and Tuna. It is worth pointing out that their recipe contains no plant-based ingredients, which can be critical for cats with bad teeth.
This is as plant-based content that is high in carbohydrates can cause tooth decay which would further worsen a cat’s teeth and make it even more difficult to eat.
American Journey Landmark Mackerel & Tuna Recipe Review
American Journey is the ‘Store Brand’ of the popular pet food website Chewy. While American Journey started off small, as Chewy has grown, so has it and it now has a huge range of dog and cat food products.
However, the reason we’ve chosen to feature it here is due to its lower cost in comparison to some of the others mentioned here. Dental problems affect all kinds of cats, including those with owners on a tight budget, and only highlighting premium or high-cost solutions would be unwise.
You can learn more about Chewy and American Journey by reading our American Journey Review.
The Landmark range from American Journey is a relatively new addition, and while they cost slightly more than the base American Journey recipes, they are still very cost-effective.
The recipe shown above is a prime example from this range and utilizes a mix of Tuna and Mackerel as its only major ingredients. These two fish ingredients are packed full of fish-based protein and fat and are an excellent addition to a cat’s diet.
The high proportion of moisture present will ensure this food is easy to consume for those cats with bad teeth, and the lack of plant-based content will minimize any further deterioration of their teeth.
Royal Canin Aging 12+ Recipe Review
Royal Canin is another reliable brand in the space of specialized cat food recipes. Much like Purina Pro Plan, Royal Canin has poured thousands of hours of research and development into these specialized recipes.
You can read an in-depth analysis of Royal Canin, including information on its research and ingredient choices here.
The above Aging 12+ recipe from Royal Canin is tailor-made for senior cats and does not require a veterinary prescription like some other specialized recipes. It is designed to provide senior cats with their required nutrition as well as be straightforward and appealing to eat.
It has a high proportion of moisture in comparison to some other wet cat food recipes, which will ensure that it is soft and easy to bite even if a cat has few or damaged teeth.
The primary meat ingredients are a mix of Pork and Chicken ingredients, including Pork By-Products, Pork Liver, Chicken, and Chicken Liver.
This mix provides a very satisfactory proportion of protein and fat, which comes in at a minimum of 9% and 2.5%.
The inclusion of Pork Liver and Chicken Liver is notable and will give the recipe an extremely appealing taste which is important when trying to convince an older cat to adopt a new food. In addition, these organ meat ingredients can provide much-needed vitamins and minerals.
Outside of these ingredients, the recipe contains a small portion of Wheat and other plant-based ingredients. These provide a small proportion of carbohydrates and fiber.
Hill’s Science Diet 11+ Adult Indoor Chicken Recipe Review
Hill’s Science Diet is the last of the ‘Big 3’ to feature in this discussion. Similar to Purina and Royal Canin, Hill’s have a scientific approach to their recipes and invest millions in research and formulation.
You can learn more about Hill’s background and approach to pet food in our Hill’s Science Diet Review.
Similar to their competitors, they have specialized recipes for senior cats and cats with health problems. The above 11+ recipe is a prime example of this specialization and is custom-made to cope with many of the health issues that older cats experience.
Despite being a dry cat food recipe, it includes a relatively high proportion of moisture and fiber which means that it will be softer than many other dry cat food recipes. This will helpfully relieve many older cats who struggle to bite or chew kibble due to their poor dental conditions.
It is also worth mentioning that you can even more moisture to a recipe like this, especially given its high fiber content. This could further soften it and make it very easy to consume.
The recipe’s primary ingredient is Chicken which acts as the base source of protein and fat. As we mention regularly, Chicken is the most popular meat ingredient in pet food thanks to its low cost and high availability.
Outside of this Chicken, the recipe utilizes grain ingredients like Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, and Brewers Rice. These grain ingredients provide a mix of carbohydrates, plant-based protein, and fiber.
Ziwi Peak Mackerel & Lamb Review
Ziwi Peak is a pet food brand based in New Zealand which is quite unusual. They produce a high-quality air-dried pet food range and are one of the leaders in this niche market.
Given that the brand is based in New Zealand, it will not come as a surprise that Lamb features heavily in their recipes. However, for those who aren’t interested in Lamb, Ziwi Peak does have some non-Lamb recipes, including a recently launched Chicken recipe.
One of the core advantages to air-dried food over traditional kibble is that it is made up of almost entirely meat and fish ingredients, with little to no plant matter.
This means it is an extremely dense source of nutrition, packed with protein and fat. Given that cats thrive best on a diet high in animal-based ingredients with minimal plant-matter, air-dried cat food can be an excellent choice.
If that wasn’t enough, because air-dried food is dehydrated, cat owners could choose to rehydrate it to make it easier for their cats to consume. In the case of older cats with bad teeth, owners could choose to add additional moisture to make it even easier to consume.
If you’d like to learn more about air-dried pet food and the Ziwi brand, take a read of our Ziwi Peak Brand Review.
As you would imagine, the above Lamb and Mackerel formula contains a large portion of Lamb, which makes up the bulk of the formula. While the portion of Mackerel present isn’t as large, it is still noteworthy and combines with the Lamb to produce a unique flavor.
However, we will point out that air-dried cat food is extremely expensive in comparison to kibble or wet/canned cat food, which does not make it viable for many cat owners. You may want to consider using Ziwi Peak air-dried food to supplement a cat’s usual diet or including additional fresh ingredients to reduce the overall cost.
Go! Carnivore Grain-Free Salmon + Cod Recipe Review
While Go! may not have the sheer volume of research and development that brands like Purina, Royal Canin, and Hill’s do, they still have experts working for them. According to Petcurean’s website, Go! employs a Nutritional Manager with a PH.D. in companion animal nutrition along with three nutritionists with a Master of Science in animal nutrition.
This expertise will help ensure that Go!’s pet food recipes are well-suited to their target audience.
If you’d like to learn more about Go! and its parent company Petcurean, head on over to our Go! Brand Review.
While Go! does not have a recipe specialized for senior cats, its Carnivore range could still be a reliable and wise choice. This range includes a higher proportion of meat and fish ingredients than its other products, which is critical to cats as they are obligate carnivores.
The recipe includes a large portion of Salmon, Cod, and Herring. All three of these fish ingredients are excellent additions and combine to provide an extremely impressive minimum of 42% protein and 16% fat.
As we mentioned earlier, fish ingredients like Salmon and Herring are great sources of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids which can provide several health benefits to cats, especially older cats.
Outside of this fish content, the recipe includes a portion of Peas, Lentils, and Potatoes. These legumes and starch ingredients are extremely popular among grain-free cat food and can provide a mix of carbohydrates, plant-based protein.