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7 Best Cat Foods for Older Cats with Bad Teeth in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

grey cat eating meat

Just like us, our kitty’s bodies start to wane over time, and their mouth health is no exception. Cats with dental issues can begin to have a tough time enjoying their meals. To make their lives easier, you need to find a recipe that works for your older guy or gal.

If you’re looking for a solution to your cat’s oral discomfort, we took the liberty of writing reviews for these delicious soft cat foods for your senior feline. Here are six of the top picks we found on the market.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2021 Update)

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Smalls Fresh Raw Cat Food Recipes Smalls Fresh Raw Cat Food Recipes
  • Human-grade fresh ingredients
  • High protein content
  • No preservatives, artificial flavors or colors
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Fancy Feast Chicken Classic Palette for Seniors 7+ Fancy Feast Chicken Classic Palette for Seniors 7+
  • Helps coat and skin
  • Savory flavor
  • Antioxidants
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Royal Canin Aging 12+ Loaf in Sauce Canned Cat Food Royal Canin Aging 12+ Loaf in Sauce Canned Cat Food
  • Special formula
  • Supports declining joints
  • Easily palatable
  • Purina Pro Plan Senior Canned Wet Cat Food Purina Pro Plan Senior Canned Wet Cat Food
  • Specially formulated for seniors
  • Full of nutritional content
  • Good for two meals per day
  • Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Tender Chicken Recipe Cat Food Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Tender Chicken Recipe Cat Food
  • Partially soft
  • Convenient pouches
  • One serving portions
  • The 7 Best Cat Food for Older Cats with Bad Teeth

    1. Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Raw Cat Food – Best Overall

    smalls fresh beef with logo

    Food type: Fresh raw
    Calories: Not Listed
    Protein: 49.6%
    Fat: 45.7%
    Fiber: 0.4%
    Moisture: 66.1%

    Cats, just like us, enjoy fresh and healthy foods and Smalls is a relatively new company that provides just that. They pride themselves on the human-quality food they prepare for cats to ensure they get nothing but the best. This is definitely good for cats with teeth problems.

    Smalls offers three flavors of their fresh raw food, including the Ground Cow pictured above. The smalls first three ingredients of the Smalls Ground Cow flavor are ground beef (90% lean), beef liver, and green beans; a very nutritionally complete mix of different whole ingredients. This ensures the cats get everything they need and nothing they don’t.

    This recipe is just one of many that the company now sells. All their flavors include at least 80% of their content made from nutritious animal products. They have also taken care to include the required vitamins and minerals so your cat has the best of both flavor and nutrition, no matter the flavor.

    One great thing about Smalls and their nutritionally-complete cat food is that for your first order, they offer a 25% discount applied at checkout and even provide an assortment of additional goodies for your cat to get a full introduction to the brand. And when our cats tried it, they absolutely loved it. It was delicate enough for even the worst teeth, but not too soft, so it still gave some resistance to keep the teeth nice and strong. And with no artificial ingredients, there’s nothing bad in there to hurt your kitty’s teeth.

    All in all, Smalls is our top choice for best cat food for older cats with bad teeth.

    Pros
    • Multiple proteins
    • Human-quality ingredients
    • Pleasant smell
    • No preservatives or color

    Cons

    • More expensive than supermarket brands


    2. Fancy Feast Chicken Classic Palette for Seniors 7+ – Best Value

    Fancy Feast Senior 7+ Chicken, Beef & Tuna Feasts Variety Pack Canned Cat Food,

    Food type: Wet canned
    Calories: 96
    Protein: 11%
    Fat: 5%
    Fiber: 1.5%
    Moisture: 78%

    What cat doesn’t love Fancy Feast? This Fancy Feast combo offers three different flavors for seniors seven years and older. It has the typical savory, aromatic sense to kick up your cat’s appetite. There is a case of 12 full cans that are 3 ounces apiece.

    That’s very important, as sometimes with seniors, their appetites can decrease with age. This recipe boosts their immune system with essential taurine and amino acids. The high protein in this diet helps keep their muscles nice and strong during the years of decline. This recipe is full of antioxidants and vitamin E for lustrous coat and skin.

    Taking a closer look at the chicken-flavored variety, the first three ingredients are chicken, fish, and meat by-products. Instead of being full of water, this recipe mainly uses chicken broth for an ultra advertising finish. In each can, there are 96 calories. There is 11% crude protein, 5%  crude fat, 1.5% crude fiber, and 78% moisture.

    Due to dietary restrictions, this recipe might not be the best fit for some cats. We greatly encourage you to scour the ingredients to ensure nothing triggers any potential sensitivities.

    Pros
    • Helps coat and skin
    • Savory flavor
    • Antioxidants

    Cons

    • Potential trigger for food allergies


    3. Royal Canin Aging 12+ Loaf in Sauce Canned Cat Food – Premium Choice

    Royal Canin Aging 12+ Loaf In Sauce Canned Cat Food

    Food type: Wet canned
    Calories: 122
    Protein: 8.5%
    Fat: 2.5%
    Fiber: 1.4%
    Moisture: 82%

    Our award for premium choice goes to Royal Canin aging 12+ Loaf. This recipe is specifically designed for seniors that are 12 years or older to support their declining bodies. The formula is incredibly easy on their system to make sure that their digestive function works appropriately.

    This recipe has essential fatty acids, EPA, and DHA for joint support. They also took the phosphorus down a notch, so the recipe doesn’t overload their kidneys. This dish is specifically for sensitive teeth and gums, creating an easy palatable eating experience.

    We want to warn you that this recipe does contain pork by-products, which can be troublesome for some cats. Double-check the ingredients to make sure that all of that is well with your kitty. This recipe contains 122 calories per can. It has 8.5% crude protein, 2.5% crude fat, 1.4% crude fiber, and 82% percent moisture. It also has a dose of glucosamine for joints.

    Even though this recipe is incredibly pricey, it is worth it for the overall health and comfort of your senior kitty. It is one of the best cat foods on the market for dental health.

    Pros
    • Special formula
    • Supports declining joints
    • Easily palatable

    Cons

    • Expensive


    4. Purina Pro Plan Senior Canned Wet Cat Food

    Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+ Classic Salmon & Tuna Entree Canned Cat Food

    Food type: Wet canned
    Calories: 91
    Protein: 10%
    Fat: 6%
    Fiber: 1.5%
    Moisture: 78%

    Seniors 11 and older love the taste of Purina Pro Plan Focus with Salmon and Tuna. You will get 24 for 3-ounce cans in this package, and it’s super affordable for most budgets. Our senior kitties had no trouble getting us down the hatch. The recipe is made with real salmon and tuna, which stimulates the appetite.

    The first three ingredients are salmon, liver, and water. There are meat byproducts of this recipe. It has a total of 10% crude protein, 6% crude fat, 1.5% crude fiber, and 78% moisture. It also has tons of vitamins and minerals, including taurine and ascorbic acid to meet all of the AAFCO nutritional profiles.

    This recipe has a specialized formula to meet the unique needs of advanced aging. Each recipe was crafted at a Purina-owned facility in the United States of America. Every ingredient is completely traceable.

    One great thing about this recipe is that you can feed an entire can per day, breaking it up into two separate meals.

    Pros
    • Specially formulated for seniors
    • Full of nutritional content
    • Good for two meals per day

    Cons

    • Not for dietary restrictions


    5. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Tender Chicken Recipe Cat Food

    Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Tender Chicken Recipe Cat Food

    Food type: Semi-moist pouches
    Calories: 77
    Protein: 6.5%
    Fat: 3%
    Fiber: 3%
    Moisture: 82%

    Even though it comes with a higher price tag, the Hill’s Science Diet Tender Chicken Dinner is perfect for senior cats 7 years and older. They shouldn’t have much issue chewing the soft food specifically designed to help cats with dental problems.

    Because it’s partially wet, it still intensifies appetite with savory flavor, but it’s firm enough to offer some benefits of dry kibble. We love most about this because it doesn’t stick to their teeth or lay on their gums as some wet foods do. So, it doesn’t worsen the existing dental issues.

    This recipe has specific vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to support aging bodies. The extra kick of water gives this recipe a boost of hydration—plus, the chicken and pork liver offer protein that their body needs. Each pouch contains 77 calories, 6.5% crude protein, 3% crude fat, 3% crude fiber, and 82% moisture.

    The package comes with 24 in total, with each one containing a serving of food. This recipe is perfect for single cat households, but it could get a little pricey if you have more than one kitty.

    Pros
    • Partially soft
    • Convenient pouches
    • One serving portions

    Cons

    • Might get pricey


    6. Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Mature Chicken Grain-Free

    Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Mature Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    Food type: Wet canned
    Calories: 168
    Protein: 7%
    Fat: 4%
    Fiber: 2.5%
    Moisture: 78%

    If your kitty is advancing in years but needs a grain-free recipe, check out the Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Mature Chicken Grain-Free canned cat food. Each of them comes in a 5.5-ounce can in a case of 24.

    You can use this for morning and evening meals to satisfy your senior’s pallet. Blue Buffalo prides itself on making recipes to fit every feline’s needs. This particular one cuts out the gluten, replacing it with delicious proteins, fruits, and veggies.

    This particular cat food for older cats with bad teeth recipe contains no grain, byproducts, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives. This can of cat food contains 168 calories per can. It has 7% crude protein, 4% crude fat, 2.5% crude fiber, and 78% moisture. It also has taurine and omega fatty acids.

    Since it is a grain-free recipe, it contains sweet potatoes, carrots, and flaxseed. This delicious, easy-to-eat recipe will be a household favorite in no time.

    Pros
    • Grain-free
    • No harmful additives
    • Larger cans

    Cons

    • Only for cats with grain allergies


    7. Hartz Delectables Bisque Lickable Wet Cat Treats

    Hartz Delectables Bisque Lickable Wet Cat Treats

    Food type: Topper
    Calories: 16
    Protein: 8%
    Fat: 0.1%
    Fiber: 1%
    Moisture: 90%

    Even though this is not a full course meal, the Hartz Delectables Bisque Lickable Wet Cat Treats can work wonders for your senior. Not only does it add a dose of savory flavor to their meal—it also softens up dry or semi-moist kibble, making it easier for your cat to chew.

    This package comes with 12 individual flavored treats. You have two options, tuna and chicken for seniors over 10, or tuna and chicken for seniors over 15—depending on your cat’s age.

    Each package contains 16 calories. It has 8% crude protein, 0.1% crude fat, 1% crude fiber, and 90% moisture. It also has some beneficial vitamins and minerals for overall support.

    We thought it was a wonderful addition to a daily meal getting your seniors the support they need without completely changing their overall diet.

    Pros
    • Softens kibble
    • Stimulates appetite
    • Multiple packs

    Cons

    • Only a topper
    • Might not soften food enough


    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Cat Food for Senior Cats with Bad Teeth

    When you’re buying new food for your senior to help ease dental issues, here are some things to consider.

    Importance of Brushing

    Brushing your cat’s teeth as often as possible is the key to preventing any dental decay. However, general age can reduce the strength of your kitty’s teeth, causing structural damage anyway.

    It is a good idea to begin brushing your kitten’s teeth when they are babies and continue throughout their adult life. Getting any plaque off the teeth will prevent tartar buildup and reduce the risk of dental disease later in life.

    Plaque

    Plaque is debris that forms on your cat’s teeth from leftover food in the mouth. It can solidify over time without regular cleaning, causing more significant issues down the road.

    Tartar

    Tartar is the yellowish hard substance that forms on the gum line and the teeth. This is the result of plaque buildup over time and is almost impossible to get off. It is a precursor to dental disease and needs to be dealt with accordingly.

    Periodontal Disease

    Dental disease in cats can be severe and even life-threatening in some cases. Dental disease can cause infection, which can spread through the body. You want to prevent it at all costs, so putting as many safety measures in place is essential when your cats are advancing age.

    Tooth Loss

    Your cat can lose their teeth over time or need to get them extracted at the vet. Decay can damage the enamel and structure of the teeth, causing them to chip or come out entirely.

    Types of Diets for Seniors with Bad Teeth

    Dry Kibble

    Dry kibble for seniors with teeth issues might not be the best idea for some cats, so always make sure to check with your vet. However, if your cat is developing dental issues, you might be able to feed them a dry kibble that helps clean their teeth.

    If you buy a specialized recipe for seniors covering dental care, the extra crunch will break up plaque and tartar.

    Wet Food

    Wet food is ideal for senior cats with dental issues because it is easy to chew, but it might worsen existing dental problems without proper brushing.

    Pros
    • Easy to chew
    • Savory
    • Stimulates appetite
    • Long shelf life, if unopened

    Cons

    • Spoils quickly once opened
    • Can worsen dental issues

    Semi-Moist

    Semi-moist cat foods are soft enough for seniors to chill, even if they have worsening teeth. It tends to have a longer shelf life than wet cat food, but not quite as long as dry kibble.

    Also, certain brands can be less healthy than alternatives. So always make sure to read the label to know exactly what you’re giving your beloved kitty.

    Pros
    • Easy to chew
    • Appetizing
    • Stimulates senses

    Cons

    • Shorter shelf life than kibble
    • Sometimes not as healthy as some alternatives

    cat eating food
    Image Credit: Seattle Cat Photo, Shutterstock

    Specialized Diets

    Due to declining health in old age, your cat might be on a specialized diet. The good news is, you can find a recipe that works for your cat regardless of their dietary restrictions.

    If you can’t find commercial cat foods, you might also want to look for a roll or homemade diets that are super easy for your kitty to chew and swallow.

    Pros
    • Necessary for some cats
    • More control over ingredients

    Cons

    • Can be hard finding the right commercial food

    Raw or Homemade Diets

    Many owners are looking for raw or homemade diets for their beloved felines, as they are all-natural and delicious. You have complete control over the ingredients.

    Pros
    • Often healthier
    • Easy to chew
    • Specialized recipes

    Cons

    • Must check ingredients with vet
    • Time-consuming prep

    hepper cat paw divider

    Conclusion

    We still stand by our number one choice,Smalls Fresh Raw Cat Food. We think it would work best for most seniors with dental issues. Plus, it is affordable for most owners and our cats seem to think it’s delicious.

    If you’re looking to save a few bucks, your cat will surely love Fancy Feast Chicken Classic Palette for Seniors 7+. It’s tasty and budget-friendly—but it might not work for all dietary needs.

    In any case, we hope you found a solution to your cat’s dental problems. They deserve to enjoy their late years without pain or complications.


    Featured Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock