Can Cats Survive Without Teeth–and Eat Tuna?


I have a very old female cat. Most of her teeth
is gone – she has one fang in front that’s left.
I am worried about her food intake. Sometimes I
do give her mashed canned tuna. Is this ok? What
else can I feed her?


Cats and dogs can thrive without teeth, as long as their gums are healthy. If your cat’s teeth were extracted by a veterinarian the odds are high that her gums are in good shape. If the teeth fell out naturally due to decay, then there is a significant chance that her gums are inflamed or infected. I recommend that you have a professional assess your cat’s oral health and perform corrective procedures if necessary.

Cats with healthy gums and no teeth generally have no problems eating. Many such cats prefer soft food, but I know several toothless cats who happily gum down crunchies. In other words, most cats without teeth don’t have special dietary needs.

If you are worried that your cat is not eating enough, you should monitor her weight. Cats that don’t get enough food lose weight over time.

Tuna generally is safe as a treat for cats. However, tuna is not nutritionally complete. Tuna should not be the only ingredient in your cat’s diet.

Photo: Curtis‘ teeth look healthy.

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