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Do Cats Lose Teeth As They Get Older?

Last Updated on November 23, 2023 by Catster Editorial Team

I need to ask a question regarding my older cat. I believe my cat, Tyger has lost one of his incisor teeth. (I believe it is the bottom fang on his right side of his mouth). I’m not certain but he may have actually lost another incisor also!

He just turned 10 years old in May, 2010. Do I need to be worried about this? Does this happen to cats when they get older? I have recently bought him soft, wet cat food hoping he can chew this kind better than hard, dry cat food. But I noticed the other day when I fed him a piece of regular chicken he was having trouble trying to chew that.

What can/should I do about this? Thank you for your help in this matter.

Arnold, Pennsylvania

Tooth loss is relatively common in older cats. Note, however, that being common does not make it healthy.

Animals generally do fine with missing teeth. However, teeth that fall out on their own usually do so because of uncontrolled dental disease. Infected teeth become loose and fall out as bacteria destroy the tissues that surround them. Dental disease is very unhealthy and has been linked to a host of other health problems such as diabetes and cancer.

Joanna, it sounds like a vet should check Tyger’s teeth (or lack thereof). It may be possible to return Tyger’s mouth to a healthy state with professional dental work.

A final, semantic detail: incisors are the small teeth in the front of the mouth. The big fangs are canines.

About the Author

Dr. Eric Barchas
Dr. Eric Barchas

Dr. Eric Barchas is a professional traveler who spends his spare time working as a full-time veterinarian; contributing to Dogster and Catster; walking, cooking, camping, and exploring the outdoors; skiing (when conditions permit); and reading Booker-shortlisted novels. In between trips Dr. Barchas lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Denise, and his canine pal, Buster. His main veterinary interests are emergency and critical care, wellness, pain management and promotion of the human-animal bond. Dr. Barchas has to Dogster and Catster since May 2005. 

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