Best Cat Food for Older Cats with Bad Teeth

When was the last time you brushed your teeth?

We’d hazard a guess that it was within the last 24 hours, probably even within the last 12.

Now ask yourself: when was the last time you brushed your cat’s teeth?

We guarantee you will struggle to recall a date or even a time when you have brushed your cat’s teeth. We’re not trying to judge, we understand that brushing your cat’s teeth may seem like a strange task to complete, but that doesn’t make their dental health any less important.

In fact, more than 50% of cats over the age of 4 already suffer from some form of dental problem, with that percentage steadily increasing with age. 

Now, forcing a toothbrush into your cat’s mouth might not exactly be the right move, but switching to cat food that is designed to improve dental health is.

That is why we’ve put together this guide to the best cat food for older cats with bad teeth, packed full of suggestions, a buyer’s guide, and even a handy FAQ section to help you find the perfect way to improve your feline friend’s dental health.

In a hurry?

If you have just run out of cat food or are in desperate need for a food that will improve your cat’s dental health quickly, why not check out Royal Canin Feline Health Oral Sensitive Dry Food.

This is our top pick of the products as it offers a variety of excellent features, including: 

  • It has a cat kibble texture which generates a tooth brushing effect when your cat chews which reduces plaque formation.
  • It is proven to reduce the formation of plaque by 41% within 7 days of your cat eating this food exclusively. 
  • It includes an active dental agent that traps salivary calcium through chemical action and helps limit the mineralization of plaque on your cat’s teeth. 
  • It has a formula that is 100% complete and ensures your cat has a balanced diet every day.

Top 5 Best Cat Food for Older Cats with Bad Teeth


Our favorite cat food for older cats with bad teeth is Royal Canin Feline Health Oral Sensitive.

This dried food is available in 3 and 6-pound bags and is chicken flavored, with a variety of features that help promote better dental health for your cat.

It is designed with a cat kibble texture which when chewed creates a tooth-brush effect on your cat’s teeth, which is proven to reduce dental plaque formation by 41% within the first 7 days of using this food. 

Additionally, the recipe contains calcium chelators which are an active dental agent that traps salivary calcium throughout the process of eating and further reduces the buildup of plaque.

This food provides everything that your cat needs for a balanced diet and has a 100% complete formula, so even though it only offers one flavor option we believe this is the best option on the market as it has clear results. 


  • Not exclusive to senior cats so it is great if you have more than one cat
  • Inbuilt tooth-brushing effect to reduce plaque while your cat eats
  • Calcium Chelators to trap salivary calcium and further reduce plaque buildup
  • Highly effective with 41% less plaque in 7 days
  • 100% complete formula which offers a healthy balanced diet


  • Only available in chicken flavor


Another excellent product is Hills Science Diet Oral Care, which is available in 3.5 or 7-pound bags and consists of chicken-flavored dry food.

This food comes highly recommended by vets and it is not surprising as its recipe uses natural ingredients to help protect against plaque and tartar build-up. Additionally, it uses a kibble design to act as a toothbrush while your cat eats their food and is proven to freshen breath with every bite.

This recipe also contains vitamin E and Omega 6 to promote healthier fur in your senior cat, however, you should take care when using this food if you have any kittens or a pregnant cat as this food is not suitable for them. 


  • Tooth-brushing effect while your cat eats
  • Freshens breath 
  • Promotes healthy fur
  • USA made with natural ingredients
  • Vet recommended


  • Not suitable for kittens, pregnant or nursing cats


The proactive health range by Iams is also an excellent food to consider, however, their senior range is only suitable for cats aged 11+ and is available in 3.5, 7, or 16-pound bags.

Similar to the two brands before it, this product contains kibble texture for a tooth-brushing effect to reduce plaque build-up while your cat eats, however, it also features a variety of other ingredients to further improve your cat’s health.

This includes calcium and potassium for strong bones and healthy joints, and vitamin E to improve your cat’s immune system. Additionally, this range helps your cat maintain a healthy weight making it a great choice if you want a food that will improve your cat’s health all round. 


  • Tooth-brushing effect while eating
  • Nutrients for strong bones and joints
  • Vitamin E for improved immune system 
  • Helps your cat maintain a healthy weight


  • It is only suitable for cats aged 11+


Another cat food that is excellent at improving all-round health is the Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging range which is available in 3 or 7-pound bags.

It uses real chicken as its main ingredient to provide protein that will help maintain strong muscles, as well as carbohydrates to give your cat more energy and taurine to improve heart and eye health.

Additionally, it contains Blues Exclusive Lifesource bits which is a mix of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants which have been hand-selected by vets and nutritionists to support your cat’s immune system and their life stage requirements.

The chicken is mixed with corn, wheat, garden vegetables, and fruit to give your cat everything they need for a balanced diet and a healthier lifestyle. 


  • Natural ingredients and real meat
  • Contains taurine for heart and eye health, and protein for muscle health
  • Vitamins and minerals selected by vets and nutritionists
  • Provides a healthy balanced diet


  • Does not specifically promote dental health


The final cat food on this list and the only wet food we have chosen to include is Hartz Delectables Bisque.

We have leaned away from wet foods as dry foods are better for stopping the cause of your cat’s bad teeth, however, this is a great option if your cat is struggling to chew dry food. Available in packs of 12 pouches, the delectables range combines real chicken and seafood shreds in a smooth sauce which makes it easy for your cat to eat.

This specific range is designed for cats aged 15+ and includes enriched potassium and prebiotics in the recipe to help support your cat’s digestive system and kidneys. It does not contain ingredients to improve dental health but it is excellent for cats with little or no teeth. 


  • Contains real meat
  • Wet texture makes it easy to eat
  • Potassium and prebiotics for kidney and digestive health
  • Recipes designed for a balanced diet

Best Cat Food for Older Cats with Bad Teeth Buying Guide

The cat food market can be an extremely confusing place to shop within as there are such a diverse amount of brands all specializing in different things to promote good health within your pet.

The above list contains some of the best products you could buy for your cat, but in case you want more support in your search we’ve put together this guide of things to consider when buying cat food for older cats with bad teeth. 

Wet Vs Dry Food

The first major decision you will encounter when buying cat food is the choice between wet food or dry food.

Both types have their benefits, for example, wet food can help rehydrate your cat and can also be easier to consume if your cat has bad or no teeth. However, wet food cannot contain features such as the tooth-brushing effect created by dry food with a kibble texture, and so it can not fix the issue of bad teeth, it can only benefit your cat if their teeth are beyond repair.

Ultimately the best type of food will depend on your cat’s situation, if you want to proactively prevent your cat from getting poor dental health dry food might be the better option, whereas if you just want food that your cat can eat without any pain wet food may be better for you. 

My Cats Are Different Ages

Another dilemma you may encounter is that you have more than one cat and these cats belong to different age categories when it comes to food, but don’t worry there are a variety of ways to work around this issue. 

Firstly, if your senior cat is in his early senior years you may be able to buy an adult cat food for dental health that will contain your older cats age within the bracket, however, this is not likely to be possible if your cat is in his later senior years. If this is the case, there are two further ways you can work around this issue.

One would be to feed your cats in separate rooms from one another, that way they will only be able to eat the food that is correct for their age, and if your cat is particularly greedy you could just close the door while they are having their food and lift their bowls out of the way once they have finished.

Alternatively, you could feed your cats at different times of the day and pick up their bowls after each meal to ensure they do not eat each other’s food. 

Promoting Healthy Teeth

There are a variety of ways for your cat to have excellent dental health, but it starts with a balanced diet. A balanced diet will provide your cat with all the nutrients they need, such as calcium, to ensure their teeth are strong and healthy.

Additionally, you could decide to brush your cat’s teeth, however, this can be difficult and if you wish to go down this route it is recommended you begin when your cat is a kitten so that they grow up with this habit.

Other great ways to promote healthy teeth for your cat include regular vet check-ups as these will include teeth examinations, incorporating dental treats as part of your cats daily food allowance, and finally by keeping an eye out for any symptoms of discomfort as this allows any issues to be caught before they get more serious. 

Ingredients to Look For

Finally, when buying cat food for senior cats there are some ingredients that you should look out for, including:

  • Fiber for digestion
  • Lower fat content
  • Carbohydrates for increased energy
  • Proteins for strength
  • Natural ingredients as these are healthy
  • Vitamins and antioxidants for better health

This is not a comprehensive list of things to look for, and there are a variety of other ingredients that will promote better health in your cat, however, these are some of the most common ingredients and features you will find in senior cat food. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does dry food clean my cat’s teeth?

On a basic level, no eating dry food will not clean your cat’s teeth, unless that specific brand of cat food is designed with dental care in mind.

There are a variety of products that do have this feature, including some of the ones included in this list, so it is definitely something to consider when making a purchase. 

At what age does my cat become a senior cat?

Cats are usually considered seniors from the age of 8, which may seem young when considering the average lifetime they have, but this is due to changes to their metabolism that occur after the age of 8. 

How much food should I feed my older cat every day?

Generally, senior cats do not need to eat more or less food than an adult cat, however, you should follow the feeding instructions on the back of whatever cat food you have bought as the amount may vary.