How to Get Cat to Eat After Tooth Extraction?

How to Get Cat to Eat After Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction for performed to cats by typically to manage pain coming from damaged teeth, gum disease, or trauma. She will need general anesthetic to complete this procedure and proper care after the extraction. The vet will give you instructions on how to care for and what to feed to the cat while it recovers. 

But what if she has no appetite and just stops eating? This can happen after tooth extractions as well as after other surgery. Read on to know what you can do to help her eat and recover as quickly as possible.

How to help a cat to recover from a tooth extraction

How to help a cat to recover from a tooth extraction
Image: / Andrzej Rostek

The most important steps to help a cat recover after a tooth extraction are the following:

  • After the tooth extraction, only soft food is allowed for about a week. The main reason for this is to prevent the food to be stuck in the open sockets or sutures in your cat’s mouth. 
  • Ensure that you are following the instructions for medication that the veterinarian has given you. Anti-inflammatory pain medications, such as Metacam, will help reduce the pain for 48 hrs. If taking them orally is uncomfortable for her, mix a small amount on her food (provided that you can get her to eat, that is). While narcotics like Buprenex will also help your pain, the effect will only lasts for 8-10 hours, thus, giving it twice a day is recommended. Buprenex can be used by injecting it directly under the skin or squirted on the gums or under the tongue. These medications should be maintained until she is fully recovered.
  • Wait for at least two weeks of recovery before you can start brushing her teeth or giving her dental treats.
  • Keep observing her for the next few weeks. If you notice her having problems closing and opening her mouth or experiencing discomfort, pain, lethargy, lack of appetite and vomiting contact your vet.

What kind of food to feed a cat after tooth extraction

What kind of food to feed a cat after tooth extraction

Always follow the instructions regarding food given by the vet. If the cat is not used to soft or wet foods, you can try to moisten her favorite dry food by mixing ample amounts of water until it becomes squashy. You can also try boiled or poached meat such as chicken or beef cut into small strips.

If she still refuses it, try giving her meat baby foods such as Gerber’s chicken baby food. Avoid the typical hard treats, bones or chews for a week, or longer, as this will pack into any open wounds and interfere with healing.

Other tips to get your cat to eat after tooth extraction

The solution is to keep trying to find a food that she might like in her condition.

  • Give her human food that she is used to eating but make sure to mince it into tiny bits.
  • Make sure to give her lots of water, kitten milk replacer is good too.
  • Try feeding her mashed cooked egg yolks.
  • If she refuses the soaked dry food in water, you can try mixing tuna juice to soften the dry food.