No one wants to hear that their cat needs surgery. But minor surgeries like tooth extractions are often necessary for a cat’s health. Significant tooth decay, advanced gum disease, severely broken teeth, stomatitis, and other dental issues can put a cat’s health at risk. If your cat needs a tooth extraction, this guide will help you prepare for their recovery and feel more at ease with the procedure. 

Cat Tooth Extraction Recovery Guide

What to Expect After a Tooth Extraction

In most cases, your cat will be able to go home the same day as the procedure. Your vet will provide you with prescriptions for pain medication and postoperative care instructions. It’s crucial that you follow those instructions carefully to ensure a speedy and comfortable recovery. 

Even if your cat seems back to normal after just a couple of days, it’s important to administer the medication for the prescribed amount of time. Keep in mind that you will also need to attend a followup appointment around ten to fourteen days after surgery, so your vet can make sure that your cat’s mouth is healing properly. 

How Long Does It Take for a Cat to Heal After Tooth Extraction?

Recovery time will depend on the number of teeth that were extracted and on how healthy your cat is already. It typically takes about ten days for a healthy cat to recover from having one tooth extracted, or two weeks to recover from multiple extractions. However, senior cats and cats with illnesses may need more recovery time 

What to Feed Your Cat After Tooth Extraction

You may need to make a few small changes to your cat’s diet after surgery. For instance, if your cat usually eats hard kibble, you will need to temporarily switch them to wet food. When it comes to wet food, it’s best to choose a minced or paté food, as large chunks can be difficult to chew without teeth.

Cats that are missing teeth can still eat dry kibble once their mouths have healed. You will just have to soften your cat’s kibble with warm water. It’s also a good idea to do this for fourteen days after an extraction procedure to make it easier for your cat to eat their favorite food.

If the anesthetic used during surgery made your cat nauseous, you will need to divide their food into smaller portions. Your cat will probably lack an appetite for a few hours after arriving home from surgery. But if they are refusing to eat after 24 hours have passed, contact your vet immediately. 

Recovery Tips

Here are some ways to help keep your cat happy and comfortable while they recover from a tooth extraction:

  • Set up comfy places for your cat to rest
  • Provide a stress-free environment (keep their litter box clean and minimize strong scents and loud noises)
  • Give them their medication exactly as prescribed (if your cat refuses to take the medication, speak with your vet about safe alternatives for administering it)
  • Provide plenty of fresh water sources, and make sure they’re staying hydrated
  • Keep your cat’s teeth healthy to prevent future extractions

Watch for Complications

Complications are rare after a tooth extraction, but they can happen. It’s important to keep an eye on your cat’s mouth for any signs of infection, stomatitis (a painful mouth inflammation), and other issues. 

Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Redness, swelling, pus, or bleeding around the extraction site
  • Unusually bad breath
  • Disinterest in food or toys
  • Difficulty eating
  • Pawing at face 
  • Eye drainage and/or swelling

Cat Dentist in Gilbert, Arizona

If your cat is eating less than usual or showing other signs of a dental problem, please don’t hesitate to contact us. At Anasazi Animal Clinic, our team is exceptionally skilled in pet dentistry. We can determine whether a tooth extraction is necessary for your cat and provide swift treatment. We’re also happy to answer any questions you have about the procedure and your cat’s tooth extraction recovery. Give us a call at 480-497-0505 today to schedule an appointment. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (2/13/2023). Photo by Aleksandar Cvetanovic on Unsplash