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How to Care for Your Cat After Tooth Extraction

by Loan Martin

There are several reasons why an animal surgeon may need to pull one or more of your cat's teeth. Stomatitis, infection, and gingivitis can all result in the need for extraction; in some cases, an extraction of all teeth will be required. Cats often adapt to the change better than owners expect, but there are still some vital things to do to make sure your kitty recovers properly and doesn't experience too much pain.

Feed the Right Food

After extraction, your cat's mouth will contain sutures or open sockets. Dry, sticky food can be caught in the sockets or stuck in the sutures, and eating it is likely to cause some discomfort. For a week or two after teeth have been extracted, feed your cat only soft food. If your cat is picky and will only touch dry food, try socking it first to make it easier to chew.  

Continue to Provide Pain Medication

It's likely that either your vet or the animal surgeon who performed the operation will provide painkillers for your cat to take during the days after the surgery. Make sure you follow the entire course of pain medication, even if the cat seems fine. Cats are remarkably good at hiding signs of pain, even from their owners.

Watch for Bleeding

It's possible that you'll see a little light bleeding after the procedure, but this should stop within a few hours. If you notice that significant bleeding from the mouth is occurring the day after surgery, you should certainly notify your vet to see if your kitty needs to be taken in for a further check-up.

Watch for Infection

Though unlikely, it is possible for the gums around the site of pulled teeth to develop an infection. These infections can be easily treated if you detect them early enough, while failing to spot one could mean that more work needs to be performed. If your cat develops a gum infection, they will exhibit bad breath and develop a fever; it's also possible that you will see pus if you inspect the area.

Keep Them Calm

As stated above, cats tend to adapt to a drop in the number of teeth quite well, but they'll find the change someone discomforting at first; even the trip to the surgeon can be traumatic enough to cause them concern. Make sure you give your kitty some extra love and affection in the days after their surgery.