To Chew Or Not To Chew: That Is The Question

Kitty dental drama. I mentioned before that Helen lost a tooth somewhere along the way, all on her own. Then it turns out that poor Chrissy’s teeth are rotting out of her head, and she has to have major oral surgery.

So last Friday Chrissy had any number of teeth pulled, as the vet recommended that was the best course of action to avoid continually putting her under general anesthesia to try to keep them clean and avoid infection. Sadness for my baby but it had to be done.

Chrissy pre-surgery

Chrissy pre-surgery

Naturally, Chrissy couldn’t have anything to eat after midnight the evening before her surgery. That means none of the cats gets anything to eat, because we can’t put food out and tell Chrissy she’s not supposed to eat it; but as soon as she was gone in the morning, I put food out again for the others. After 7 long hours with no chow, Helen, Janet and Jack were just barely able to summon the strength to drag themselves to the food bowl.

When Chrissy came home she was still disoriented and just running from room to room meowing. It broke my heart. And of course, Chrissy still can’t have dry food because her mouth is healing. So once again, nobody gets dry food. This is a big change because they are used to “open feeding” where dry food is always out, and they get a small amount of wet food each evening.

Now we’re giving them wet food three times a day but they are pining away for their crunchies. We even put out bowls of soft treats but they’re not having it. Jack and Janet keep circling restlessly around the kitchen. I know how they feel, I get like that at times too. And I still have open feeding. Way open. Wide open. Too open.

I put out more soft treats this afternoon but they turned their little noses up at it. As I was standing in the kitchen bemoaning the situation, Jack went over to the pantry and dragged out the bin of dry food. Then he sat and meowed. I mean, really? Still, I’m a sucker for that kind of thing…

The food bin Jack dragged out

The food bin Jack dragged out

I don’t think I’m being at all dramatic when I say I am now facing a Sophie’s Choice type decision. I could put out some dry food for a short time, and not let Chrissy get at it, which is mean to Chrissy. Or I can let the other three tough it out until they can all have dry food. I called the vet for insight; she says I can put dry food out tomorrow. So I think we’re all just going to have to tough it out for one more day.

The good news, and most important thing, is that Chrissy is finally feeling like herself again. Now we just have to hope that the cats can make it through another day with only wet food, soft treats, lots of toys and warm beds.

A sunny windowsill is nice, but I still want my dry chow!

A sunny windowsill is nice, but I still want my dry chow!

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13 Responses to To Chew Or Not To Chew: That Is The Question

  1. Heather says:

    Jill, what kind of dry food do you feed to them? I have a cat with bad teeth from genetics too. He had a tooth extracted at 9 months due to infection. The vet recommended Royal Canin dental. They are GIANT nuggets that look like they will cause choking! I never thought my cats would go for it, but they LOVE it. Apparently cats don’t chew if they don’t have to, and the nuggets force them to chew (this removes tarter and bacteria). I thought it was a scam, but my cat no longer has stinky breath and has been problem-free for over 1.5 years now.

  2. Pam Waits says:

    People with human kids have it so much easier than those of us who parent animals. Kids understand explanations even though they might not agree with the decision. Kids also don’t have that sweet face that melts your heart. (Some parents might disagree but just wait till that little darling becomes a teenager.) You’re a saint for caring for those cute little kitties!

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      I cannot imagine going through this with a human baby! It is definitely hard with animals because they trust you and it must seem like we just randomly tirture them. Ugh.

  3. Carol Ferenc says:

    Dental care for cats is always so hard. Over the years we’ve had cats with teeth that rot or fall out like crazy. Others never have any dental problems. In general, I think the dry food keeps their teeth cleaner than the wet. Here’s hoping your furry family is back to normal soon!

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      Yes Chrissy is only 5 and has had problems with her teeth since she was a kitten. Genetic. Everyone is once again enjoying dry food and the fur balls have all settled back in!

  4. Betsey says:

    Jack must think you have some sort of dementia; he can’t understand how you could have forgotten about the dry food, and so had to show it to you himself. He must be very worried about your state of mind, because even with the visual reminder, you STILL don’t know what to do with the dry food. He will be so relieved tomorrow when you regain your previous level of cognitive functioning.

  5. When Mollie had a couple teeth pulled over the winter, she was very disoriented when I brought her home. I isolated her in a room for a day (mostly because she was wobbly) and that helped. She really wasn’t in the mood for eating much and the other cats could have whatever they wanted. Although picking up all the food at midnight the night before the procedure didn’t make Morgan happy….especially at 3 a.m. Poor Chrissy. Mollie sends her best. Hazel has to go in and I don’t want to do it again. All the drama.

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