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Cat with only 4 teeth.

Species: Cat
Breed: part Siamese
Age: 8-11 years


We just discovered our cat, Chole, who is 11 years old, seem to have only 4 teeth, missing her molars and premolars. We've recently, (5 weeks ago), moved to a new home, and she seems to be getting over her initial lethargy/sleeping (about 20 hrs. a day), and she has begun to eat more normally. She is a bit overweight. Her breath seems fine, and she doesn't seem to have any facial swelling or pain.

We lost a healthy cat , Figaro, 11 years ago after having had her teeth cleaned by a vet. She was apparently so traumatized by the general anesthesia, that she stopped eating, developed liver problems, and died within weeks...so we a reluctant to have THAT happen again.

What should we do about Chole's missing teeth? We feed her strictly Science Diet light and mature cat food.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question. I personally have a cat who has 3 teeth and he does extremely well and is still able to eat hard food quite well.

The question here is how healthy the remaining teeth are. I do think it is a good idea to have your vet take a look at Chole's teeth the next time that she is in for a visit.

If there is significant dental disease then it would be best to have a dental procedure done. What happened to your other cat is very unfortunate, but extremely uncommon. General anesthetic these days is very safe in a cat who is healthy. In 12 years of practice I cannot remember having an animal die because of a dental procedure.

I hope Chole continues to do well.

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.