Talking With Pet Doctors

How To Care For Your Cat After A Tooth Extraction

by Christy Adams

Learning that your cat needs to have one or more teeth surgically removed can be tough for pet parents. However, while you might be stressing out about the surgery itself, there's things to consider that go beyond that. For example, you should plan on being prepared to care for your kitty once they come home from their procedure. Here's what you need to know.


Traditionally, surgery meant stitches, and that would usually mean coming back to the surgeon to have them removed. The same was true for animals. These days, however, most veterinarians opt to use dissolving stitches where possible. These types of stitches are naturally absorbed by the body and broken down harmlessly. This saves you an extra trip to the veterinarian, and prevents your kitty from needing another procedure. If your vet isn't using dissolving stitches, they'll let you know when you should come back and how to check them for any problems.


Once your cat is home, you may want to spoil them with food and water. However, you should wait. Most veterinarians will tell pet owners to set aside some time for their cat after they get home without food and water. This is because the anesthetic can cause some nausea, so your kitty could throw up if they try to eat or drink right now.

Once you're past your vet's guidelines for your cat, it's time to feed them. Put aside the kibble and dry treats and go straight to soft, wet food. A puree is best, as your cat can simply lap it up. Other cat food companies now also sell broth-based meals, which are also an option. Your cat's mouth will be a little sore from the incisions, and too much pressure could potentially open up an incision. Ask your vet how long you should wait before introducing dry food back into the mix.

Wound Care

Finally, you'll be glad to know that most cats don't actually need any help with surgical incisions from tooth extractions. The stitches will keep everything closed up and the mouth heals very quickly, so as long as you follow the above directions, you won't need to clean anything.

That said, make sure to keep your eyes open for any problems. If you detect bleeding or see your cat pawing at their mouth, contact your vet. This could indicate that your cat has opened up one of its incisions.

Lastly, make sure that if your cat is prescribed any medications to provide them on-time. Antibiotics and pain relievers are commonly prescribed, so these medications will help to keep your cat from developing any pain or infections.

Getting teeth extracted is sometimes a fact of life for cats, but with these tips, you can ensure that their recovery is safe and quick. Talk to your vet if you have further questions about pet surgery or are now ready to go ahead with the tooth extractions.