If your kitten has started teething, you probably have a lot of questions. Our Perry vets can help you understand what to expect and how to help your kitty feel more comfortable while their adult teeth grow in.
When Do Kittens Lose Their Baby Teeth?
Cat owners often ask us "When do kitten teeth fall out?". A kitten's baby teeth will all fall out by the time they reach three to four months. This will make room for adult teeth to break through the gums and begin to grow. All of a cat's adult teeth will grow in by the time they reach six months old.
Most adult cats have 26 baby teeth and 30 adult teeth. Kittens are born with no visible teeth but they will get their first ones at just three weeks old. Kitten's baby teeth are called milk or deciduous teeth. Your kitten will get their incisors and primary canines first, and then the rest follow shortly afterward. Kittens will typically have all their baby teeth by eight weeks, they may have a full set by as early as six weeks.
If you're wondering how to tell kitten age by teeth, you can use your favorite search engine to look up a kitten teething chart to learn more.
Signs Your Kitten is Teething
Generally, you won't notice any changes in your cat if they start teething. They won't act or eat differently during this time, and the only reason you'd know that they are teething is that you find little teeth around your house. Your kitten may also swallow their baby teeth, so don't be concerned if you don't find them all. When kittens do show signs that they are teething, you may notice:
- Slight bleeding of the gums
- Sore, red gums
- Pawing at their mouth
- Decreased appetite
- Excessive chewing
It is also important to look for signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease. Symptoms of these conditions include extremely swollen or bleeding gums and bad breath.
In some cases, a cat's baby teeth do not fall out. This is referred to as persistent deciduous teeth. While the condition is rare, it's worth watching out for because it could cause discomfort. Contact our Perry vets if you have any questions about kitten teething.
How to Help Your Kitten
When your kitten is teething you can help them if they are experiencing any discomfort or pain. With teeth that are pointy and sharp, you would think it hurts when they touch their gums but most kittens experience minimal pain.
Similar to how babies like to soothe their sore gums with teethers when they are teething, kittens may seek out items to chew on. Be careful when this happens as they will chew on anything they find, including dangerous power cords.
House plants are one thing you’ll want to keep away from your teething kitten. Double-check that the plants in your home are not poisonous to your kitten because they may chew on them when you are not looking. A lot of common houseplants are fine for your kitten to eat but some can be poisonous to your four-legged friend.
There are safe things your kitten can chew on if they need something to help with the pain. You likely have a washcloth in your home that you can wet, freeze, and give to your kitten to chew on. Keep in mind that you may find a wet spot if the cloth is left on your couch or floor, though.
You can buy kitten chew toys from most pet stores, including rubber or soft, chewable plastic toys and toys that you can put in the refrigerator. To keep your kitten safe, you should stay with them while they play with it and always follow the directions on the packaging.
Make sure to watch your kitten in case they break the toy, as broken pieces could be a choking hazard and need to be thrown out right away.
Cleaning Your Kitten's Teeth
No matter your pet’s age, it’s important to brush their teeth on a regular basis as part of an oral hygiene routine.
Dental infections or diseases can be common in kittens and cats but if you start a cleaning routine early enough your kitten will get used to it quickly and you will be able to help prevent plaque and tartar formation.
Starting a teeth cleaning routine early will help you get your kitten used to having their teeth brushed. You’ll also help prevent plaque and tartar from forming, which can lead to dental infections and diseases.
A regular oral hygiene routine will also promote healthy gums and reduce halitosis (bad breath).