Similar to people, kittens have baby teeth that fall out to make room for permanent teeth. Today, our vets in Denver discuss the kitten teething process and how you can help soothe your cat's discomfort.
When Do Kittens Teethe?
When your kitten is roughly 3 to 4 weeks old they start getting their first set of teeth. Since the teeth irritate your kitten's mother when she is feeding them, the baby teeth help wean off the kittens. The eruption of a cat's teeth is typically uneventful, but you may spot kittens nibbling on their toys, or potentially even their siblings, more frequently than normal.
When Do Kittens Lose Their Baby Teeth?
Your kitten's teeth will fall out when they are approximately 12 weeks or 3 months old. Your cat should have all 30 of their adult teeth when they are about six months of age. Sometimes it could take up to 9 months for a cat's full set of adult teeth to come through, so don't get too worried if your kitty still has some baby teeth at six months old.
Your cat's adult teeth will be with them for the rest of thier life, so take good care of them! The gold standard for feline dental care includes daily brushing with cat-safe toothpaste, as well as expert teeth cleanings under anesthesia regularly. Some cats may even benefit from dental diets and treats.
You can also use this information about your cat's teeth to help you tell how old your kitten is or what age they are (if you are unsure). Your vet should also be able to tell you how old your kitten is by using its teeth as a guide!
Signs Your Kitten is Teething
Here are some signs that can help you recognize when your kitten is teething:
- Increased chewing, especially on soft items
- Vocalizing more, from small to loud meows
- Eating less
- Hesitant to bite at or shake toys
- Chewing food more slowly
- Bad breath
- Pawing at mouth
- Bleeding gums
Most of these symptoms shouldn't be too concerning but, you should keep a watchful eye on your kitten. For example, if your feline friend loses significant weight as a result of their lack of appetite, you should call your vet. And while it's normal for your kitty to have mild bleeding in their gums, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian if there is excessive bleeding, because this could be an indication of dental health problems.
Ways to Help Your Teething Kitten
Thankfully, there are several options available to you to help your teething kitten.
- Ensure your kitty gets lots of interactive playtime with you to keep them busy and make them tired
- Offer soft food; either a canned diet or kibble soaked in warm water
- Provide pet-safe cat grass for snacking
- Give your kitten soft toys to chew on
- Make ice cubes of low-sodium chicken broth or diluted tuna juice for them to play with and chew on. The ice will soothe irritated gums. This is an especially popular item during hot weather!
Discomfort is usually mild and should resolve itself but if your kitten is in extreme pain contact your veterinarian.
Can I Reference a Kitten Teeth Chart?
While there aren't any kitten teething charts to help you track your kitten's development, the picture that comes with this blog post can act as a reference, to show you how your cat's teeth should be coming in.