Kittens are born without teeth. At around 2 weeks of age, the little incisors at the front of the mouth start to reveal through the gums. At around 4 weeks of age, the canine teeth (fangs) have actually emerged, and by 6 weeks of age, the premolars have emerged. These teeth are all deciduous (also called baby or milk) teeth.
Understanding Teething in Kittens
Do cats have baby teeth? How many teeth do cats have? How old are kittens when they teeth? How long do kittens teeth? Find out the answer to these questions below.
Kittens have an overall of 26 milk teeth: 3 upper and three lower incisors on each side, one upper and one lower canine on each side, and 3 upper and two lower premolars on each side. They have no molars.
The milk teeth start to fall out and be changed by permanent teeth starting at around 11 weeks of age. By 4 months, all the permanent incisors are generally in location. By 5 months, all four canine teeth remain in location. By 6 months, all 10 premolars remain in place. The four molars do not come in until late kittenhood and even early adulthood.
Adult felines have a total of 30 permanent teeth: 3 upper and three lower incisors on each side, one upper and one lower canine on each side, 3 upper and two lower premolars on each side, and one upper and one lower molar on each side.
Signs That Your Kitten Is Teething
As brand-new teeth emerge, your kittycat may have sore gums. His loose primary teeth may bother him, making eating uncomfortable. He may be more irritable and mouth shy, and quit playing suddenly if he catches something in his mouth and it hurts. Be considerate of his sore mouth. Don’t play intensely with toys he gets in his mouth. Prevent brushing his teeth during this time; you don’t want to teach him that brushing hurts. Feed him a soft food that does not make him chew or crunch, and consider purchasing a teething ring made specifically for kittycats.
When to See Your Veterinarian
Sometimes a primary teeth stays in place, even when the permanent tooth comes in next to it. This happens most often with the canine teeth. If it remains for more than a week, your vet may have to extract it. Otherwise it can cause crowding of the other teeth and can even hurt. It’s always a good idea to have your veterinarian inspect your cat’s teeth at about 6 to 8 months of age, or at the time of spay or neuter, to make sure whatever has can be found in as it should.
You or your veterinarian might notice occlusion issues. In ideal occlusion for many felines, the upper incisors fit snugly just in front of or level with the lower ones, and the lower dog is simply in front of the upper one. In some felines, one side of the jaw grows more than the other, so the incisors might line up correctly on one side however not on the other. Often the misalignment is such that the cat can not chew easily, or a tooth jabs into the cat’s palate. In either case, your vet may have to draw out one or more teeth for your feline’s comfort and dental health.