Just like people, cats have baby teeth that fall out before their permanent teeth emerge. Here, our Torrance vets explain teething in kittens and how you can help your feline friend through this process.
When Do Kittens Start Teething?
By around the age of 3 to 4 weeks old, kittens will develop their first set of teeth. Since these teeth irritate the mother cat when feeding, these baby teeth aid in the weaning of kittens. Generally speaking, the eruption of your cat's baby teeth is uneventful, but you may notice your kitten nibbling at their toys (or siblings) more than normal.
When Do Kittens Lose Their Baby Teeth?
When should you expect your kitten's teeth to fall out? Most cats have their baby teeth starting to fall out to make way for adult teeth by the time they are 12 weeks old. Your cat should have developed their full set of 30 adult teeth by the time they are 6 months old. However, some cats take up to 9 months to develop their full set of adult teeth, so don't worry if it's taking a bit longer.
Your cat's adult teeth will be with her for the rest of her 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 use this information regarding a kitten's teeth on how to tell how old they are too (if you are unsure). Your vet should be able to tell you how old a kitten is by using its teeth as a guide too!
What are the Most Common Signs of Kitten Teething?
Some signs that indicate your kitten may be teething include:
- Vocalizing more, from small to loud meows
- Bleeding gums
- Eating less
- Bad breath
- Hesitant to bite at or shake toys
- Pawing at mouth
- Chewing food more slowly
- Increased chewing, especially on soft items
Most of the symptoms above aren't a cause for concern. However, you should still keep an eye on your kitten as they go through the teething process. If your cat loses weight because of their lack of appetite, it's probably a good idea to bring them in to see the vet. And, while some bleeding from the gums is normal, excessive bleeding may be a sign something is wrong in your cat's mouth.
How to Help a Teething Kitten
Thankfully, there are several options available to you to help your teething kitten. You can try to:
- Provide soft toys to chew on
- Offer soft food; either a canned diet or kibble soaked in warm water
- Provide pet-safe cat grass for snacking
- Make sure she gets plenty of interactive playtime with you to keep her busy and tire her out
- Make ice cubes of low-sodium chicken broth or diluted tuna juice for her to play with and chew on. The ice will soothe irritated gums. This is an especially popular item during hot weather!
Discomfort associated with teething in kittens is usually mild and should resolve itself. In cases of extreme pain, make sure you contact your veterinarian for more information about what to do.
Is There a Chart I can Reference for my Kitten's Teeth
While there is no kitten teeth chart for those who want to track their kitten's development, the picture that comes with this blog post should come as a handy reference to know how your cat's teeth should be coming in.