The First Teeth: When do kittens lose their baby teeth?
Your kitten's first teeth are also referred to as deciduous teeth. Your kitten will get their incisors and primary canines first, and then the rest will follow shortly afterward. By the time your kitten is 6 to 8 weeks of age, they should have all of their baby teeth.
You may be wondering when to expect your kitten's teeth to fall out. Your kitten's baby teeth will all fall out by about 3 to 4 months, allowing adult teeth to break through the gums and grow. This is a helpful way to tell how old your kitten is just based on their teeth. While there is no specific kitten teeth chart to follow, typically, all your cat's adult teeth are in place by the time a kitten is 6 months old. Most adult cats have 26 baby teeth and 30 adult teeth.
Signs of Teething in Kittens
Generally, kittens don't show any signs when they are teething and they will continue to eat and play as usual. One thing you may notice is that there may be tiny kitten teeth laying around the house as they begin to fall out. Kittens are known to also swallow their teeth and so you may not always find them all. But there are other times when your kitten reacts to teething. Some things to look out for are:
- Decreased appetite
- Excessive chewing
- Sore, red gums
- Slight bleeding of the gums
- Pawing at their mouth
It is important to look for signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease. Symptoms include extremely swollen or bleeding gums and bad breath.
Occasionally, kittens may have persistent deciduous teeth, meaning that some of their baby teeth did not fall out. This condition is rare but worth keeping watch for because these teeth could cause discomfort and need to be pulled out. Contact your vet dentist for a dental examination if you notice any concerning signs while your kitten is teething.
Ways That You Can Help Your Kitten During Teething
Now that you know your kitten is teething, you may want to help them if they are experiencing any discomfort. While the thought of tiny pointy teeth poking through the gums sounds very painful, your kitten will likely experience very little pain.
Much like children, your kitten may want to chew on something as they teethe to relieve any soreness they are having. You need to be careful when this happens because they will chew on anything they find lying around on the ground. Power cords are one of the biggest dangers to young kittens so please be sure to pick these up and keep them out of reach.
If you have many houseplants then you may want to practice plant safety and only keep plants that are not toxic to your kitten and try to keep them up high when possible. Many houseplants are poisonous to cats.
There are many different safe things your kitten can chew on if they need something. One safe chew toy for your kitten that you will have in your home is a washcloth. You can wet and then freeze a washcloth and give it to your kitten to chew on. Be careful though, it will leave a wet spot if left on your couch or floor.
You can buy kitten chew toys from most pet stores, including rubber or soft plastic toys that are easy to chew 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 toy's directions.
As toys break you will need to discard the pieces before they become a safety risk.
How can routine dental care help your kitten?
It is always important to have good oral hygiene no matter the age. 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. And you will be able to help prevent plaque and tartar formation. It will also promote healthy gums, reduce the risk of gingivitis, and reduce bad breath.
It is also important to bring your kitten or cat to the vet for regular dental cleanings and examinations.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.