Like people, kittens lose their baby teeth before their permanent adult teeth erupt. Today, our Maury County vets talk about kitten teething and how you can help your furry friend during this uncomfortable time.
When Kittens Start Teething
Around 3 to 4 weeks of age, kittens get their first set of teeth. Because the teeth irritate the mother cat when she is feeding, the deciduous or baby teeth aid in the weaning of the kittens. The eruption of an infant's teeth is usually uneventful, but, you might notice the kittens nibbling on their toys, or maybe their siblings, more often than usual.
The Age Kittens Lose Their Baby Teeth
When do kitten teeth fall out? At roughly 12 weeks or 3 months. By the time your cat is six months old, they should have a full set of 30 adult teeth. However, it can take up to 9 months for some cats to get a full set of adult teeth, so don't fret too much if your cat still has some baby teeth at the six-month mark.
Your cat's adult teeth will be with them for the rest of their 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.
The information stated above, regarding a kitten's teeth, could even help you tell how old your cat is (if you are unsure). Your vet should also be able to tell you how old a kitten is by using its teeth as a guide.
Common Signs of Teething in Kittens Teething
Some signs that indicate your kitten may be teething include:
- Chewing food more slowly
- Pawing at mouth
- Vocalizing more, from small to loud meows
- Increased chewing, especially on soft items
- Hesitant to bite at or shake toys
- Bad breath
- Eating less
- Bleeding gums
Most of these symptoms should not be a cause for concern. However, you should still monitor your kitten. If your cat loses significant weight because of a lack of appetite, for example, it's a good idea to contact your vet. And while mild bleeding in the gums is normal, you should contact your veterinarian if there is excessive bleeding as this could be a sign of dental issues.
Helping Your Teething Kitten
Thankfully, there are several things you could do to help your teething kitten. You can try to:
- Make sure they get lots of interactive playtime with you to keep them busy and tire them out
- 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 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. For extreme cases of pain, make sure you contact your veterinarian.
Referencing a Kitten Teething Chart
While there is no kitten teeth chart for you to track your kitten's development, the picture that comes with this blog post should come as a handy reference to help you understand how your cat's teeth should be coming in.
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.