Many kitten owners are shocked when they discover that their kitten will lose their baby teeth. They’ll be walking around the house, minding their own business, when they’ll come across what looks like a tiny tooth on the floor.
Just like human children, kittens have a set of baby teeth that they lose as they grow into adulthood. These baby teeth are then replaced by adult cat teeth, which are larger and stronger than their baby set.
But when do kittens lose their baby teeth? And what do we need to know about kitten teeth to keep our kittens healthy and happy?
In this article, we’ll cover the following:
After kittens are born and they open their eyes, you may have realized kittens are born toothless, and their baby teeth will begin to sprout in their first few weeks of life just as human babies within their first months. Be careful though, because they don’t eat baby food like humans do!
Cats begin losing their baby teeth around 12 weeks of age, though the timing will vary slightly from kitten to kitten. If your kitten is 12 weeks old and hasn’t yet lost any of their baby teeth, don’t panic!
While the average kitten will have lost all her baby teeth between 6 and 9 months of age, your kitten may be a little bit behind or may lose them a little earlier.
It’s also important to note that kittens don’t lose all their baby teeth in one day, or even in one week. Just like with human beings, the process is gradual and a normal part of growing up.
Kittens have 26 deciduous teeth, which is the scientific term for baby teeth. Once these teeth fall out, they will be replaced by 30 adult teeth which are stronger and better equipped to handle solid foods.
These kittens are being introduced to a toothbrush. It’s so cute, and a great way to get them used to teeth brushing at a young age and keep bad breath at bay!
It’s actually pretty common for kittens to swallow their baby teeth as they come loose. If that weren’t the case, kitten owners would find roughly 26 teeth strewn all over the house.
Kitten teeth are so small that they really don’t pose much of a choking hazard. In fact, you probably won’t even realize if your kitten swallows a baby tooth or two.
While losing baby teeth is a natural part of kittenhood, there are some problems that can crop up.
Kittens teeth just like human infants do, so don’t be shocked if you notice that your kitten begins to chew things around the house. They are simply soothing the discomfort in their gums.
Because kittens will chew on anything they can get their paws on, it’s very important to hide potentially dangerous household items such as cords, toxic plants (which should be safely hidden or not in your house to begin with), and wooden objects that may splinter.
Kittens may eat less than usual and their gums may appear reddened, both of which are totally normal signs of teething. If your kitten seems really uncomfortable, you can try offering them a cat toy that is made for kittens who need something to chew on, such as the Petstages Kitty Chew Wheel.
If you notice that your kitten’s adult teeth aren’t growing in, it may be a good idea to bring them to the vet to check it out. While its unusual, some cats are genetically missing adult teeth and it’s a good idea to get to the bottom of the issue.
It’s also vital to make sure you take care of your kitten’s adult teeth. This is the only set of teeth they will ever have, so dental hygiene is of the utmost importance.
The best thing you can do for your kitten to take care of their teeth is to feed them dry food. While many kittens prefer the meaty texture of wet food, dry food helps reduce tarter and keep your kitten’s teeth in fighting form.
Look for a dry food that is specifically-formulated for kittens and lists meat as the primary ingredient, such as Blue Wilderness Dry Kitten food. While you can offer your kitten a high-quality wet food as an occasional treat, such as Blue Wilderness Wild Delight, their diet should mostly be made up of dry food.
Some kittens will resort to chewing on their owners hands when they are teething which is why providing them with a teething toy or two is so important!
Most kittens lose their baby teeth between the ages of 6 and 9 months. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Some kittens may lose their baby teeth earlier and some may lag behind a bit. Just like with human children, the timeline for losing kitten teeth is pretty flexible. If you have doubts you should contact your vet.
While teething isn’t fun for the young of any species, there are some things you can do to soothe your kitten’s discomfort, such as purchasing them a teething toy for cats. Petstages Kitty Chew Wheel is a great option because it is made of rubber that will feel good against your kitten’s swollen gums.
And remember, once your kitten’s adult teeth come in, that’s it! They won’t get another set of teeth, so it’s important to be conscientious about your cat’s dental hygiene.
Were you shocked to find kitten teeth on your floor? How did your handle teething with your kitten? We want to hear all about it, so tells us in the comments!
After moving to New York City from Rome, Italy, I began working in the nonprofit world. Despite my day job, my passion has always been animals, especially dogs and cats, and writing. What better way to combine the two? I’ve been a pet owner for 15 years, and my menagerie includes dogs, cats, hamsters and the occasional hermit crab. My beloved cat, Mozart, who I found as a newborn kitten, sparked my love for felines and is now nearly 15 years old. I am an enthusiastic volunteer at the local ASPCA, where I enjoy spending time with the cats and cleaning up after the dogs. I’ve been writing about pet ownership and care for the past five years.