Kitten Teeth Vs Cat Teeth: The Journey of Kitten Teething

Medical articles
Kitten Yawning and Showing Teeth

Ever watch your tiny ball of fluff pounce on a feather toy, eyes wide with mischief? There's nothing quite like the joy of witnessing your kitten blossom and explore the world. But just like human babies, kittens have a period of teething. It can be a rollercoaster for both of you, with your little explorer turning into a nibbling ninja. 

The good news? By understanding this stage, the signs to watch for, and some clever tricks, you can help your kitty through this awkward stage, all while building a strong bond with your furry friend. Understanding the kitten teething timeline, signs to look out for, and how to help your furry friend through this stage is crucial for ensuring their comfort and proper dental development. 

Kitten Teeth vs. Cat Teeth: Understanding the Difference 

Cats have two sets of teeth just like humans—kittens have 26 baby teeth and 30 adult teeth. For reference, humans have 20 baby teeth and (usually) 32 adult teeth. Baby teeth, also known as deciduous or primary teeth, come in after the kitten is born, at around two to four weeks of age. These teeth are typically smaller, thinner, and appear more fragile. At around eight weeks of age, all the baby teeth should be visible in the mouth. 

The Kitten Teething Age Chart 

Age Teething Stage
2-4 weeks Baby teeth start to come in (incisors and canines)
3-6 weeks Premolars come in
8 weeks All baby teeth are visible
14-16 weeks Adult teeth start to come in
4-5 months Adult incisors, canines, and premolars replace baby teeth
5-7 months Adult molars come in
7 months All adult teeth are in

It's hard to say exactly when a kitten will lose his or her first tooth, but adult cat teeth start to come in at around 14-16 weeks of age. By about seven months, all adult teeth should be in. Here's a breakdown of the kitten teething timeline: 

Signs of a Teething Kitten 

You may not actually notice any changes in your kitten as their teeth come in or fall out. Rarely will you even find teeth lying around because most pets, believe it or not, swallow their teeth when they fall out. This is not a cause for concern and should not result in any tummy troubles for your pet. Some symptoms you might notice during this time are: 

  • Unusual odor to their breath 

  • Picky appetite 

  • Blood-tinged saliva or spit 

  • Increased chewing and gnawing 

  • Drooling 

  • Pawing at the mouth 

These symptoms are actually quite rare and can also be a sign of other issues. If you are unsure whether your pet is sick or if he or she is just teething, call your veterinarian for a dental checkup. 

Helping Your Teething Kitten 

There is no need to give your pet any kind of pain medication for teething – pain medication can often be more harmful than helpful without veterinary supervision. However, there are some things you can do to help your teething kitten: 

  • Provide soft, wet food instead of dry kibble 

  • Offer safe chew toys designed for kittens, such as soft rubber or plastic toys, or toys that can be chilled in the refrigerator 

  • Gently massage their gums with a finger or soft toothbrush 

  • Redirect chewing behavior to appropriate toys instead of furniture or other household items 

If you look in your pet's mouth and it appears that multiple rows of teeth are present or baby teeth are mixed in with or crowding the adult teeth, call your veterinarian for an exam. Sometimes, those baby teeth don't receive the signal to fall out on their own. This can cause problems for the permanent teeth trying to erupt, potentially leading to overcrowding or improper positioning. A quick visit to your vet can address retained baby teeth, usually through a simple extraction under anesthesia. This allows the permanent teeth to erupt properly in their designated spaces, contributing to your pet's long-term oral health. 

Establishing a Dental Care Routine 

Kitten teething is a great time to start establishing a dental care routine that will benefit your cat throughout their life. Once your kitten's adult teeth have fully come in, begin brushing their teeth regularly with a soft toothbrush and pet-safe toothpaste. Dental chews and toys can also help keep their teeth clean and healthy. Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your cat's oral health and catch any potential issues early on. In addition to brushing and providing dental chew toys, consider having your cat's teeth professionally cleaned by your veterinarian. This can help remove plaque and tartar buildup that can lead to dental disease, even for cats who receive good home dental care. 

Cat with Toothbrush

Protecting Your Kitten's Dental Health with Pet Insurance 

As a loving pet parent, you want to provide your kitten with the best possible care, but unexpected accidents and illnesses can quickly lead to costly veterinary bills. That's where cat insurance comes in. You’ll want to look for comprehensive accident and illness plans that can help cover the costs of dental emergencies, such as tooth extractions or oral surgery. Consider an optional wellness plan so you can budget for preventative care like annual dental cleanings and check-ups. 

By investing in pet insurance early on, you can have peace of mind knowing that you're prepared for any oral health issues that may arise throughout your kitten's life. Catching and treating dental problems early is key to preventing more serious and expensive health issues down the line. You can provide your kitten with the high-quality dental care they deserve without breaking the bank. 

Kitten teething? No sweat! With a little know-how and the right supplies, you can turn this temporary hurdle into a fun bonding experience. By providing safe chew toys and starting a dental routine early, you'll be setting your little furball up for a lifetime of pearly whites. Remember, a little patience and a whole lot of love go a long way during this stage. Soon, you'll have a happy, healthy cat with a dazzling smile to match!