If you have a new kitten then you will have many things to think about including dental care and concerns. This can lead to questions about their dental health and what to expect with the kitten's teeth. Our vets in Greeley answer your questions about whether your kitten will lose their teeth and how you can help them while they are teething.
Kittens & Teething
Kittens are born with no visible teeth but they will get their first ones at just three weeks old. Kitten's baby teeth are called milk or deciduous teeth. Your kitten will get their incisors and primary canines first, and then the rest follow shortly afterward. Kittens will have all their baby teeth by eight weeks normally but it could be as early as six weeks.
Your kitten's baby teeth will all fall out by the age of 3 to 4 months, making room for adult teeth to break through the gums and grow. Generally, 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.
What Are Some of the Signs of Teething in Kittens?
Many times when your kitten is teething you won't notice any changes in them. They won't act or eat differently during this time and you may only know that they are teething because you find little teeth around your house. Your kitten may also swallow their baby teeth so don't be concerned if you don't 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
Some of the most common symptoms of dental disease or gingivitis might 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 watching out for because it could cause discomfort and need to be pulled out. Contact Greeley vets if you have any questions about teething and teeth that may need help coming out.
Things to Can do to Help Your Kittens Through Teething
Now that you know your kitten is teething you may want to help them if they are experiencing any discomfort. With teeth that are pointy and sharp, you would think it hurts a lot to pop them through their gum but surprisingly there is minimal pain for the kitten.
Much like children, your kitten may want to chew on something as they are teething to relieve any soreness. You need to be careful when this happens because they will chew on anything they find laying around on the ground, that includes hazardous power cords.
Another thing you need to look out for when your kitten is teething is your house plants. A lot of common houseplants are fine for your kitten to eat but some can be poisonous to your kitten. Double check the plants in your home are not poisonous to your kitten.
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.
While your kitten is using teething toys you should take care to watch for any broken toys or parts as these could be a potential choking hazard.
Why it is Important to Care For Your Kittens Teeth
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 as well as regular dental cleaning and examination appointments early enough your kitten will get used to it quickly and you will be able to help prevent plaque and tartar formation. It will also promote healthy gums, and reduce the risk of gingivitis and reduce halitosis (bad breath).
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.