Just like humans, kittens will go through the process of teething where their baby teeth (also known as deciduous teeth) break through the gums. Teething begins in kittens around the age of two weeks.
It would seem most people refer to teething in kittens as the eruption of the second set of teeth (the adult teeth), but teething is, in fact, the eruption of the first (baby) teeth. This article will cover the eruption of both baby teeth and adult teeth.
How many teeth do cats have?
Kittens have 26 teeth.
Cats have 30 teeth.
What age and order do the baby teeth come in?
- 2 weeks: Deciduous incisors (the small teeth at the front) begin to come in.
- 3 - 4 weeks: Deciduous canines (the long, pointy teeth next to the front teeth) begin to come in.
- 4 - 6 weeks: Deciduous pre-molars (also known bicuspids, these are the teeth located between the canine and molar teeth) begin to come in.
- 8 weeks: All baby teeth have come in.
What age do the adult teeth (nondeciduous) begin to come in:
Around 3-4 months the incisors erupt, followed by the canines, premolars, and molars around 4-6 months. All the adult teeth should be in around 7 months of age.
You may notice your kitten has loose teeth at this time, it is not unusual to find tiny kitten teeth on the floor. This can be quite worrying for cat owners who don't realise that kittens lose their baby teeth.
Does teething hurt kittens?
This is not known for sure, but many people believe that teething does cause some pain and discomfort and they notice their kitten becoming a bit more grumpy around teething time. I have heard at least one pet owner saying her kitten drooled when he was teething. Chewing hard objects is quite common in the teething kitten.
You can offer some relief by doing the following:
- Giving him finely chopped up food or canned food if he appears to be in pain.
- I have noticed kittens have an interest in gnawing on somewhat firm objects when the adult teeth are erupting. One kitten chewed on a leather handbag of mine. Find something suitable for your kitten to chew on such as a hard, rubber toy.
Retained baby teeth:
This is quite common. You may notice that the adult tooth erupts before the baby tooth has fallen out. In most cases, the tooth will eventually come out, but it is a good idea to seek veterinary attention as it may need to be manually extracted. This is a simple process as the tooth will be loose anyway.