Kittens, just like humans, begin with a set of baby teeth prior to their adult permanent teeth coming in. Unfortunately, this also means that they go through the discomforts just as we would. In today's post, our Benton vets discuss teething in kittens and when your cat may begin to lose their baby teeth.
Do Kittens Teeth?
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 emergence of an infant's teeth is normally uneventful, however, you might notice the kittens nibbling on their toys, or maybe their siblings, more than usual.
When Do Kittens Begin To Lose Their Baby Teeth?
When your kitten is approximately 3 months old you should begin to notice their first baby teeth fall out. You should expect your cat to have their full set of adult teeth by the time they are roughly 6 months old although some may take up to 9 months to get a full set of adult teeth. So don't worry too much if your cat still has some baby teeth at the six-month mark.
Once your cat has their full set of adult teeth you need to remember to provide your cat with routine dental care in order to help care for their teeth since they will need them for the rest of their lives. 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.
If you are unsure of the age of your kitten then keeping track of the teeth they lose can be a great way to get an idea of their age. Your vet should be able to tell you how old a kitten is by using its teeth as a guide too!
Signs Of Teething in Kittens
Some signs that indicate your kitten may be teething include:
- Vocalizing more, from small to loud meows
- Increased chewing, especially on soft items
- Bleeding gums
- Chewing food more slowly
- Eating less
- Hesitant to bite at or shake toys
- Pawing at mouth
- Bad breath
While most of these symptoms are common and expected with teething and are of no cause for worry, you should keep track of these symptoms in case they become concerning. 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.
How To Relieve The Symptoms of Teething in Kittens
While teething in kittens is unavoidable, there are some things you can do to help relieve the pain and discomfort.
- Offer soft food; either a canned diet or kibble soaked in warm water
- Make sure she gets plenty of interactive playtime with you to keep her busy and tire her out
- Make ice cubes of low-sodium chicken broth or diluted tuna juice for her to play with and chew on. The ice will soothe irritated gums. This is an especially popular item during hot weather!
- Provide soft toys to chew on
- Provide pet-safe cat grass for snacking
Discomfort is usually mild and should resolve itself. For extreme cases of pain, make sure you contact your veterinarian.