It’s fascinating watching a kitten grow up and develop – and how they grow up so fast!
If you’re having your fingers chewed by your kitten, you’ll notice they have some tiny teeth.
So, to answer the question, ‘do kittens have baby teeth?’ – the answer is yes, they do!
Here’s a look at what kind of baby teeth kittens have, when they lose them and grow their adult teeth, and some other interesting kitty teeth facts!
Do Kittens Have Baby Teeth?
Yes, kittens do have baby teeth, somewhat similar to us really.
A kitten’s teeth usually start appearing at around 2-4 weeks of age if you’ve been fortunate enough to see a kitten this young.
They then usually start losing their baby teeth at around three months old and will have all their adult teeth by around six or seven months old.
Interestingly, a kitten’s baby teeth are not just for chewing food – they also play an important role in grooming.
It’s surprisingly rare to find a kitten’s tooth after it’s dropped out. I think this is because most of their teeth fall out during eating and end up getting swallowed.
On occasion, however, you may find one of your kitten’s teeth. I’ve found a few over the years, it’s surprising just how small some of their teeth are, some are like pins.
Related – Do Kittens Have Diarrhea When Teething?
How Many Teeth Do Kittens Have?
Kittens have 26 baby teeth – 14 on the top and 12 on the bottom. The baby incisors (front) and canines (cuspids) are especially important for kitten teething as they help to cut through the tough meat and other foods.
How Many Teeth Do Adult Cats Have?
Adult cats have 30 teeth – 16 on the top and 14 on the bottom. The incisors and canines are still there, but they’re a little smaller.
Interestingly, one of the adult cat’s back molars is actually shaped like a couple of kitten’s baby teeth!
If you want to take a look at your cat’s teeth, some cats will let you open their mouth and take a look.
But be warned, most cats will not like it. I don’t think they will bite you, but it’s a quick way to make a cat take off and go relax somewhere else!
If you spot your cat is missing some teeth, here’s an explanation of why some cats lose teeth as they get older.
Why Do Kittens Lose Their Baby Teeth?
Kittens lose their baby teeth because – much like us – they need bigger, stronger teeth to perform tasks once they’re grown up.
The baby teeth help to cut through food and are also used for grooming, but the adult teeth are better suited for these jobs – plus catching prey.
Plus, kitten teeth are small and fairly fragile. If a kitten’s baby tooth gets damaged or infected, it can be painful and difficult for them to eat.
So, it’s best for them to lose their baby teeth and grow their adult teeth!
How Do I Know if My Kitten Is Teething?
Teething doesn’t cause a kitten much pain, and more often than not you will not even be aware that they are in the process of teething.
With my cats, the only time I really noticed was when I’d find a little tooth – usually near their food bowls.
However, if you’re looking out for signs that your kitten is teething, here are a few to watch out for:
- Chewing on everything! Toys, furniture, your fingers – anything goes when a kitten is teething. They don’t chew as much as puppies and aren’t as destructive, but expect some chewing.
- Excessive drooling – often accompanied by dribbling down the chin.
- Pawing at the mouth – sometimes kittens will paw at their mouths if their teeth are bothering them.
- Irritability and grumpiness – a teething kitten can often be fussy and a little moody – don’t take it personally!
- Less grooming – while their teeth are being replaced they might groom less as it’s sensitive for them.
If you’re seeing any of these signs in your kitten, it’s likely they’re teething. If you’re concerned about anything you should see a vet for advice.
Why Does Kitten Breath Stink?
Has your kitten climbed up to come in for a cuddle, only to offend you with their breath?
A kitten’s breath can smell a little strange – or even quite bad – because they either have a build-up of plaque or due to bacteria in their mouths from teething.
This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. But it’s always a good idea to keep their teeth clean by brushing them with a pet toothbrush and pet toothpaste (or even water).
If you start young, kittens love having their teeth brushed and it’s a good way to get them used to having their teeth cleaned regularly.
Like any dental routine, if you can start this habit early in and into adulthood, it’s going to pay off in the long run.
Your cat is not only going to have fresher breath, which is obviously a huge bonus, but they’ll be less likely to suffer from dental issues.
Kittens do have baby teeth, yes.
They have 26 baby teeth in total – 14 on the top and 12 on the bottom. These teeth are replaced with adult teeth as they grow up, usually without any complications.
If you’re lucky, you might just spot one of your kitten’s teeth after it’s fallen out.
Image credits – Photo by Fatima Garcia on Unsplash