Do kittens have diarrhea when teething? Is it normal and expected, or just something that affects some kittens?
I’ve seen a few kittens through their teething phase and can answer these questions and provide some useful tips to help you and your kitten on the subject of teething.
Diarrhea is one of the symptoms some kittens will experience when they are teething. In my experience however it’s quite rare, and certainly not an expected symptom.
If you’re sure your kitten is teething and they are having runny poops then I wouldn’t be too concerned for a day or two as long as they are still eating and drinking.
Diarrhea can be dangerous for kittens if it persists however. There are a lot of other reasons why kittens have diarrhea, such as roundworms, hookworms, and other parasites.
So, I would recommend getting your kitten checked by a vet if they are having particularly smelly and runny poops to be on the safe side.
Vets can check for worms and parasites by testing a stool sample. It’s a quick way to have that peace of mind that it’s just a symptom of teething.
Helpful related content – When do kittens start to poop?
How Long Does Cat Teething Last
The life-cycle of a kittens baby teeth and replacing them with their adult teeth is pretty quick. But it shouldn’t be a surprise when you consider kittens become cats within a year.
Here is a rough guide to what you can expect from the weeks following a kitten starting to grow their first teeth:
2-3 Weeks – You should start to see their little incisors appearing at the front of their mouths.
3-4 Weeks – You will see their fangs are emerging at the front of their mouths. These are called canine teeth.
4-6 Weeks – Your kitten will have their premolars emerging. These are the larger teeth running down the sides of their mouths.
11-12 Weeks – Their deciduous teeth will start falling out and being replaced by their adult teeth.
16-18 Weeks – Your kitten should now have their adult incisors.
20-22 Weeks – Your kitten should now have their adult canine teeth too.
24-26 Weeks – Your kitten should have their adult premolars. Their molars come through much later, usually around the 1-year-old mark.
How Many Teeth Do Kittens and Cats Have?
Kittens have a total of 26 baby teeth (deciduous teeth). They don’t have molars, these only come through with the adult set.
Adult cats have a total of 30 teeth (permanent/adult teeth) with the addition of their molars.
I’ve included a kitten teething age chart below to give you a good idea of which teeth should be pushing through depending on your cat’s age.
Kitten Teething Age Chart
|Baby Teeth (Deciduous)||Adult Teeth (Permanent)|
|Incisors||2-3 Weeks||3-4 Months|
|Canines||3-4 Weeks||4-5 Months|
|Premolars||4-6 Weeks||4-6 Months|
Kitten Teething Symptoms
There are some signs to look out for when kittens are teething:
Eating less – They will have sore gums while teething and most kittens will eat less and take a lot longer to eat during this time.
Bad breath – One of the unfortunate symptoms that they are going through a teething phase is bad breath, but don’t worry it’ll pass.
Chewing/biting – If you’ve been noticing more bite marks on items around the home, and probably your hands, then this is a strong indication they are teething.
Diarrhea – As I mentioned above this is a symptom in some cases. It shouldn’t be really bad or prolonged bouts of diarrhea however.
If your kitten has bad diarrhea you should take them to a vet for a checkup. There is a chance they will become dehydrated, or the cause of diarrhea may even be due to something else.
Ways You Can Help Your Teething Kitten
As the owner of a kitten its natural to want to help them in any way possible, especially if you see they are dealing with some discomfort while teething.
The first thing to remember is that the process of them losing their baby teeth and growing adult teeth is completely natural. So, try not to worry.
That being said, there are some things you can do to make the process as comfortable as possible for your kitty.
I always keep an eye on the following when I have a kitten going through teething:
- Provide plenty of soft toys for your kitten to chew on. They like to chew to relieve some of the pain and give their new teeth a workout.
- Give them soft food. Some cats eat a lot less while teething, mostly due to the pain in their gums. Make sure they have soft food to make it easier for them.
- Play gently. Kittens love playing and chewing on things. Take it easy on them while they are teething, be careful not to pull on anything they are chewing.
Don’t hesitate to take them to the vet if you have any concerns. Problems are rare, but if you think a tooth is erupting in the wrong place or your kitten has an infection, has had diarrhea for days, and so on, get them to the vets for a checkup.
It’s an interesting and satisfying experience to see a kitten going through their growth stages such as teething, growing, learning about the world, and so on.
Take the time to enjoy it as much as you can because before you know it they’ll be fully grown cats laying around the house all day!
The information in this article will help you confirm if your kitten is teething, and what stage they are at.
If they have diarrhea there is a chance it’s just a symptom of the teething. Make sure they are keeping well hydrated and you’re doing all you can to help them through this stage.
But as I explained, if you have any concerns or the diarrhea isn’t getting any better then take them to the vet for a check up asap.