Just like human babies, your new kitten will go through the stages of teething and the emergence of their new teeth. This can sometimes be painful and you may wonder how you can help them feel better. Our vets in Nashville talk about the signs of kitten teething and how you can help relieve their pain so they can get through this stage comfortably.
When do kittens lose their baby teeth?
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. Your kitten's teeth will have emerged by the time they are 6 to 8 weeks old. So you may ask 'Do kittens teeth?' and the answer is yes!
So when do a kitten's teeth fall out? You may notice your kitten's baby teeth falling out once they are around 3 to 4 months of age. This is to make room for adult teeth to break through the gums and grow. This also means that you may be able to tell how old a kitten is by its teeth. You can follow your feline friend's progress using a handy kitten teeth chart. 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.
Signs That Your Kitten May Be Teething
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 the only reason you know that they are teething is that 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
It is important to look for signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease, symptoms 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 watching out for because it could cause discomfort and need to be pulled out. Contact Nashville vets if you have any questions about teething and teeth that may need help coming out.
Ways to Help Relieve Teething Pain in Kittens
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 they are having. You need to be careful when this happens because they will chew on anything they find lying around on the ground, including very dangerous power cords.
You should also be sure to keep your plants up and out of the reach of your kitten while they are teething. A lot of common houseplants are fine for your kitten to eat but some can be poisonous to your kitten. Double-check 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.
Because your kitten may be more destructive than usual during this time you should be sure to check daily for wear on their toys and throw out any that break.
The Importance of Routine Dental Care For Kittens
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 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).
You should also be sure to bring your cat in for routine professional dental care including a cleaning every year. This will allow your vet the opportunity to spot any issues before they become a bigger concern.
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.