Vet Q&A: Should my kitten's teeth fall out?

by PDSA | 15 March #Cats

Bringing a new kitten home is exciting; however, it can also feel quite daunting being responsible for your four-legged friend’s health and happiness. You’ll probably have lots of questions if you’re a first-time kitten owner, so our vets have answered your queries about kitten teeth this World Oral Health Day.

Just like us, kittens are born without teeth. Their baby teeth start to appear when they’re 3 weeks old and all 26 baby teeth should have come through fully by the time they’re 6 weeks old.

Adult teeth begin to appear when they’re 3 months old. At the same time, their baby teeth start to fall out, and you could see some signs that they’re teething. All 30 adult teeth should have appeared by around 6-7 months old.

Should my kitten's teeth fall out?

Kittens lose their baby teeth around 3 to 4 months when their adult teeth start coming through. You might find baby teeth on the floor, which can concern some pet owners – but don’t worry, it’s completely normal!

It’s also okay if your kitten has reached 3 to 4 months and you haven’t found any teeth around the house. Many cats swallow them, which is perfectly fine, and it won’t cause your furry friend any harm.

 

When do kittens start teething?

Kittens can start teething when their adult teeth come through at the age of 3 to 4 months. This could bring mild discomfort, but many cats don’t seem to be bothered and won’t show any noticeable signs of teething.

 

How do I know if my kitten is teething?

Signs your kitten is teething:

  • Chewing more
  • Eating less
  • Grooming less
  • Approaching food cautiously
  • Baby teeth around your home
  • Mild gum inflammation (Gingivitis) – redness of gums and bad breath

What to do if your cat is teething

There are some things you can do to help your kitten if they’re teething:

  • Don’t let them chew on your hands and feet. While this may be cute when they’re a kitten, it can become a habit and not so cute when they’re a fully grown cat.
  • Provide pet-safe toys for them to chew on instead.
  • Provide plenty of playtimes to keep them distracted.
  • Be gentle while playing, e.g. don’t pull toys from their mouth.
  • Don’t brush your cat’s teeth until they have finished teething – gums can be sensitive.
  • Temporarily avoid kibble if their teeth or gums are sore.
  • Keep any hazardous objects they’d be tempted to chew out of paws’ reach.

 

When to see a vet

Most kittens are fine when they lose their baby teeth. However, if you’re worried about your kitten or spot any of the signs below, please contact your vet.

  • Your kitten is in pain. They might be dribbling, pawing at the mouth, dropping food, struggling to eat, growling at food or grinding their teeth.
  • One or more adult teeth don’t appear
  • A baby tooth hasn’t fallen out once the adult tooth is fully grown
  • There are long lasting signs of gum disease such as red, sore or bleeding gums.

Visit the PDSA Pet Store for our dental care range.

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