How Many Teeth Do Cats and Kitten Have?
A kitten has 26 milk or kitten teeth. As they grow, the deciduous teeth fall, and a complete set of 30 grow in their place. Just like humans, they also get and lose their milk teeth to get stronger permanent teeth.
When these feline creatures are three weeks old, the first tooth shows up and, one by one, every tooth starts erupting. By the end of 4 months, a kitten gets all the 26 deciduous teeth in place.
Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth
If you have adopted a feral kitten, start brushing the moment she forms part of your home. The earlier, the better. Your pet may face, tooth discomfort if you don’t brush her teeth.
If you have a pet for the first time, don’t worry. Take her to a vet who will advise you regarding the best ways to maintain your cat’s oral hygiene. The vet will recommend the best practices you have to follow to keep her healthy.
Tooth eruption in kittens: When these cute creatures are born, they don’t have teeth. One by one, they start growing and have a full set of 26 teeth. Just like human kids get their incisors first, they also get two pairs of teeth on the bottom and top.
Finally, premolars also grow and form the complete set of deciduous teeth. Once they are in place, the canine tooth starts appearing. A fully grown cat has premolar teeth too, but a kitten doesn’t have premolar teeth.
A human kid starts losing temporary teeth when he is 6 or 7 years of age. But a kitten starts losing its baby teeth when she is only 11 weeks old. You will find your kitten’s teeth in the food bowl or on the floor; they gulp down most of their teeth while eating food. She will get all her permanent teeth, once she loses all her milk teeth.
What Is Retained Deciduous Teeth?
Very rarely, some kittens retain their milk teeth. They will not fall out, at the proper time. But, it will cause severe damage to the permanent teeth, instead. If it happens to your pet, you have to take her to the doctor to take the milk teeth out.
Problems Deciduous Teeth Can Cause?
At about 11 months of age, the cats should start losing their milk teeth. If it doesn’t happen, and they retain the root of milk teeth, there will be congestion due to multiple teeth at the same socket.
Since the milk tooth roots are retained, they force the permanent teeth to erupt at the wrong place, and the teeth may look distorted causing many problems for the cats.
When there are more teeth at the same place, food may get cemented in between the teeth, leading to gingivitis or tartar formation or even periodontitis in the surrounding areas.
The milk teeth decay faster, leading to permanent damage to the second set of teeth, too. They are under increased risk of losing their adult teeth if there is tooth decay or loss due to clogging of food particles in between their teeth.
If the milk tooth and adult tooth are in wrong positions, they press against each other, resulting in wear and tear of the teeth. Gradually, the teeth might fall out in due course of time.
In some instances, they hamper the proper growth of jaw bones, too, which is more dangerous than teeth problems.
Is It Difficult for a Cat to Chew if She Loses Her Teeth?
If your furry pet loses the complete set of adult teeth, don’t worry. The cats can chew and eat her dry food without the aid of the teeth. If she has a good number of teeth, that will keep her jaws strong and sturdy.
There are instances when the cats bite something very hard or fall from a height to lose all her teeth. Still, the cats can chew and eat their food without any difficulty. You can consult a vet to save your cat’s teeth. He will do a root canal treatment on your cat’s tooth, and try to keep the tooth.
The Complete Teething Process
When your kitty is 11 months old, she starts losing her temporary teeth. The permanent teeth grow from the gums, and continuously press the roots of the milk teeth. The milk teeth weaken and fall out. The crown part of the milk teeth remains until the second set of teeth start erupting out of the gums.
1. During this time, there is an unstoppable feeling in kittens to bite the things they see on their way. It may be normal. But, you should take the necessary care to keep shoes, furniture out of her way to prevent her from biting them.
If they bite hard substances, their teeth will get damaged. Since these kittens are getting their set of permanent teeth only now, they can’t brush for a while. They will have the problem of bad breath during this time.
2. Once they start brushing, their mouth will not stink. If she doesn’t take proper food or drop saliva from the mouth, don’t panic. It is due to the teething process and will stop, naturally.
Things You Should Remember to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene in Cats
- Take her to a vet, regularly. He will do scaling and cleaning process on your kitty’s teeth to keep her teeth, healthy.
- It is vital to get an appointment for regular dental check-ups every six months with the vet.
- Follow the routine prescribed by the vet.
- Try to inculcate the habit of brushing, gradually. You can examine the cat’s teeth while you hug her.
- At first, try to place your finger against her tooth. Be watchful of how she responds to that.
- Then try to rub the toothbrush against her teeth for a few seconds.
- Gradually, make your cat understand that brushing is a part of her chore.
In short, kittens just like our kids, are born without teeth. They start growing their baby teeth when they are three months old. When they are 11 months old, they start developing permanent teeth in the place of deciduous teeth.
You, as a pet owner, have to help your kitty have her complete set of teeth strong and intact.
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