One of the major milestones in a human’s life is when children start losing their teeth.
Some of my earliest memories include me trying to wiggle my loose teeth until they fell out. This was, of course, in hopes of my parents giving me a bit of money to spend on candy. It didn’t matter if I was only getting 25 cents or 2 dollars, I was happy that my little chompers were falling out and making room for my big boy teeth.
Truthfully, last year I even rediscovered the little tooth-shaped container my mom had me store all my teeth in. I gave my mom a call to let her know that I was getting rid of my baby teeth which surprisingly made her a bit cross.
There’s something special to teeth since they are the only part of your body that you lose and stay tangible, well other than hair. So, it’s not surprising that many cat parents become curious about whether or not their kittens will lose teeth in hopes of keeping a memento from when they are babies.
DO CATS/KITTENS LOSE BABY TEETH?
Yes, similar to humans and dogs, kittens will lose their baby teeth which will be replaced by adult teeth,
WHEN DO CATS/KITTENS GROW TEETH?
Kittens will begin to grow their first set of baby teeth when they are about 3 to 4 weeks old. These teeth are called deciduous teeth and will often cause the mother cat to become uncomfortable with nursing.
WHEN DO CATS/KITTENS LOSE THEIR BABY TEETH?
The majority of kittens begin losing their teeth at 3 months old, however, there are some cases where losing teeth may begin a bit later in life.
A kitten will have all of their adult teeth between 6 to 9 months, provided there are no complications.
IS IT NORMAL THAT MY KITTEN’S TEETH LOOK A BIT SEE-THROUGH?
Absolutely. Because kitten teeth have a lower bone density than adult teeth they may appear to be slightly translucent. That being said, baby teeth are fairly fragile, so make sure that you aren’t giving your kitten anything that’s too hard for them to chew on like a bone.
A healthy adult cat’s teeth should not appear to be translucent. If you are concerned about your cat’s bone density, I highly recommend speaking to your vet about it at your cat’s next check-up. Unhealthy adult teeth may suggest an underlying deficiency or health concern.
WHAT TOYS CAN I GIVE A TEETHING KITTEN?
Kittens, like humans, benefit from teething toys as their gums may become sore or swollen. During this time kittens may also refuse to eat kibble or hard foods and pates should be regularly offered as an alternative.
As mentioned a kitten should never be offered a chew toy that is too hard as this can cause severe damage to their gums or the roots of their teeth. Instead, a kitten should always be offered either plastic or cloth chew toys which have a bit of give to them.
If you notice that your kitten is still experiencing soreness in their mouth it may be a good idea to throw one of these toys into the freezer to help reduce the swelling or pain.
MY KITTEN KEEPS DROOLING, WHAT’S WRONG?
While drooling is something you’re going to want to watch over, especially for adult cats, it is pretty common for teething kittens. Kittens may drool as a result of erupting teeth. Their mouths may also have an odd smell until all of their teeth have grown in.
DO CATS EVER END UP KEEPING THEIR BABY TEETH?
Yes, unfortunately, there are some cases where baby teeth will not fall out. This is medically known as retained deciduous teeth. Although this can happen to any teeth, the most common teeth which this happens to are the canine teeth.
Retained deciduous teeth often require removal as they commonly cause overcrowding. Overcrowding often leads to teeth decay, especially if food regularly gets stuck between your cat’s teeth. Think of them as similar to our wisdom teeth!
Retained deciduous teeth may also cause pain to a cat, especially if the overcrowding doesn’t allow a cat to close their mouth fully.
If you suspect that your cat has kept some of their baby teeth, it is extremely important that you get them checked out by the vet to ensure their longterm wellbeing,
SHOULD I EVER HELP MY CAT LOSE A TOOTH?
No, it’s not necessary for you to help your cat lose teeth, however, do expect to find your cat’s teeth all over the house… in your carpets… in their toys… in their food… in your bedsheets… Trust me, kittens are going to be biting on anything they can get their mouths on.
DO YOU NEED TO BRUSH A KITTEN’S TEETH?
While it may not feel necessary to brush your kitten’s teeth, brushing a kitten’s teeth while they’re young will help them get used to the sensation for then they are older.
Kitten’s teeth don’t normally have problems with tartar and plaque build-up, especially if your kitten is not experiencing overcrowding.
That being said if your cat ever shows discomfort or pain when brushing it’s a good idea to stop brushing until they are done teething. You want to make sure that your cat doesn’t begin associating brushing to pain, especially if you are planning on brushing your cat’s teeth throughout adulthood.
At the end of the day, kittens and cats are more similar to us than you may think. The main difference between kittens and us is that they’re not obsessed with wiggling out their teeth to get some extra cash from the tooth fairy!
Truthfully, there isn’t much you’re going to need to do for your kitten as they teethe other than providing them with lots of toys to chew on. Otherwise, keep an eye on their teeth as they fall out and make sure that there is no overcrowding going on from retained deciduous teeth.
So pet parents, I’m curious, have you ever dealt with a teething kitten? What was the experience like for you? Let me know in the comments below!