Ever wondered how many teeth your cat has? Have you ever wondered why they have so many teeth and how they came to be that way? When you look at your cute furbaby’s teeth, you think “They are so small yet so vicious!” In a cat's lifetime, they will have 2 sets of teeth. Their first set is their baby teeth (or deciduous teeth), and their second is their permanent teeth. Here is some information about your cat’s teeth and of course, how many they have as kittens, and when they’re adults!
The Number of Teeth Kittens Start With
Kittens start with 26 teeth, this is when their baby teeth have grown in which happens when they are around 2-4 weeks old. This is a cats first set of teeth and this can be a difficult time for them due to irritation of their gums. Around this time, when a kitten has their first set of teeth they start to go through teething. When kittens reach about 11 weeks old, they will begin to lose their baby teeth so that their permanent teeth can grow.
Deciduous teeth are supposed to fall out when they are around 11 weeks old, if they haven’t fallen out yet, it can cause problems for their adult teeth to grow in. If your kitten’s baby teeth are not falling out and new growth of their permanent teeth are noticeable, consult a veterinarian.
Teething can be a difficult time, even for kittens. Both kittens and puppies go through teething, just like humans do! During this time, kittens have a lot of discomfort due to their sore gums. Their sore gums indicate that their deciduous teeth are going to fall out and their second set of permanent teeth will start to grow in. When kittens teethe, they have the urge to chew or gnaw on something. Kittens are not as bad as puppies during this time, but giving them chew toys is recommended so that they don’t sink their teeth into other things (like your brand new couch!)
Here are some signs that your kitten is teething:
Teething for kittens is a time when they need comfort and the proper items to make sure they are comfortable. Chew toys, soft food, and play time can be great ways to distract and help your kitten going through their teething phase.
The Number of Teeth Grown Cats Have
Once a kitten loses their deciduous teeth, their permanent teeth start to grow in when they’re around 3-4 months. When their permanent teeth start to grow it starts with their incisors, then canines, premolars, and then finally, their molars. When cats are around 6-7 months old, their adult teeth should be completely grown in with all 30 teeth. When cats have all of their adult teeth grown in, they are likely to be less irritated and more like themselves!
Cat Teeth & Functions
Cats have 12 incisors, 6 on top, and 6 on bottom. Cats have incisors because they are carnivores, these teeth allow cats to tear into things! Their incisors are on the smaller side but, they are nice and sharp. Cats also have 4 canine teeth, 2 on top, 2 on bottom, 10 premolars, 6 on top, 4 on bottom, and last but not least, 4 molars, 2 on top, 2 on bottom. Cats have canines to grip food and other objects such as toys, or even rodents. These teeth also serve as
self-grooming devices. A cat’s premolars are used to chew up their food into smaller pieces, just like humans do. Last but not least, cats have molars that are used to crush up bones and tissue, perfect for those outdoor cats who love to leave a little present for you by the front door!
History Behind Their Teeth
Cats have 30 teeth when they are adults, but why? Well, domesticates cats have come a long way over the years. But, they were originally wild and had to fend for themselves before they were spoiled with warm beds, long naps, and good snacks. Cats’ teeth serve more as chomping and shredding devices rather than chewing. Cats don’t normally chew their food before swallowing, simply because they don’t have to. Domesticated cat’s teeth have evolved over time to be a lot smaller due to the lack of hunting they are required to do.
For example, if you look at a Lynx’s teeth compared to your furbaby’s teeth, they are a lot bigger in size. Domesticated cats have different teeth compared to a lynx, lynxs have larger incisors and have only 28 teeth. Although they are in the same Felidae family, they are different due to different living conditions. If you look at a lynx, they have bigger teeth so that they can grab a hold of their prey and hunt more efficiently.
The evolution of cat teeth have come a long way, just like any other animal. It all just depends on their living conditions and habits. Luckily for domesticated cats, they have everything they need and more.
Keeping Your Cat’s Teeth Clean & Healthy
Keeping your cat’s teeth clean and healthy is important and something you should definitely keep in mind. Gum disease, plaque buildup, and other oral problem scan pose a threat to your cat’s health. Making sure you’re on top of their teeth game will make them feel happy and comfortable, even if they don’t necessarily like the teeth cleaning part of it.
When looking at your cat’s teeth, they should appear to be white. With that being said, like humans, eating throughout the day causes their teeth to become dirty. Along with the dirty teeth comes the stinky breath, not the best thing to smell when they’re in your face.
Cleaning your cat’s teeth isn’t the easiest thing to do, but to make sure they are healthy and bad breath-free, you should take some time out to clean them. Brushing their teeth helps prevent plaque and gum disease, brushing them daily, or a couple of times weekly will do just the trick. You can find dental supplies for your cat at pet shops, the vet, or even in the cat section of the nearby store. Having a toothbrush and proper cleaning paste is the best way to clean your cat’s teeth! Getting them used to brushing is important, so make it a routine and keep it consistent for the best results.
Keep in mind that a cat’s teeth is important to take care of for their overall well-being. Always consult a veterinarian if your cat has oral problems.