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Signs Your Kitten Is Teething and What to Do

Just like dogs and humans, kittens also lose their teeth before the adult set grows in. Here, our Pflugerville vets talk about teething in kittens and what you can expect during the process.

Do kittens teethe?

Kittens develop their first set of teeth between the ages of 3 and 4 weeks. Because the mother cat's teeth irritate her when she feeds, the deciduous or baby teeth aid in the weaning of the kittens. Normally, the eruption of an infant's teeth is uneventful; nevertheless, you may observe the kittens gnawing on their toys or siblings more than usual.

When do kittens lose their baby teeth?

When do kitten teeth fall out? is a frequently requested question at our clinic. Of course, each cat is different, but kitten teething usually begins at 12 weeks or 3 months of age. By the age of six months, your cat should have a full set of 30 adult teeth. Some cats may take up to 9 months to develop a full set of adult teeth, so don't be concerned if your cat still has some baby teeth at six months.

Your cat's adult teeth will be with her for the rest of her life, so take good care of them! The gold standard for feline dental care includes daily brushing with cat-safe toothpaste, as well as expert teeth cleanings under anesthesia regularly. Some cats may even benefit from dental diets and treats.

How can I tell if my kitten is teething?

Some signs that may indicate that your kitten has entered the teething stage include:

  • Vocalizing more, from small to loud meows
  • Increased chewing, especially on soft items
  • Drooling
  • Bleeding gums
  • Chewing food more slowly
  • Eating less
  • Crankiness
  • Hesitant to bite at or shake toys
  • Pawing at mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Gingivitis

The majority of these symptoms are not cause for alarm. You should, however, continue to keep an eye on your kitten. If your cat loses a substantial amount of weight due to a lack of hunger, for example, you should consult your veterinarian. While modest gum bleeding is typical, you should call your veterinarian if there is considerable bleeding, since this could be a symptom of dental problems.

What can I do to make my teething kitten feel better?

Thankfully, there are several options available to you to help your teething kitten. You can try to:

  • Offer soft food; either a canned diet or kibble soaked in warm water
  • Make sure she gets plenty of interactive playtime with you to keep her busy and tire her out
  • Make ice cubes of low-sodium chicken broth or diluted tuna juice for her to play with and chew on. The ice will soothe irritated gums. This is an especially popular item during hot weather!
  • Provide soft toys to chew on
  • Provide pet-safe cat grass for snacking

The discomfort is usually little and will go away on its own. Please call your veterinarian if you are experiencing severe pain. Never administer drugs intended for adult cats or other pets to your kitten! Always consult your veterinarian before providing any medication.

How to Tell Kitten Age by Teeth

If you have a new kitten but aren't sure when they were born, you may want to know how to tell how old a kitten is by teeth. 

Because kitten teeth begin to appear about 3 weeks of age, a very young kitten will have no teeth at all. Once their small needle-like kitten teeth appear, it can be difficult to determine the kitten's age solely based on their teeth, but once they begin to lose their kitten teeth, you can guess your cat is about 3 months old.

At about 14 weeks your kitten's first middle incisors should begin to appear, followed closely by the second incisors at around15 weeks and the third incisors at around 16 weeks of age.

To more accurately estimate the age of your kitten it is important to consider other factors such as how open their eyes are, how much they weigh and whether your kitten has begun playing.

Is there a chart I can reference for my kitten's teeth?

Your kitten's health and wellbeing are a priority and preventive care including early checkups is essential. If you have a young kitten and you aren't sure how old they are it's time to head to the vet. Your veterinarian will be able to give your kitten a thorough examination looking for signs of worms or other parasites that could affect their long-term health. Your vet may even have chart that you can reference to gauge your kitten's age based on their teeth.

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.

If you have a new kitten that is in need of routine dental care or vaccinations, please contact our Pflugerville vets today to schedule your kitten for veterinary care.

New Patients Welcome

Pfennig Lane Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Pflugerville companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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