Just like people, baby teeth in our feline friends fall out before their permanent teeth emerge. In this article, our Los Angeles vets will explain kitten teething and guide them in relieving any discomfort they may experience.
When do kittens start teething?
A kitten typically develops its first set of teeth at around 3 to 4 weeks old. During this period, they will commence weaning from their mother's milk and transition to consuming wet food or dry kibble that has been moistened to enhance its softness.
While the emergence of a kitten's teeth usually occurs without any issues, you might observe the kittens showing increased interest in nibbling on their toys or siblings.
When do kittens lose their baby teeth?
"When do kitten teeth fall out? Kittens typically shed their teeth at around 12 weeks or 3 months of age. By the time your cat reaches 6 months, they should have a complete set of 30 adult teeth, although in some cases, it may take up to 9 months for all the adult teeth to emerge.
Your cat will have these adult teeth throughout their life, so providing them with proper care is crucial. The recommended feline dental care regimen involves daily brushing with cat-safe toothpaste and annual professional dental cleanings and examinations. Additionally, dental treats designed for cats can help prevent plaque buildup. Consult your veterinarian to determine their recommendations.
Furthermore, your kitten's baby teeth can serve as an essential indicator of their age. Your vet should be able to estimate a kitten's age by examining their teeth."
What are the most common signs of kitten teething?
Some signs that indicate your kitten may be teething include:
- Vocalizing more, from small to loud meows
- Increased chewing, especially on soft items
- Bleeding gums
- Chewing food more slowly
- Eating less
- Hesitant to bite at or shake toys
- Pawing at mouth
Most of these symptoms should not cause concern. However, you should still monitor your kitten. If you notice excessive bleeding, or a complete lack of appetite or detect any unusual smell coming from your cat's mouth, they may be suffering from an infection—schedule an appointment with your vet to obtain a professional diagnosis.
How to Help a Teething Kitten
Thankfully, several options are available to help your teething kitten. You can try to:
- Offer soft food, either a canned diet or kibble soaked in warm water
- Make sure they get plenty of interactive playtime with you to keep them busy and tire them out
- Make ice cubes of low-sodium chicken broth or diluted tuna juice for them 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
Discomfort is usually mild and should resolve itself. For extreme cases of pain, make sure you contact your veterinarian.
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.