Much like humans, our beloved feline companions also experience the shedding of baby teeth as they prepare for their permanent ones to take their place. Our Mooresville vets explain kitten teething and how you can help relieve any discomfort they may be feeling.
When do kittens start teething?
A kitten's first set of teeth typically emerges at approximately 3 to 4 weeks of age. It is around this time they will begin weaning from their mother's milk and start to eat wet food or dry kibble that has been dampened to make it softer.
The development of a kitten's teeth is usually a straightforward process. However, you might observe the kitten displacing more active chewing behavior during this time, such as nibbling on toys or engaging with their littermates more frequently.
When do kittens lose their baby teeth?
When do kittens lose their baby teeth? Typically, at around 12 weeks or 3 months. By the age of 6 months, your cat should have a full set of 30 adult teeth, although some cats take up to 9 months for all their adult teeth to come in.
These adult teeth are a lifelong companion for your cat, so it's essential to care for them properly. The ideal approach to maintaining feline dental health involves daily brushing with cat-safe toothpaste, as well as annual professional dental cleanings and examinations. There are also dental treats for cats that can help prevent plaque buildup. Talk to your veterinarian to see what they recommend.
Furthermore, your kitten's baby teeth can serve as a helpful indicator of their age. Your veterinarian can accurately gauge your 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
While many of these symptoms may not warrant immediate concern, keeping a close eye on your kitten's well-being is essential. Observing signs of excessive bleeding, a significant loss of appetite, or detecting any unusual odors emanating from your cat's mouth could indicate a potential infection. In such cases, it's advisable to promptly schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a thorough professional diagnosis.
How to Help a Teething Kitten
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 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.