When they wereasborn, your kitten would not have had any visible teeth. As in humans, teeth are not essential at the start of life, when the mother’s milk is the only source of energy and nutrients and suckling is the best way to get fed. At around 3 weeks old, his your kitten’s “baby-teeth” (i.e. primary teeth) will start to appear. These teeth have multiple functions. They are needed to start eating solid food but are also needed to start learning how to hunt and catch prey, and to play/fight with siblings. As the kitten’s jaws size does not immediately have room for adult teeth (in terms ofboth number and size of teeth), baby teeth are naturally replaced by permanent ones when the jaw have reached their adult size, resulting in your cat losing teeth .
Teeth have several important roles from catching prey and food, ripping it to pieces and chewing it up, but they are also useful for self-defense.
The four different kinds of cat teeth :
- 1) Incisors(the very small teeth in the front). Cats have 12 incisors in total (6 in the upper part and 6 in the lower part of the mouth)
- 2) Canines(the long, pointy teeth). Two canines are located in the lower jaw and two inthe upper jaw.
- 3) Pre-molars (the teeth located between the canine and molar teeth). Cats should have 6 pre-molars in the upper jaw (three on each side), and 4 in the lower jaw (two on each side).
- 4) Molars(the teeth at the very back of mouth). 2molars are located in the lower jaw and two in upper jaw.
Baby-teeth eruption timing:
|Eruption of incisors||Eruption of canines||Eruption of pre-molars||
All baby teeth are out|
(beside exceptmolars, which come in late kitten hood or even early adulthood)
If you find one of your kitten’s baby-teeth on the floor or in your kitten’s beddingdo not worry: it will be because the transition from baby-teeth to the adult ones (i.e. permanent teeth) has started.During the teething process, your kitten’s 26baby teeth will be slowly replaced by 30 adult ones (NB: the molars erupt directly as permanent teeth).
The duration of this process can vary from kitten to kitten, but generally tooth loss starts at about 3 months of age and ends around 9 months. It is stimulated by biting toys and playing/fighting with other kittens.
Adult teeth first develop from tooth buds located in the upper and lower jaws. Adult teeth become bigger and, press against the roots of the baby teeth to erupt through the gums, thus causing them to fall out. Often baby teeth will fall out while the kitten is eating and it will swallow them with the rest of its food.
Some signs that can indicate your kitten is teething include:
- - drooling
- - reluctance to eat
- - urgency to chew
- - sore gums
- - increased irritability (due to painful gums)
What can I do to care for my kitten during this period?
During this delicate period:
- - be careful when playing with your kitten: don’t pull toys that they may have grabbed in their mouth
- - avoid brushing their teeth during this time since you don't want them to think that brushing hurts.
- - Feed them wet food so that they do not have to chew, or soften dry kibbles with some water
By feeding your kitten PRO PLAN Junior dry diet or PRO PLAN NUTRISAVOUR Junior wet diet, your kitten will receive all the nutrients they need for a healthy growth, including the right amount of minerals so that their teeth can grow strong.