It may be a stretch to imagine your playful indoor cat as a fearless huntress. However, looking into her mouth, you can see more of her wild origins. Her tiny mouth is filled with teeth, some of which are delicate, and others are razor-sharp for ripping into prey. Similar to humans, cats have a variety of teeth, each of which serves a specific purpose for survival.
We can answer your questions about how many teeth cats have, what they do, and how to maintain their pearly whites. Without wasting any time, let’s begin with our article.
Different Types of Teeth Cats Have
Cats, people, and puppies all have different amounts of teeth, but we all have the same kind of teeth. For grinding, humans have a mix of sharp and flat-surfaced teeth. Since cats are obligate carnivores, their teeth still have a keen edge. Here is a description of what they are and how cats use them.
These are the little teeth in the cat’s front teeth. Typically, they are used for snipping— when your cat is munching on cat grass.
The large teeth known as canines are just behind the incisors. When a cat is sleeping, they occasionally peep out. Shanna Landy, the world’s best dentistry and oral surgery intern at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, notes that these types of teeth are long and strong and used to bite into and grasp the flesh of another animal—either when hunting or defending themselves.
Premolars are broad teeth located on either side of the jaw. These white teeth of your cat are used to hold and bite prey or to eat kibble. On either side of the lower jaw is one less premolar in adults and kittens.
These teeth are located behind the premolars on the top and bottom jaws. They aid in crunching kibble and other complex meals and are smaller than premolars.
How Many Sets of Teeth Do Cats Have?
Cats have two sets of teeth, similar to humans. They have 26 deciduous teeth when they are kittens, sometimes called primary, baby, or milk teeth. They have 30 permanent teeth when they’re adult cats.
At What Age Do Kittens Lose Their Baby Teeth?
How brief a period do these newborn teeth have? According to Landy, by the time a kitten is 3 to 6 weeks old, all of its baby teeth should have come in. Kittens begin losing their teeth about six weeks later (approximately 3 to 4 months old), starting with their baby incisors in the front of the mouth and proceeding back to the canines and then premolars. They will also lose their newborn molars.
How to Keep Your Cat’s Teeth Healthy
Periodontal disease is the most common disease you’ll find in cats, causing inflammation of the gums and the structures that keep the tooth in the socket. If your cat is suffering from such a dental disease, you must know she is due for cleaning.
It is best to take your cat for regular checkups. In this section, we’ll show you some useful tips to keep your cat’s teeth healthy.
1. Proper Diet
Give your cat a specific diet to support their continued good tooth health. It’s crucial to provide your cat with a diet that is strong in protein and low in fat and carbs since cats require nutrients only available in animal products.
Cats also require various other nutrients from their diet, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids.
2. Teeth Brushing
Teeth brushing at home is the best way to keep periodontal disease under control in your cat. Make sure to use only cat-specified toothbrushes and toothpaste, as human toothpaste can be harmful to your cat.
3. Dental Treats
Provide dental treats to promote oral health. These products can help to reduce plaque buildup and keep their teeth clean while providing mental stimulation.
4. Water Additives
Some water additives can reduce bacteria in your cat’s mouth, which can contribute to dental issues. Consult your cat’s vet before using any water additives to ensure they are safe and suitable for your cat.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Many Teeth Do Kittens Have at Birth?
There are no teeth above the gum line when kittens are born. The development of a kitten’s teeth takes place after two to three weeks.
2. How Many Permanent Teeth Cats Have as an Adult?
A kitten usually gets a complete set of adult teeth by the time it is 6 months old after losing all of its baby teeth. An adult cat has teeth in contrast to a kitten. With that, domestic cats now have 30 permanent teeth overall:
- 12 incisors
- 4 canines
- 10 premolars
- 4 molars
3. Is it True Cats have 42 Teeth?
No, as an adult, cats have a total of 30 teeth, and as a baby, 26.
It would be best to inspect your kitten’s mouth once a week until she is seven to eight months old to ensure her teeth are developing regularly and in the right place. Take your cat to your family veterinarian immediately for an oral examination if you detect any protruding teeth or if you think she has an odd bite (malocclusion).