A kitten comes with a lot of work. It’s especially hard when they start teething. Understanding the process and ways to help them will make the process relatively smooth.
Cats aren’t born with a full set of permanent teeth, they go
through the whole teething process just like every other mammal.
So, you better have some money set aside for the tooth fairy for
when their kitten teeth are ready to go and make room for their
Just like human babies, kittens experience a lot of changes,
sometimes accompanied by some discomfort throughout the teething
As a cat parent, you must understand the whole process of
teething. That way, you can help relieve their pain and also know
what to look out for as they go through this stage.
When Do Kittens Start Teething?
Newborn kittens, just like human babies are born without any
visible teeth, but after a while, they get their first set of
A kitten’s baby teeth, otherwise known as deciduous teeth, first
come when the kitten is about 3 to 4 weeks old.
The primary canines and incisors are the first to grow, with the
others showing up shortly after.
Different kittens grow their baby teeth at different rates, but
if there are several teeth still missing or your cat hasn't even
started teething by the time they're 9 to 10 weeks old, you
should immediately pay a visit to your vet to ensure that
everything is okay.
Their adult teeth start to pop up, usually when they are about 3
to 4 months old and their baby teeth have fallen out.
Typically, all their adult teeth should have grown in place of
their baby teeth by the time they’re 6 months old.
Cats have about 26 baby teeth when they’re kittens and 30
permanent teeth as adults. 
As a cat goes through the whole process of teething, it's faced
with many issues such as pain and discomfort.
When the adult teeth are ready to grow, they begin to poke the
gums as they erupt. It’s rather discomforting, so, you must take
extra care of your furry feline pet as they go through this.
Signs of Teething in a Kitten
As your kitten goes through the process of teething, you’ll
notice some changes that are indicative of a teething cat. While
some are obvious, others are rather discreet. 
The Following is a List of Some of the Signs to Look Out for
1. Urgency to Chew
If you notice that your kitten has been chewing excessively as of
late, that could be a sign that it’s started teething, as chewing
helps to ease some of the pressure they feel as their new teeth
They'll begin to chew everything they get their hands on, from
bedsheets to furniture and toys just to ease the discomfort.
2. They Eat Less
If your kitten has been eating less, chewing slower and more
tentatively, it could be as a result of the pain and sensitivity
they feel in their gums as the new teeth emerge.
3. Increased Irritability
This could manifest in the form of aggressive outbursts anytime
you go near them. The grumpiness is most likely a way to
communicate that they're in pain. Be very patient, and give it a
lot of TLC during this period.
4. Inflamed Gums
As their adult teeth begin to poke at their gums in the beginning
stages of their growth, the kitten may develop mild gingivitis
which causes their breath to stink and their gums to become
inflamed and sore. This problem usually resolves itself, if not,
take your cat to the vet.
5. Pawing at the Mouth
If you find your cat displaying this unusual behavior and
vigorously shaking its head, don't be alarmed, it may just be
trying to dislodge a loose tooth that's causing it to experience
6. Slight Gum Bleeding and
If you start to find specks of blood in their food or water bowl
and traces of saliva around the corners of their mouth, that’s
usually a sign that they’re teething. These can also be symptoms
of other dental conditions, so visit a vet just to be on the safe
7. Missing Teeth
This is an obvious sign that your cat is teething. You might find
baby teeth around the house, on the floor or bed.
However, you might not find any rogue tooth lying around the
house as some kittens swallow their own. If this is the case with
your cat, don’t worry, it won’t harm them as the baby teeth are
much too tiny to cause any significant damage.
How to Help a Teething Cat
There's bound to be some discomfort when those pointy, sharp
adult teeth are poking through sensitive gum. Fortunately,
research has shown that while there is some pain, it's mostly
Even though kittens will look for ways to reduce the soreness and
irritation they feel as they teethe, you can also render some
extra support by doing the following:
1. Feed the Cat With Wet and
It’s a good idea to feed teething kittens with wet or canned food
that’s soft so they don’t have to chew or bite. This can cause
them to experience pain, causing them to avoid eating altogether.
Discontinue giving them kibble and other dry foods, or mix it
with some water to soften it before giving it to the kitten.
2. Don’t Brush its Teeth
Not only is it possible for you to damage its already sensitive
gums, but you may also cause the pain to become worse. This will
result in the kitten associating tooth brushing with pain.
You don’t want that to happen because it might start to attack
you in self-defense the next time you attempt to brush its teeth.
3. Be Very Careful When Playing
With the Kitten
Be very gentle while playing with your feline baby while they're
teething. Avoid games like tug of war or any other games that
require you to pull at the toy they have in their mouth so that
you don't cause any damage and worsen their pain.
Teething is a natural step in a cat’s life but that doesn’t mean
you should neglect your kitten and allow it to go through this
Be sure to shower it with lots of love, be patient and supportive
as their permanent adult teeth grow, and watch your tiny little
furry baby transforms from a small kitten to a “big-ish cat”.
Retained Deciduous Teeth in Dogs and Cats
Puppies and kittens develop their sharp, pointy
baby teeth at around three weeks of age; most puppies have 28
baby teeth and kittens have 26. By the time a pet reaches four
months old, the roots of the baby teeth should begin to resorb,
making way for a dog’s 42 permanent teeth and
a cat’s 30 permanent
However in some cases, the root of a baby tooth may not reabsorb
or will reabsorb only partially, forcing the permanent tooth to
emerge at an odd angle or in an odd position. This can happen
with just one tooth, a few teeth, or all of your pet’s teeth.
When teeth are crowding each other it makes it easier for food
and debris to become trapped, leading to problems such
as gingivitis, plaque build
up, tooth decay, and periodontal
disease. All of these issues can contribute to premature
Additional problems caused by retained deciduous teeth include:
infection, pain when abnormally angled teeth rub against the roof
of the mouth, interference with jaw bone development, and
misalignment, leading to enamel wear.
Causes of Retained Deciduous Teeth in Dogs and Cats
The causes of retained deciduous teeth are not well understood,
however small breed dogs are the most commonly affected.
Predisposed breeds include the Maltese, Pomeranian, Poodle,
Symptoms of Retained Deciduous Teeth in Dogs and Cats
In addition to the presence of retained baby teeth as permanent
teeth begin to emerge, your pet may also exhibit the following
- Red, swollen gums
- An oronasal fistula, which is
an abnormal opening between the oral and nasal cavities
Treatment for Retained Deciduous Teeth in Dogs and Cats
If you notice that your pet’s baby teeth are still hanging on as
permanent teeth begin to emerge, make an appointment with your
veterinarian right away. The baby teeth will be surgically
extracted to make room for the permanent teeth.
When retained baby teeth are removed early enough, the adult
teeth are able to move into their correct positions. However if
you wait, there is a good chance that the permanent teeth will
become malpositioned. If the teeth are severely malpositioned,
they may need to be selectively extracted or your veterinarian
may recommend that you see an orthodontic specialist for
repositioning treatment. This is a more involved and more costly
treatment than early extraction.
You should check your pet’s teeth weekly for retained deciduous
teeth until they are around eight months of age. If you notice
any retained teeth or if your pet appears to be developing an
abnormal bite, contact your veterinarian.
Retained Deciduous Teeth (Baby Teeth) in Cats
Retained Baby Teeth in Dogs