Do cats have more teeth than dogs?

Do cats have more teeth than dogs? No, is the answer. It’s the opposite. Because cats have a shortened face they also have shortened jaws with less space for teeth. Cats have fewer teeth than other carnivores in fact; normally 28 or 30 compared with 42 for dogs and bears.

Do cats have more teeth than dogs?

Please click on the image to see a larger version. Cats have less teeth than dogs. Diagram from:

There are different types of teeth for specialized tasks. The small incisors are for holding and nibbling. The rear molars act like scissors for cutting and slicing. The large canines are for delivering the killing bite and stabbing.

It has been suggested by an ethologist (the scientific and objective study of animal behavior), Paul Leyhausen, that the canine teeth of the cat are very precisely attuned to breaking the spinal cord of the cat’s prey. The canine teeth fit between the neck vertebrae of prey like a “key in a lock”. They are inserted between the vertebrae like a wedge forcing the vertebrae apart, breaking the prey’s spinal cord.

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About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!

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