Do cats’ teeth fall out?

Do cat’s teeth fall out? The answer is yes for baby teeth but no for adult teeth. If an adult cat’s teeth are falling out see a veterinarian asap. There will be severe gum disease I expect. Rarely an adult tooth or teeth can be lost during a fight or because of trauma. It is important to inspect your cat’s mouth: gums and teeth regularly.

Below is a timeline of the emergence of baby (deciduous) teeth and adult teeth in domestic cats. At the base of the page is a video about human teeth and why we have baby teeth. The same applies to cats. There are many great similarities between the anatomy and physiology of domestic cats and humans.

Newborn kitten - no teeth
Newborn kitten showing no teeth. Photo in public domain. Click the image for info about baby teeth.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

There are two reasons why there are baby teeth (1) a kitten’s mouth is too small for a full set of permanent teeth and (2) the baby teeth provide placeholders and guidance for the adult cat’s permanent teeth.

Sometimes kittens are born with teeth but these are rare exceptions and therefore they are born without teeth. The incisors – the tiny teeth at the front of the mouth which they used to nibble with such as when grooming themselves – are the first baby teeth to emerge at 2-3 weeks of age. They are followed by canine teeth at 3-4 weeks and the premolars at 3-6 weeks. The last premolar emerges at about six weeks of age. Veterinarians can determine the age of a kitten by the emergence of their baby teeth.

The average kitten has 26 deciduous teeth. On each side of the mouth there are three upper and three lower incisors, one upper and one lower canine and three upper and two lower premolars. Kittens do not have molars which explains their omission in the chart below.

THERE ARE MORE ARTICLES ON TEETH AT THE BASE OF THE PAGE BELOW THE ADS!

Teething lasts 2-3 months and during this time a kitten may experience some soreness of the mouth which may put her off food from time to time. This should not interfere with her growth.

The kitten’s baby teeth are gradually replaced by adult (permanent) teeth. At 3-4 months the incisors erupt followed at 4-6 months by the canine teeth, premolars and molars. At 7-months-of-age the cat’s adult teeth are fully developed. Once again, veterinarians can help gauge a cat’s age by the development of her adult teeth.

A cat's tiny incisor teeth
A cat’s tiny incisor teeth. Image: MikeB

The average adult cat has 30 permanent teeth. On each side of the mouth there are three upper and three lower incisors, one upper and one lower canine, three upper and two lower premolars and one upper and one lower molar.

Cat's Teeth
Cat’s Teeth

As a cat’s molar teeth are not used to grinding it is impractical to gauge the age by the wear and tear of molar teeth as occurs in horses. However, the general health and appearance of teeth can help decide on a cat’s age. It is much easier to be precise about age when inspecting the teeth of kittens.

Sometimes there might be a double set of teeth when the roots of baby teeth are not reabsorbed as the adult teeth take their place. This causes the permanent teeth to be pushed out of line leading to a bad bite called malocclusion. If a baby tooth stays in place while the adult tooth is coming through the baby tooth should be pulled and of course this should be done by veterinarian.

Apparently, it is not uncommon for an adult to have fewer teeth than normal. This doesn’t affect their health. Sometimes kittens have more than the usual number of teeth. The teeth may twist or overlap as a consequence. Extracting the extra teeth will make room for the remainder.

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.


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