Chapter 11: Kitten Teething and Dental Care

You have your adorable kitten at home, he is eating fine, loves playing with you and exploring the house until one day you realize that one of his teeth is missing. So, do kitten and cat teeth? Do kittens lose their baby teeth and when? How do I take care of his teeth in the best possible way?

Well, after a while we adopted Otto, we had a surprise: one day, after I came back from work, I decided to watch a film on TV and as usual Otto joined me on the sofa to be cuddled after he hasn’t seen me all day. While I was cuddling him, he made a big yawn and it looked that something was different in his mouth. Then I realized that one of his teeth was missing!!! That explained why he was enjoying so much chewing his toys in the past days and why he wasn’t hungry as usual!

Kitten and cats, like us, do teeth. Kitten normally don’t have teeth when they are born but their baby teeth will appear at 2-4 weeks and they are usually called milk teeth. Then, around 3 -4 months , the milk teeth start to fall out and they are replaced by adult teeth. The teething time normally lasts about three months or so.

Our Otto lost one of his first teeth around 12-13 weeks, so just after around 3 weeks we adopted. Normally kittens are given to adption around 10-12 weeks of age or sometimes even a bit older, so don’t worry if you see your kitten losing teeth just after you brough him in his forever home, it’s absolutely normal!

You can easly understand when your kitty is teeting just recognising these signs:

  1. Missing teeth: If you are lucky, you may find lost teeth on the floor! If you don’t find them, there is nothing to worry about because kittens commonly swallow their baby teeth and this is not a concern for their health.
  2. Sore gums.
  3. Small gum bleeding: Kittens do have a little bleeding when they lose teeth, but it will stop on its own.
  4. Increased chewing: you might see your kitten chewing his toys more than usual because this eases some of the pressure from emerging of the teeth
  5. Less appetite: your kitty might have less appetite than normal. This is due to the sore gums which make difficult for him to eat food especially if it’s not very soft.
  6. Face sensitivity: your kitten might show discomfort when you try to touch his face
  7. Increased irratibility: the kitten might looked more irritable and grumpy than usual

During the teething period there are just a couple of suggestion to keep in mind to help your kitten:

  1. Feed him with soft food: avoid giving him crunch food and prefer wet food which is easy to chew especially if his gums are very sore
  2. Avoid brushing his teeth: this will make sure that your kitten doesn’t think that brushing is painful, and it makes the teeth cleaning time so much easier for you and your fur baby!
  3. Considering buying teething toys: give your kitty few different options so she can choose what feels best.

Except the teething time, it’s a good idea reguraly taking care of your cat teeth.

Kittens and cat dental care consists in regural teeth brushing and mouth checks. It’s a great idea introduce teeth brushing to the kitten since young age so they will appreciate it when they are older and their adult teeth come in.

At first, just let your kitten lick a little pet toothpaste off of your finger and when he’s comfortable with it just introduce slowly the pet toobrush. Initially just let him smell it and then brush his teeth for few seconds. After few times, increase slowly the time until your kitty will be comfortable and relax having his teeth brushed.

If your kitty doens’t tolerate the toothbrush, there some good alternatives that you can take in consideration:

  1. Dental wipes, rinses and pads: they need to be used daily. They are very good to wipe off plaque deposits from the surface but they will not remove food residues from the gums.
  2. Dental Treats: they don’t replace the daily brushing but they can reduce plaque and tartar up to 69 percent.

The other aspect to take in consideration is the mouth check. Ideally you should check your cat’s mouth quite regurarly to identify any issuse and treat it at the appropriate time without put at risk your cat’s health.

During teeting time, and even after, it would be ideal checking your kitty mouth once a week. Just gently open his mouth and have a look. Check if you see a dooble tooth.

Sometimes, the kitten teeth don’t fall out and it continues to occupy space where only the adult teeth should be. For this reason, they are called retained deciduous teeth. If this happen, call your vet. Retained deciduous teeth need be extracted surgically once they are found to avoid dental problems.

Even if we panicked when we realize Otto missed a tooth, we have been extremely lucky. Otto went through the teeting time without any big trouble. He was biting more than usual but we provided him some soft chewing toys. He enjoyed using and chewing them!

His favourites were some soft plus worms. He was carring them in his mouth and chewing them all the time. Sometimes he was also bringing them in his favorite hidden spot, under the sofa and enjoyng chewing them without being seen!

He also didn’t have a lot of appetite just for few days but after that, he went back to eating normally leaving his bowl empty and polished, pretty much like new!

We also bougth some dental treats to give him every now and then. He liked it stright away! Even now I just need to shake the treats bag and he comes running to me to have them!

We couldn’t be more lucky even this time and we enjoy having our little bundle of hair around purring all the times to show his love for us! We love you so much Otto!

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