Understanding Teething in Kittens

Understanding Teething in Kittens

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What is Teething in Kittens?

Teething is a term that refers to the process of permanent teeth coming in to your kittens’ mouth. Permanent teeth will replace the baby teeth.

Tell me More About Kitten Teeth

The teeth are located on both sides of the mouth with two rows of upper teeth that are anchored in the maxilla bone of the face. Two rows of lower teeth are anchored in the jaw bones (mandibular bone).

Dogs generally have 26 baby teeth, also referred to as deciduous teeth, and 30 adult or permanent teeth.

When Does Kitten Teething Typically Start?

Kittens, like human babies, are born without teeth. Only the gum surface is visible. This allows them to nurse without hurting the mother.

There are two stages to teething. The first is when the kitten gets in his baby teeth and the second is when the baby teeth fall out and your kitten gets his adult teeth. Things happen quickly in kittens as compared to humans.

When a kitten reaches 25 to 30 days of age, their deciduous or temporary (baby) teeth start to break through the gums. This is referred to as “erupting.” The exact age for this will differ amongst breeds and can even vary within kittens of the same litter.

Kittens have a total of 26 deciduous teeth by the time they reach 45 days of age (just over 6 weeks of age). The first teeth to break through are the incisors which are at the top front of the upper and lower jaws. These can begin as early as 14 – 21 days but often are closer to 30 days. After this – the needle like canine teeth (often called the fang teeth) appear between days 30 and 45. The teeth behind them in the back of the mouth are the premolars and molars and come in between days 21 and 45.

The second phase of teething is when the adult teeth start coming in which generally starts around 8 weeks of age and most breeds show permanent teeth at 6 to 7 months of age.

Teething is often worst between 12 and 20 weeks of age.

When Do the Adult Teeth Start to Come in?

The permanent teeth include six pairs of sharp incisor teeth, which are in the front of the mouth, surrounded by two pairs of large canine teeth. The premolar teeth are located just behind the canine teeth. The molars sit behind the premolars and are located towards the back of the mouth.

Eruption of the permanent teeth in kittens is as follows:

Incisors

  • Central: 3-4 months
  • Intermediate: 3-4 months
  • Corner: 4-5 months

Canines

  • 5 months

Premolars

  • Second: 5 months
  • Third: 5-6 months
  • Fourth: 5-6 months

Molars

  • First: 4-5 months

What are Signs of Teething?

Some kittens are more bothered by teething than others. This may be because of soreness and swelling in the gums before a tooth comes through.

Symptoms associated with teething usually begin about 1 to 3 days before the tooth shows, and signs generally disappear as soon as the tooth breaks the skin. Many kittens don’t seem to be affected by teething at all.

Kittens often chew to help relieve the pressure in their gums. In rare cases, kittens may be reluctant to eat and drink because their mouths hurt.

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