Have you ever wondered how many teeth do cats have? As in the case of humans, newborn kittens are also toothless. They start developing the set of deciduous "milk teeth" or “Baby teeth” which fall as kittens grow up. As the kitten grows to be an adult, a set of “Adult teeth” replaces the baby teeth. As a layman, one can learn about the cat’s teeth by looking at the pattern on the big sized ball when the cat bites it.
Caring for your cat’s teeth is one of the most important aspects of cat’s care. Dental diseases are common problems in cats and kittens. We have tried to describe all the things related to teeth in this article. We get to see various animals and birds in our day to day life, such as monkeys, dogs, cats, pigeon, etc.
Apart from dogs, cats are mostly used as pets. We need to take care of each thing related to our pets as they do a lot for us. This includes taking care of their food, health, and hygiene. When it comes to pet’s health, the mouth is least considered by us. Cats are frequent eaters, and it is necessary to take care of their mouth and teeth. Have you ever thought of how many teeth do cats have?
Why Do Cats Have Teeth?
Teeth are equally important for both domestic and wild cats. Though domestic cats do not use the teeth so intensively, they need them to eat and chew their food properly. Therefore, according to me, the few reasons why cats need teeth are:
- For grasping and holding food
- For chewing food
- For killing, it’s possible prey
- For self-defense when strangers trespass your property
How Many Teeth Do Cats Have?
Cats are like human beings. Just like humans, they have two sets of teeth. Cats start their lives with deciduous or milk teeth. These deciduous milk teeth fall out and replace by permanent teeth. A grown cat ends up with 30 teeth in total. Cat has 26 deciduous teeth/baby/milk/primary or kitten teeth and 30 adult teeth or permanent teeth. Some facts about cat’s teeth:
- A Kitten has 26 needle sharp deciduous teeth
- 30 adult teeth replace These 26 deciduous teeth at the age of 6 months
- A cat has four types of teeth includes: Incisors, Canine, Molars, and Pre-Molars
- A Cat has 16 upper teeth includes: 6 Incisors, 2 Canines, 2 Molars and 6 Pre-molars
- A cat has 14 teeth on the bottom Jaw includes: 2 Molars, 4 Pre-Molars, 2 Canines, and 6 Incisors
When Do Cats Get Their Baby Teeth?
Generally, a kitten is born without a tooth. The milk teeth start appearing when kitty gets three weeks older. These milk teeth start erupting through gums and finished by four months of age. The kitten has visible 26 milk teeth by four months period.
When Does a Kitten Get His Adult Teeth?
Teething process is relatively rapid in kittens, and it begins at about 3 to 4 months of age when milk teeth start to replace by adult teeth. All the 30 permanent teeth erupted at the age of 6-7 months.
Types of Teeth
There are four types of teeth that a cat has in her life including:
Each type of teeth plays an important role.
1. Incisors Teeth
A cat has 12 incisor teeth in total (six at the top and six at the bottom) at the front of the mouth. These are small teeth and have minimal use. These teeth help hold prey in the mouth. Out of these 12 incisors, few of them fall as the cats grow old. Also, in few cases, these incisors do not grow completely.
Cats use their front incisors or little needle-teeth mainly for grooming and grasp the food or prey. A cat can catch her prey or fleas crawling around in her fur and swallow them whole with the help of front teeth. Incisors are the little front teeth between the fangs or canines.
2. Canines Teeth
A cat has four canine teeth that help hunt and kill prey in the wild. These are long teeth placed one on each side at both the bottom and top. These long teeth have single and long root and supported by ligaments. These Canines are mandatory for carnivorous animals as they help in killing and shredding the prey. Cats mostly prey on rodents and birds. These teeth sit in beds of tissue that help kill the prey or fleas and grip the food.
3. Premolars Teeth
A cat has ten premolars teeth six in the upper jaw (three on each side) and four in the lower jaw (two on each side). These usually help chew prey and cutting through the bone and meat. These teeth have more than one root due to which it's hard to remove them if they are diseased. The Premolars sit right behind the Canines and used for cutting, shearing and chewing meat.
4. Molars Teeth
A cat has four molar teeth two upper molar and two lower molars one each side of the mouth. The primary use of teeth is chewing and cutting. The root system is entirely different from pre-molars teeth. Upper molar teeth have one root while lower molars have two roots. It is quite easy to extract upper molars when diseased. Lower molars are quite difficult to extract as thick and small root make it difficult.
What is a Retained Tooth?
This is a milk tooth that is still present after its replacement by adult tooth. It happens when tooth root doesn’t reabsorb or incompletely reabsorbed. A retained tooth occupies the place of the permanent tooth. It forces adult tooth to erupt in an abnormal position and angle. It may cause an abnormal bite, crowding of the tooth.
Which Deciduous or Baby Teeth are More Commonly Retained?
Upper canine teeth are more commonly retained. The premolar teeth may also be a retained tooth in some cases.
Cats have 26 milk teeth which are replaced by 30 permanent teeth by the age of 6 months. As most of the carnivores, cats have incisors, molars, premolars, and canines. These help in holding the prey, shredding and chewing the prey. You can improve the quality of your cat’s life by maintaining good oral health of your kitten or cat. You need to examine your cat’s mouth frequently to assess the issues of dental problems. Cats use their teeth for catching prey and also for self-defense.
Hope you like this post. Do comment your views and queries. Happy petting!