Have you ever looked into your cat’s mouth and wondered how many teeth she has? The number of teeth in a typical cat’s mouth may surprise you! So, how many teeth do cats have?
An average adult cat has 30 permanent teeth. A typical kitten has 26 teeth. The number of teeth may depend on tooth health or tooth loss.
Also, just like humans, when cats are born, they have no teeth! Since they’re only consuming milk, they won’t need them at first. But within two to six weeks, a kitten will start to develop their temporary “baby teeth.” These baby teeth last for around 11 weeks until they’re replaced with their permanent pearly whites.
Not all cats are the same, though, and some don’t have a full set of teeth; so how many teeth do cats even need? Is it normal for cats to lose their teeth? Will they grow back?
How Many Front Teeth Do Cats Have
Cats have six front teeth on the top of their jaw and six front teeth on the bottom. These front teeth, called incisors, are called central, intermediate, and lateral regarding their location in your cat’s mouth.
Though these teeth are comically tiny, they are still useful by cats! Cats generally use their incisors for shearing and grooming. In the wild, they also use them for gripping prey; while the canine teeth (or “fangs) do all the dirty work, the incisors do all the carrying.
How Many Teeth Do Cats Need
Ideally, a cat would have a full set of 30 teeth. However, a cat with missing teeth (or no teeth at all!) can still live a normal life!
It’s not uncommon for a cat to lose teeth throughout his life due to periodontal disease, tooth resorption, or gingivostomatitis. However, they can still do a lot of normal activities, like eating! If your cat is missing many or all of his teeth, the best feeding solution is canned wet food. Some cats, however, prefer dry food due to its texture. If this is the case, you can mix dry food with canned food for the best of both worlds!
Do Cat Teeth Fall Out
If a cat has some dental problem, one or more of her teeth may fall out.
Of course, for kittens, their teeth will most definitely fall out just a few months after birth. They gain kitten teeth early on, which are ultimately replaced by permanent teeth, just like human teeth.
As adults, however, cat teeth can still fall out. A lost tooth is generally a sign of dental disease and something that should be taken seriously. Gingivitis, for example, can cause irreversible damage to the bone and ligaments that grasp the teeth if it goes untreated.
If you notice that your adult feline is missing a tooth – or you find a tooth around the house – schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as you can! If found in time, many dental issues can be reversed.
Why Do Cats Have Tiny Front Teeth
Though seemingly too small to be useful, the tiny teeth in a cat’s mouth actually do serve a purpose! These teeth are used for grooming, picking things up, nibbling, tending to their claws, and scratching itches.
The first time I noticed my cat’s tiny front teeth, I was completely caught off guard. I had never seen anything so tiny, and I couldn’t believe he was able to use them for anything! You may have had a similar experience when you first saw feline front teeth (or maybe you have yet to!). But, although they’re comically minute, cats really do use them for many purposes.
Is It Normal For Cats To Lose Their Teeth
Typically, it is not normal for cats to lose their teeth. If a cat loses one or more teeth, it could be a sign of a severe dental issue.
The downside is that cats generally handle their pain well; it can be challenging to identify if your fur baby is dealing with dental issues. Be proactive and keep an eye out for his tooth health; look for excessive drooling, red gums, and changes in his eating habits.
And if you notice that he’s missing a tooth – whether you find a tooth on the floor or a gap in his mouth – contact your vet right away!
Kitten owners: as the teeth get replaced, you might notice tiny kitten teeth around the house. This is normal (don’t forget to put it under your kitten’s pillow for the tooth fairy!); however, a kitten will end up swallowing her baby teeth if they come out while she’s eating. This is also normal!
Why Is My Cat Missing A Tooth
Your cat may have lost a tooth because of periodontal or gum disease. In this situation, plaque builds up along the gum line, loosening the teeth from the gums and causing them to fall out.
Older cats (six years and older) are particularly susceptible to dental issues. If you’ve noticed a tooth loss and your kitty also has especially bad breath, drooling, or a slack-jaw appearance, this could be a sign of a bad infection.
To help prevent tooth disease and decay, give your cat daily servings of dry food (many are designed for dental health). Though your feline may not prefer toothbrushing sessions, it is helpful. And be sure to schedule regular vet visits!
On the other hand, if your cat is an indoor-outdoor, or solely outdoor, kitty, he might have broken or lost a tooth after getting in a fight with a fellow feline.
Do Cat Teeth Grow Back
If a kitten loses a tooth, this is completely normal; however, if an adult cat loses a tooth, it, unfortunately, won’t grow back.
Just like babies, kittens are born without teeth; within a few weeks, they’ll develop their temporary kitten teeth. After a few months, their kitten teeth with fall out and be replaced with permanent teeth (just like kids!).
However, if an adult cat loses one or more teeth, they will not grow back. The good news is, cats can still lead everyday lives with a missing tooth. Even with no teeth!
Do Cats Lose Their Front Teeth
Cats can, and do, lost their front teeth.
Of course, this is totally normal for kittens as young cats will lose all of their teeth to be replaced with permanent teeth. But sometimes adult cats lose their front teeth – often due to dental complications such as periodontal disease. In this case, layers of plaque have built up between the front teeth and the gums, and they may end up falling out.
This is more common among older cats. Certain breeds, as well, are more susceptible; these include
Siamese, Abyssinian, Persian, and Maine coon cats.
Do Cats Lose Teeth When They Get Old
Tooth loss is much more common in older cats than in younger ones. However, in general, a healthy cat shouldn’t see any tooth loss.
A tooth loss (or multiple loss of teeth) is frequently a symptom of unchecked dental affliction. If a mouth or gums are infected with bacteria, affected teeth will loosen and fall out. If you notice your feline’s teeth loosening and falling out, it could lead to more than just a loss of chompers; some dental diseases could lead to more severe health issues like cancer or diabetes.
As always, if you’re concerned about Kitty’s dental health, be sure to check in with your vet as soon as possible. Prevention is key!