Do Cats Lose Teeth At 6 Months

Normal Cat Teething Timeline

Kittens are born without teeth. Their first teeth, known as milk teeth or baby teeth, start to erupt around 2-4 weeks of age. By 6-8 weeks old, kittens have all of their baby teeth. These include 12 incisors, 4 canines and 16 premolars. Kittens’ baby teeth help them eat solid food and explore their surroundings during the early months. Around 4-6 months of age, permanent adult teeth start coming in to replace the baby teeth. By the time kittens are 6-7 months old, all 30 adult teeth have erupted. These include 12 incisors, 4 canines, 10 premolars and 4 molars.

According to Hill’s Pet Nutrition, “In fact, by the time they’re 6 months old, cats have already cycled through two sets of teeth.” (

Why Do Cats Lose Their Baby Teeth?

Kittens are born with no visible teeth. Around 3 weeks of age, their baby teeth (also called deciduous or milk teeth) start erupting through the gums. Kittens have smaller jaws and need smaller teeth to fit their mouths properly. As the kitten grows, its jaw also grows larger and adult teeth are needed to fill the bigger space. The permanent or adult teeth replace the deciduous teeth as the jaw matures in size.

According to the ASPCA, “By around six months of age, almost all of a kitten’s deciduous teeth should have fallen out as the permanent teeth come in.” The baby teeth are gradually pushed out and replaced by the larger, stronger permanent teeth optimized for an adult cat’s jaw size and diet.

When Do Kittens Start Losing Teeth?

Kittens typically start losing their baby teeth between 3-6 months old. The deciduous (baby) teeth begin loosening and falling out as the permanent adult teeth start pushing through the gums to replace them. According to this source, the incisors are usually the first baby teeth to fall out, starting around 12-16 weeks of age. The canine teeth tend to be the last to fall out, sometimes not until the kitten is 6 months old.

By the time a kitten reaches 6 months old, they will have lost most or all of their deciduous teeth as the permanent teeth come in. The entire teething process can take anywhere from 3-6 months. It’s important to monitor the teething process and provide some extra care and attention as those little teeth start coming out.

Signs of Teething in Cats

There are several common signs displayed by cats going through the teething process around 3-6 months of age. These signs result from the discomfort and irritation caused by incoming permanent teeth pushing through the gums.

One of the most noticeable signs is red, inflamed gums. The gums around erupting teeth often swell up and become tender.1 This inflammation stems from teeth pressing on the gums as they break through.

Cats may drool more than usual during teething. The irritation to their mouth and gums causes extra saliva production.2 Owners may notice more wetness around the mouth.

Teething kittens often chew on household objects to relieve discomfort. They may gnaw on furniture, toys, wires, or other items.1 This chewing behavior helps counteract the pain of erupting teeth.

Many cats experience decreased appetite and disinterest in food during the teething period. The soreness in their mouth makes eating uncomfortable.2 Owners may notice their kitten eating less than normal.

Irritability and restlessness are also common teething symptoms. The discomfort of the gums can make cats fussy and disrupt their usual rhythms.1 They may seem more cranky and active than normal.

Managing Teething Discomfort

Kittens can experience discomfort and pain as their baby teeth fall out and adult teeth grow in. There are several ways to help manage teething discomfort in cats:

Provide chew toys made specifically for kittens. Chew toys can help massage their gums and provide an outlet for their desire to chew. Look for toys made of rubber or soft fabric. Sterling’s Kitten Mitt is a popular option.

Offer cold treats to help soothe sore gums. Letting your kitten chew on an ice cube wrapped in a towel or freezing canned kitten food in an ice cube tray can provide relief. Just monitor to prevent choking.

Gently massage your kitten’s gums and jaws. Use light circular motions and check for signs of discomfort. This can relax muscles and stimulate blood flow.

Increase playtime activities to distract from discomfort. Try engaging your kitten in chasing toys and simulated hunting to redirect any gnawing behavior onto appropriate targets.

For severe pain, ask your veterinarian about appropriate over-the-counter pain medication. But most cats won’t require medication for normal teething.

Preventing Damage from Teething

Kittens can cause a lot of damage while teething if their chewing is not properly redirected. Here are some tips to prevent destruction from teething kittens:

Redirect chewing to appropriate toys – Provide plenty of chew toys of different textures for your kitten. Good options are rope toys, soft plush toys, textured rubber toys, and even frozen washcloths. Rotate the toys to keep your kitten engaged.

Provide a variety of textures – Kittens need to chew on different textures while teething. Have toys made of rope, soft fabric, rubber, etc. You can also use cardboard scratchers or cushions to satisfy chewing urges.

Limit access to wires, furniture, houseplants – Tape down or cover any exposed wires. Use bitter apple spray on furniture and plants. Restrict access to rooms with valuables. Provide appealing alternatives like cat towers and scratching posts.

With the right redirection tactics and supervision, kitten teething does not need to result in destructive behavior. Be patient during this phase and engage their desire to chew in positive ways.

When to See the Vet

As kittens lose their baby teeth and gain their permanent adult teeth, most will experience some mild discomfort or changes in behavior. However, certain signs warrant a veterinary visit to make sure there are no underlying issues.

You should bring your kitten into the vet if you notice significant weight loss, excessive drooling, or not eating for over 2 days. These can be signs of severe pain or dental disease. Swollen lymph nodes, fever, or visible injury or trauma to the mouth also require veterinary attention.

Your vet can examine your kitten’s mouth to check for retained baby teeth, gum infections, or jaw fractures. They may prescribe medication for pain relief or antibiotics if needed. Getting prompt treatment prevents complications and ensures your kitten transitions smoothly through this teething phase.

Caring for Cat Teeth

Proper dental care is essential for your cat’s health and wellbeing. Here are some tips for keeping your cat’s teeth clean and healthy:

Brushing teeth is the most effective way to remove plaque and tartar from your cat’s teeth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and cat-safe toothpaste. Brush gently in circular motions along the gumline. Introduce brushing slowly and make it a positive experience with treats and praise. Aim to brush a few times per week.

Dental treats and food are specially formulated to help scrape away tartar as your cat chews. Look for treats and kibble with the VOHC seal from the Veterinary Oral Health Council. Greenies, CET chews, and Hill’s Prescription Diet dental care food are good options. Give treats and dental kibble regularly.

Regular dental exams by your veterinarian are key. Your vet can spot early signs of gum disease and tooth problems. Professional dental cleanings under anesthesia may be recommended to fully clean teeth and safely remove tartar below the gumline.[1]

Signs of dental disease include bad breath, reddened gums, yellow or brown tartar on teeth, oral pain or swelling, and difficulty eating. Bring your cat to the vet promptly if you notice any of these signs.

Permanent Teeth in Cats

Cats have a full set of 30 permanent adult teeth that come in as they mature from kittens to adults. These permanent teeth include:1

  • 12 incisors – 6 upper and 6 lower
  • 4 canine teeth – 2 upper and 2 lower
  • 14 premolars – 6 upper and 8 lower
  • 2 molars – 1 upper and 1 lower

In both the upper and lower jaws, cats have the same basic pattern of incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. The incisors are located at the front of the mouth and are used for grasping food. Behind them are the pointed canine teeth that help grasp, hold, and tear food. The premolars and molars at the back of the mouth do most of the chewing and grinding.

Cats use their full set of adult teeth to hunt, kill prey, tear meat, chew food, groom themselves, and perform other essential functions. Monitoring your cat’s permanent teeth as they come in and replace their baby teeth is an important part of health care.

When Do Cats Stop Losing Teeth?

Kittens start losing their baby teeth around 3-4 months old. According to the Mountainaire Animal Clinic, most kittens will have a full set of 30 adult teeth by the time they are 6 months old [1]. However, it’s not abnormal for some of their baby teeth to remain until they are 9 months old.

Wellpet Humane explains that by 5-7 months old, kittens should have all their adult teeth grown in [2]. While the baby teeth roots dissolve, the permanent adult teeth push the baby teeth out as they erupt. Rarely, some kittens may have one or two baby teeth that don’t fall out on their own by 9 months old. In that case, a vet may need to extract any remaining deciduous teeth.

Overall, by the time a kitten is around 6-9 months old, they should have a full set of 30 permanent adult teeth and stop losing any additional baby teeth.

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