Is My 1 Year Old Cat Teething?

Typical Dental Development in Cats

Kittens are born without any teeth. Around 2-4 weeks of age, their baby or deciduous teeth start erupting through the gums. By about 12 weeks old, kittens have all of their baby teeth. These include incisors, canines and premolars. According to Hill’s Pet Nutrition, kittens have 26 baby teeth total.

Around 4-6 months of age, a kitten’s permanent adult teeth begin to erupt as their baby teeth fall out. The incisors are usually the first adult teeth to come in. By 6-7 months old, kittens have all their permanent teeth except for the last premolar teeth. Cats normally have 30 permanent teeth as adults.



Signs of Teething in Kittens

Kittens begin teething around 3-4 weeks of age as their baby teeth start to emerge. This teething process continues until around 6-7 months old when their permanent adult teeth have fully come in 1. Some common signs that your kitten may be teething include:

  • Increased chewing behaviors – Kittens may chew on toys, furniture, hands and feet more often as they seek relief for their sore gums.
  • Pawing at their mouth – Kittens may paw at their mouth or rub their face along the ground to try to relieve mouth pain.
  • Drooling – Excess drooling beyond a kitten’s normal amount can signify teething discomfort.
  • Difficulty eating – Teething kittens may have trouble chewing dry food or they may refuse food altogether.
  • Decreased appetite – Discomfort from teething can lead to decreased appetite.
  • Swollen gums – Gums can become inflamed and swollen around erupting teeth.
  • Loose baby teeth – Wobbly baby teeth that eventually fall out are part of the teething process.

If you notice any of these signs, your kitten may be going through a teething phase. Providing chew toys and wet food, gently massaging their gums, and regular vet checkups can help make teething easier on your kitten.

Managing Kitten Teething

There are several ways to help a kitten get through the teething process with minimal discomfort:

Provide chew toys made of rope, soft rubber or plush fabric to massage sore gums and distract from the pain. Kittens may chew more during teething, so provide plenty of appropriate options (

Offer cold treats like frozen carrots for sore gums. The cold temperature helps numb pain (

Gently brush teeth with a soft kitten toothbrush and toothpaste to remove food debris and soothe inflamed gums.

Wipe the kitten’s face often with a warm, wet cloth to clean away excess drool.

Feed soft foods like canned kitten food if eating dry kibble seems painful.

Provide patience, comfort and affection to help the kitten through this uncomfortable phase.

When to See the Vet

Teething is a normal part of a kitten’s development. However, some symptoms may indicate an underlying health issue that requires veterinary attention. Signs to watch out for include:

Excessive drooling for over 2 days – Drooling more than normal could signal an injury, oral infection or other issue causing mouth pain. Seek vet care if excessive drooling lasts more than a couple days.

Not eating for over 2 days – Appetite loss lasting more than a day or two may be tied to dental problems or illness requiring medical treatment.

Loose teeth not falling out – Baby teeth should come out on their own as the permanent teeth emerge. Loose teeth still attached after 4-5 months likely need extraction by a vet.

Swollen, bleeding gums – Inflamed gums can indicate gingivitis, trauma or other dental disease needing veterinary attention.

Crying in pain – Vocalizations signaling discomfort, especially when eating, could mean an underlying dental issue.

Lethargy – Decreased energy and interest in play may accompany dental pain or illness.

Weight loss – A drop in weight along with dental issues points to malnutrition and the need for care.

If you notice any of these concerning signs, schedule a veterinary exam right away. Prompt treatment can prevent minor issues from becoming serious dental disease.


Teething Timeline for 1 Year Old Cats

By 1 year of age, most cats have all of their permanent adult teeth in place. Kittens are born without any teeth. They start getting their baby teeth around 3-4 weeks old. These deciduous teeth start falling out around 12-16 weeks as the permanent teeth erupt. By 6 months old, almost all of the permanent teeth have emerged. However, some cats may continue teething until 14-16 months old as the final premolars come in.

While most teething is finished by a year old, it’s not abnormal for a 1 year old cat to still be experiencing some discomfort from late emerging permanent teeth, especially the premolars. These late erupting teeth may cause them to drool, have mouth pain, or chew and lick their mouth excessively.

If your 1 year old cat is showing signs of mouth discomfort or excessive chewing and licking, have your veterinarian examine their mouth. They can determine if teething or other dental issues are the cause.


Other Causes of Mouth Pain

While teething may cause mouth pain in young kittens, there are other potential causes of oral discomfort that should be ruled out, especially in adult cats over 1 year old. Some common causes include:

Dental disease like gingivitis or dental abscesses can lead to inflammation, infection, and pain in the mouth. Gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease, causes inflamed and bleeding gums. It can progress to loose teeth, receding gums, and tooth root abscesses if left untreated (1). Signs include bad breath, drooling, difficulty eating, and behavioral changes.

Oral trauma from bites or foreign objects lodged in the mouth can also be painful. Cuts, wounds, or punctures in the mouth should be evaluated to avoid infection. Embedded foreign material like grass blades or sticks can cause discomfort and require removal (2).

Oral tumors or growths are less common but may occur in older cats. Signs can include swelling, bleeding, and difficulty eating or swallowing. Some oral tumors are malignant and require biopsy for diagnosis (2).

Stomatitis is a serious inflammatory condition affecting the mouth, gums, and tongue. It causes significant pain, excessive drooling, and difficulty eating. The exact cause is unknown but may be an immune disorder. Treatment focuses on controlling inflammation and pain (3).

Since dental disease is very common in cats, a full oral exam and dental x-rays are recommended to identify potential problems. Other diagnostics like biopsies may be needed to rule out oral masses. Prompt veterinary care can minimize discomfort and prevent progression of these conditions.


Providing Comfort and Pain Relief

There are several things you can do at home to help provide comfort and relief for a teething kitten:

Gentle massage of the gums with a clean finger or soft cloth can provide soothing counter-pressure. Be very gentle and stop if the kitten seems distressed.

Offering frozen treats like small ice cubes or frozen broth cubes can help numb sore gums (1). Just monitor to ensure your kitten does not chew too aggressively on the treats.

Keeping your kitten hydrated with extra water helps flush away inflammation-causing compounds. Consider adding some kitten-safe broth to the water for encouragement.

Switching to soft foods reduces the need to chew hard kibble. Try wet or softened kibble mixed with a little warm water. You can also try adding kitten milk replacer.

If your vet recommends it, an over-the-counter pain medication formulated for cats can provide some relief. Always follow dosing instructions carefully.

The key is helping your teething kitten remain as comfortable and pain-free as possible. Work closely with your vet if you have any concerns.

Preventive Care for Dental Health

There are several ways pet owners can help prevent dental disease in cats:

Annual veterinary dental checkups allow the veterinarian to assess your cat’s oral health, clean the teeth thoroughly, and take dental x-rays if needed. Early detection and treatment of any problems is key to good long-term dental health (source).

Daily tooth brushing at home is the gold standard for preventing plaque buildup and gum disease. Use a soft small-headed toothbrush and feline-friendly toothpaste (source).

Dental treats and chews help scrape away plaque and tartar while providing enjoyment. Look for products with the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal (source).

Dental diet food is formulated to scrub the teeth clean as your cat chews. These diets promote dental health through specific kibble shapes, textures, and ingredients (source).

Water additives can reduce plaque and bacteria in your cat’s mouth when added to their drinking water daily.

Signs of Serious Problems

While teething can cause temporary discomfort in kittens, there are some signs of more serious dental issues that warrant an immediate vet visit. These include:

  • Bleeding from the mouth – Any bleeding from the mouth is not normal and requires prompt veterinary attention. It can signal advanced dental disease, oral trauma, or some other medical issue.
  • Pus around gums or teeth – Purulent discharge is a sign of infection and inflammation. It indicates a problem like tooth root abscess, periodontal disease, or stomatitis.
  • Loose or shifting teeth – Abnormally loose teeth in an adult cat is a red flag for periodontal disease. This can lead to tooth loss if not treated.
  • Difficulty eating – If your cat is reluctant to eat dry or hard food, seems to be in pain when chewing, or is dropping food, dental disease may be the cause.
  • Weight loss – An inability to eat properly due to dental problems can lead to weight loss in cats. This is a serious concern.
  • Lethargy – Dental infections or mouth pain can make cats feel unwell and lethargic.
  • Swelling or lesions in mouth – Swelling of the face/jaw or ulcers/growths in the mouth indicate an urgent need for veterinary dental care.

According to, these signs point to an emergency dental issue and require prompt vet examination and treatment to prevent complications. Don’t delay in seeking veterinary help if your cat has any of these symptoms.


Kittens typically have a predictable timeline for teeth development, starting around 2-4 weeks old when they get their baby teeth. By around 12 weeks old, all of their baby teeth should be in. Kittens may show signs of teething discomfort like drooling, chewing, and minor gum inflammation during this time. Once past 12 weeks, kittens are typically done teething until around 5-7 months when they start to get their permanent adult teeth.

For a 1 year old cat, teething is usually long passed. However, some signs of teething like excessive drooling or chewing may indicate other problems like gum disease, oral injuries or growths. It’s a good idea to have your vet examine your cat’s mouth if you notice any abnormal behaviors. They can check for dental issues and provide pain relief if needed.

To help with teething discomfort, provide safe chew toys and moist food. Never give kittens bones or hard objects to chew on. Additionally, start preventive dental care early with tooth brushing and dental treats or food. Good home care can prevent serious dental disease down the road.

While teething is not the likely cause of mouth pain in a 1 year old cat, don’t ignore signs of discomfort. If you cannot easily resolve the issue at home or symptoms persist, make an appointment with your veterinarian promptly. They can perform an exam, diagnose any underlying problems, and prescribe treatment to get your cat feeling better.

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