What Baby Teeth Do Cats Lose First?

Baby teeth in cats, also known as deciduous teeth or milk teeth, refer to the first set of teeth that kittens are born with. Kittens are born toothless, but their baby teeth start erupting around 2-4 weeks of age. Like humans, kittens have two sets of teeth in their lifetime – the baby teeth and the permanent adult teeth. The baby teeth are smaller, whiter and sharper than the permanent teeth. Kittens use their baby teeth for chewing and other functions until they fall out and are replaced by the larger and stronger adult teeth. Typically, kittens start losing their baby teeth around 3-4 months of age to make way for the permanent teeth. It’s important for kittens to lose their baby teeth properly at the right time, so the permanent teeth can erupt in the correct position. If the baby teeth don’t fall out, it can lead to malocclusion and affect the kitten’s ability to eat and groom. The incisors are usually the first baby teeth that kittens lose, starting as early as 3 months of age.

Timing of Losing Baby Teeth

Kittens start losing their baby teeth around 3-4 months of age. According to the Mountainaire Animal Clinic, kittens typically begin teething at around 12 weeks or 3 months old. https://www.mountainaireanimalclinic.com/site/blog/2022/06/15/signs-your-kitten-teething. The baby teeth start falling out to make room for the permanent adult teeth. Wellpethumane also notes that kittens usually lose their baby teeth starting at around 12 weeks or 3 months. https://www.wellpethumane.com/site/blog/2022/08/31/kitten-teething-when-they-lose-baby-teeth.

The full set of adult teeth typically comes in by the time kittens are around 6-7 months old. So from 3-4 months to 6-7 months, kittens will be steadily losing their small, needle-like baby teeth and gaining larger and more robust permanent adult teeth.


Incisors are a kitten’s small front teeth that aid in grasping and biting. Kittens start losing their baby incisors around 3-4 months of age. The lower incisors are usually shed first, followed by the upper incisors within a few weeks or months.https://www.petmd.com/cat/general-health/kitten-teething-guide

Kittens have a total of 12 deciduous incisors – six on the top and six on the bottom. The incisors are the first set of baby teeth that kittens lose. As the permanent incisors emerge, they will push out the smaller, weaker deciduous incisors. Kitten owners often find discarded incisors on the floor or embedded in toys during this time.

If a deciduous incisor does not fall out on its own, the permanent incisor growing behind it may grow at an abnormal angle or become impacted. In this case, veterinary extraction of the retained baby incisor may be required to allow proper adult teeth alignment.https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/retained-deciduous-teeth-baby-teeth-in-cats

Canine Teeth

A kitten’s upper and lower canine teeth typically fall out after the incisors around 4-5 months old, as the permanent adult teeth replace the deciduous baby teeth[1]. The upper canines are located at the corners of a kitten’s mouth, while the lower canines are just behind the incisors on the bottom jaw. According to Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the deciduous canine teeth become loose and fall out or are resorbed as the permanent canine teeth emerge in their place[2]. This is a normal part of feline dental development. According to VCA Hospitals, issues with permanent canine teeth eruption are uncommon, although crowding or malformed teeth can occasionally occur[3]. Monitoring your kitten’s mouth during the teething process can help identify any potential problems to address with your veterinarian.

[1] https://www.petmd.com/cat/general-health/kitten-teething-guide

[2] https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/behavior-appearance/kitten-teething

[3] https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/retained-deciduous-teeth-baby-teeth-in-cats


Kittens typically lose their baby premolars after their baby canine teeth around 5-6 months of age according to PetMD (https://www.petmd.com/cat/general-health/kitten-teething-guide). The premolars, sometimes called cheek teeth, are located behind the canines and help cats chew and break down food. They have multiple cusps for grinding. Kittens have 3 baby premolars on the top and 3 on the bottom that get replaced by larger adult premolars starting around 20 weeks old.

According to Mountainaire Animal Clinic (https://www.mountainaireanimalclinic.com/site/blog/2022/06/15/signs-your-kitten-teething), the baby premolars are gradually pushed out by the incoming permanent premolars over the course of a few weeks. It’s normal for a kitten to have a mix of baby and adult premolars during this transition phase. By around 6 months old, all of the adult premolars should be fully erupted.


Molars are the last set of baby teeth to fall out, usually around 6-7 months old. By this age, most of the incisors, canines, and premolars have already been replaced by permanent adult teeth. The molars take the longest time to fall out because they are the last teeth to erupt as a kitten. According to Hill’s Pet Nutrition, a kitten will have its full set of deciduous teeth by about 6-8 weeks old.

Around 5-6 months of age, the permanent molars will start pushing the baby molars out as they grow in. Most kittens will have lost all their deciduous molars by 9 months old. However, some cats can take up to a year before losing all their baby teeth, especially if their permanent teeth are late erupting.

Losing the molars is the final stage of a kitten’s teething process. Once the adult molars have grown in, the kitten will have its full set of 30 permanent teeth. At this point, teething is complete. If you notice your kitten still has retained baby teeth past 9 months of age, it’s a good idea to get your vet to examine them, as retained deciduous teeth can cause problems.





Sometimes a kitten’s baby teeth don’t fall out properly. This can lead to a condition called retained deciduous teeth, where the kitten keeps some of its baby teeth instead of having them replaced by permanent adult teeth. Retained deciduous teeth usually affect the canine teeth, but it can happen with any of the teeth.

According to the Veterinary Centers of America, retained deciduous teeth can cause problems like tartar buildup, tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontitis. These issues can lead to premature tooth loss or infections in the mouth. The retained baby tooth can also push on the incoming permanent tooth and prevent it from erupting properly.

In some cases, the baby tooth falls out but leaves behind a retained root. This root can cause similar dental problems and infections. Retained roots may need to be surgically extracted by a veterinarian.

It’s important to monitor your kitten’s mouth closely as they start to lose teeth around 3-4 months old. Look for any baby teeth that don’t seem to be loosening or falling out. Contact your vet if you notice retained deciduous teeth or other dental issues.

Helping Kittens Lose Teeth

There are several tips and tricks to help kittens safely loosen their baby teeth during the teething process:

Provide safe chew toys. Items like chilled wet washcloths, rope toys, and rubber teething toys stimulate the gums and help loosen teeth. Avoid toys that are too hard or could splinter in the mouth.[1]

Make frozen broth cubes. Freezing chicken or tuna broth into ice cubes creates a soothing treat for sore gums that also nudges out loose teeth as they chew.[2][3]

Brush teeth gently. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and kitten toothpaste to lightly brush teeth, but avoid forcing out teeth that aren’t ready to come out yet.

Offer crunchy kitten foods. Dried kitten foods that require some chewing can help loosen baby teeth but avoid hard foods that could break teeth.

Provide chewy treats. Some commercial dental treats are designed to help with the teething process but avoid any treats that are choking hazards.

Schedule vet checkups. The veterinarian can monitor teething progress and intervene if certain baby teeth aren’t coming out on schedule.

Visiting the Vet

Kittens will normally lose their baby teeth naturally as they grow, but sometimes issues can arise that require a veterinary visit. According to the Cornell University Feline Health Center, signs that indicate your kitten may need to see a vet for their teeth include bad breath, red and swollen gums, pawing at the mouth, and refusal to eat hard food. Additionally, the VCA Animal Hospitals notes that between 50-90% of cats have dental disease by age 4, so don’t hesitate to take your kitten in for an oral exam.

Some specific times to bring your kitten to the vet regarding their baby teeth include if you notice a baby tooth hasn’t fallen out within a few weeks of the permanent tooth erupting, if a baby tooth seems to be stuck, or if your kitten has signs of an oral injury or infection like bleeding gums or facial swelling. Your vet can assess the teeth and determine if any extractions are needed. Leaving baby teeth in too long can lead to crooked permanent teeth or periodontal disease. It’s much simpler to remove retained baby teeth when kittens are young, so don’t wait if you notice an issue.


In summary, monitoring a kitten’s teething process is an important part of their development and overall health. Kittens start losing their baby teeth around 3-4 months of age, beginning with the incisors. The canines and premolars follow over the next several months. Finally, the molars emerge around 6-7 months old. While teething is a normal process, issues like retained deciduous teeth or dental misalignment may occur. Visit the veterinarian if you notice your kitten having trouble chewing, bleeding from the mouth, loose teeth after 9 months old, or other complications. With regular dental checkups and care, your kitten’s permanent teeth should come in properly to support them throughout life.

Caring for a teething kitten requires patience and attentiveness on the part of pet parents. Even though losing baby teeth causes some discomfort, this important developmental stage sets up your cat for long-term dental health. Monitoring your kitten’s tooth eruption and consulting your vet at the first sign of problems allows you to ensure their teeth come in correctly. With the proper information and care, the teething process will transition smoothly to usher in your cat’s permanent smile.

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