Understanding Cat Dental Health: How Many Teeth Do Cats Have?

Published February 15, 2024

Ever wondered about your feline friend’s dental count? I’m here to shed some light on the fascinating world of cat dentistry. Just like us, cats have baby teeth and adult teeth, but the numbers differ quite a bit.

The Basics of Cat Dentistry

As we delve into the specifics of cat dentistry, it’s crucial to grasp that cats have a total of 30 teeth once they reach their adult stage. Adult felines have a different arrangement of teeth than humans, with 12 incisors, ten premolars, four canines, and four molars. The number and type of each tooth play a specific role in a cat’s overall dental health and functionality.

In comparison, kittens only have 26 teeth — referred as their baby or deciduous teeth. These teeth start appearing from as early as two weeks old. Similar to human children, kittens will lose these baby teeth around the age of three to four months, and they will be replaced by their full set of adult teeth.

Let’s view these numbers in simple markdown format:

Kittens Adult Cats
Total Teeth 26 30
Incisors 6 12
Canines 4 4
Premolars 10 10
Molars 6 4

Just like human dentistry, proper care of a cat’s teeth is paramount to good health. A cat’s diet plays a fundamental role in maintaining their dental health. Regular meals of raw or cooked meat provide the natural, abrasive action necessary to keep teeth clean and free from plaque.

Moreover, regular vet check-ups are crucial because problems like periodontal disease, tooth resorption, and oral cancer can occur irrespective of diet. I recommend at least one dental check-up per year with your vet, as they’re specifically trained to notice any changes in your pet’s oral health.

With a basic knowledge of cat dentistry, we can better understand the importance of dental care and recognize the signs when something is not right with our cat’s oral health.

Baby Teeth: Just Like Humans

Did you know kittens are just like human babies when it comes to teeth? Yes, our feline friends don’t start their lives with a full set of teeth. Kittens only have 26 baby teeth that eventually give their room to adult teeth.

Now let’s break down these 26 teeth in more detail. We’ve got:

  • 12 incisors: The smaller teeth located at the front of the mouth.
  • 6 premolars: These are the teeth located around the middle of the mouth.
  • 4 canines: You can find these sharp teeth highlighting the grin’s each side.
  • 4 molars: The heavy-duty teeth at the back of the mouth.

These baby teeth start to appear when kittens are two to three weeks old. They continue developing until around three months of age at which point the adult teeth begin to grow in. But, it’s a gradual process taking its sweet time up to six months to complete.

You may notice your kitten losing her baby teeth during a feed or play. These tiny teeth might even get stuck in toys or beds. As much as this might worry you don’t fret, it’s quite a natural occurrence.

One essential thing to remember is kittens – just like puppies or baby humans – tend to use their mouth a lot during their baby teeth time. This is how they explore their world and learn to control their bite pressure. Giving them appropriate chew toys during this period can be a great way to lessen the damage to your household items like furniture and wires.

While baby teeth don’t stay long, they play a vital role in guiding the placement and health of adult teeth. So, ensuring proper dental care from the start is crucial. Regular dental check-ups at an early age can help detect and resolve any potential oral health issues promptly. Not only does this contribute to a healthier mouth, but it also fosters a stress-free grooming routine for your pet in the future.

Always remember, your veterinarian is your best ally in ensuring your cat’s oral health. Schedule regular visits and seek advice when you’re unsure about your furry friend’s need.

The Transition to Adult Teeth

As our whiskered pals grow, teething is an inevitable aspect they grapple with. Kittens start off with 26 baby teeth, otherwise known as deciduous teeth. These takeshape when they’re just two to three weeks old.

Similar to the human childhood teething process, this period in a kitten’s life can be rather uncomfortable. They’ll nibble on anything from play toys to furniture to alleviate the discomfort. Therefore, it’s critical to have loads of kitten-friendly chew toys at hand during this stage. Disconcerting as it sounds, be prepared to find random kitten teeth around your home. Fret not, it’s entirely normal!

When your fluffy companion approaches six months, that’s when the real marvel kicks in – the transition to adult teeth. The temporary baby teeth are gradually ousted, making room for a full set of 30 shiny adult teeth. This shift often goes unnoticed as cats swallow their fallen deciduous teeth while eating.

Age Teeth Count
2-3 weeks 26 (baby teeth)
6 months 30 (adult teeth)

Keeping up with your cat’s dental health during this phase becomes essential. It’s at this juncture that problems such as retained baby teeth, improper tooth alignment, or gingivitis, can creep in. Regular dental check-ups aid in detecting these issues early on, saving your cat from future discomfort and you from astronomical vet bills.

Cats are adept at hiding pain – a throwback to their wild ancestry where showing weakness could have dire consequences. In light of this, practicing good dental hygiene from the get-go is vital to ensure a long and healthy life for your feline companion. Instilling a routine of brushing his teeth, using dental treats and scheduling regular veterinary check-ups is the sure-fire formula to keep those shiny pearls in optimal condition.

And let me just say, nothing beats the satisfaction of watching your furry friend flash a healthy, toothy grin.

How Many Adult Teeth Do Cats Have?

As we delve deeper into feline dental health, you may find yourself wondering…how many adult teeth do cats have?

Adult cats, in contrast to their human counterparts, typically have fewer teeth. A full-grown cat possesses 30 teeth comprising four types:

  • 12 Incisors
  • 4 Canines
  • 10 Premolars
  • 4 Molars

Let’s break it down further:

Found in the front of a cat’s mouth, 6 small incisors are located on the top jaw and another 6 on the bottom. These teeth aid in grooming activities –– they’re what your cat uses to comb her fur!

The prominent, pointed ‘fangs’ cats are known for are called canines. They have 2 on the top and 2 on the bottom. Essential for catching and killing prey in the wild, domestic cats use these teeth for biting.

Feline premolars are designed for shredding and tearing meat. You’ll find these sharp teeth in the middle of their mouths, with 3 on each side on the top jaw and 2 on each side on the bottom.

The most powerful teeth in a cat’s mouth, these aid in grinding down food. Cats have 1 molar on each side of the top and bottom jaws.

Given the fundamental roles these teeth play in felines’ lives, a healthy dental regimen is vital. It can prevent tooth decay, loss, and other oral health issues, ensuring your cat maintains all 30 of her adult teeth for as long as possible.

Keeping up with regular vet check-ups and maintaining a diet suitable for dental health will give your cat the best chance at retaining her full set of choppers. Ignoring dental health isn’t advisable. Proper care today can save you from a hefty veterinary bill down the line!

So next time you’re seeing your cat derpin’ around with a wide-open yawn, take a moment to appreciate the skillfully constructed dental machinery in that little feline mouth.

The Importance of Cat Dental Health

Often overlooked, cat dental health is a crucial aspect of overall feline well-being. It’s more than just a set of pearly whites, as a cat’s oral health can significantly affect its quality of life. Having shared the number of teeth cats have and their individual roles in a feline’s life, we can assert the significance of proper dental care.

Dental diseases in cats can range from mild plaque and tartar to more severe conditions like periodontitis. Similar to humans, a cat’s oral problems can lead to complications like heart, kidney, and liver diseases. This correlation between oral health and systemic diseases shows why it’s vital to prioritize a feline’s dental regimen.

A cat’s diet plays a key role in maintaining oral health. Hard kibble, for example, can help break down tartar and plaque. However, a moist diet is also essential for overall health, so striking a balance is important. A variety of dental health treats are also available for cats that provide a fun and nutritious way to assist in keeping teeth clean.

Regular check-ups with the vet are another key aspect of preventive oral healthcare. A professional assessment can highlight any current or potential issues. During these visits, the vet performs a comprehensive dental check-up, which may include a professional cleaning.

Remember, home dental care for cats is just as crucial. Brushing your cat’s teeth might be a challenge, but with patience, you’ll find it’s a doable task. There are special toothbrushes and toothpaste designed for cats available in pet stores. Training a cat for this can take time, so it’s important to be patient.

As we’ve seen, cat dental health is a multi-faceted issue, with food, regular veterinarian visits and home care playing critical roles. Understanding this is the first step towards ensuring your feline companion’s oral healthcare is always at its best.


So, we’ve learned that cat dental health isn’t something to be overlooked. It’s crucial in maintaining not just their oral health, but their overall well-being too. Remember, the number of teeth in a cat’s mouth plays a significant role in their ability to eat and digest food properly. Regular vet visits and home dental care can help prevent oral diseases and related complications. A balanced diet, including hard kibble and moist food, is also key. It’s all part of ensuring our feline friends stay healthy and happy. After all, a cat’s smile is one of the many joys of being a cat owner, isn’t it?

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