Do cats lose baby teeth?

Just like human children, kittens too would lose their baby teeth. Cats grow two sets of teeth in their life span. The baby teeth, also known as milk teeth and deciduous teeth are developed when the cats is between two to four weeks of age. The baby teeth will fall off to be replaced with the permanent teeth.

Baby teeth or milk teeth are the first set of teeth of cats. Baby teeth will start coming in when the kitten is about four weeks old. At the age of 6 weeks all the 26 baby teeth are expected to have fully come out. Baby teeth on the upper jaw include the 6 incisors, the 2 fangs and the 6 premolars. On the lower jaw are the 6 incisors, 2 fangs and 4 premolars. All in all, a kitten would have 26 baby teeth. Cats are predators. The teeth are very important hunting tools. Strong and needle sharp teeth are designed so that these animals can easily kill, tear and shred the hunted prey. Cat owners that have inspected the pet’s milk teeth would know that the small and rather translucent needle sharp milk teeth are not very strong. Kittens depend on the mother cat’s milk for sustenance. Strong teeth that are designed to kill and tear prey would not be necessary at this age.

Milk teeth or baby teeth are also called deciduous teeth. Just as with the leaves of deciduous trees that fall off at maturity, cat’s baby teeth tends to fall as well. Kittens would start losing the baby teeth at the age of 11 weeks. By 30 weeks of age, kittens are expected to have lost all the baby teeth. The stage when baby teeth fall out to be replaced with permanent teeth is called teething. At this stage, the lovable pet would practically transform into a little monster that would draw blood with its biting. The pet would go through a storm of destructive chewing. The sharp edges of cat teeth should break through the gums smoothly and therefore should not create too much discomfort. However, teething kittens would still have sore gums. In an effort to ease the discomfort, kittens would find anything they can chew on. As expected, the pet would find most unsuitable things to chew. Furniture legs, the carpet, the owner’s shoes or bags and any object they can find would not escape the kitten’s sharp teeth. It would not be uncommon for the pet owner to find the pet’s baby teeth stuck on the object it has been chewing. The cat can swallow the baby teeth thus owners would not find any of the teeth lost by the pet. Giving the cat a teething ring will lessen the likelihood that the pet would chew on inappropriate objects. Allowing the cat to gnaw a piece of soaked and frozen rug will ease the soreness of the gums.

By the time the cat is six months old it is expected that it has lost all the 26 baby teeth and replaced by 30 permanent teeth. Baby teeth are supposed to fall out before the permanent teeth come in. However, there are instances when the cat would not lose all its baby teeth. Retained baby teeth will be a problem. Just as with humans, cat teeth have their own designated place. The permanent tooth will grow out of line if the baby tooth has not fallen out. A tooth that grows out of line can rub against the roof of the mouth or against the gums and cause infection. An animal dentist can easily extract the retained baby tooth.