Do cats lose teeth?

Cats can lose their teeth twice in their lifetime. The first time is when they lose the baby teeth. All cats will go through this process. Baby teeth or milk teeth will fall off and be replaced by permanent teeth. The next time a cat loses teeth, what will fall off will be one of the permanent teeth.

Kittens are born without teeth (adentous). Generally, baby teeth would start erupting at the age of 2 months. At 6 months all the 26 baby or milk teeth are expected to have already come in. Between 4 to 5 months in age, the cat would start to lose the baby teeth. Baby teeth will then be replaced by the 30 permanent teeth. Some cats would not lose teeth again. Other cats would lose some of its permanent teeth. Teeth are as important to cats as they are to humans. While human teeth’s main function is to bite and to chew food, teeth for cats are very important survival tools. Cat’s teeth are specifically structured to be efficient hunting tools. Cats have formidable fangs that can sink into the prey’s neck to instantly sever the heat. The incisors as well as the fang would tear and shred the flesh. This is why a toothless cat would be one handicapped pet.

Cats and dogs are the most popular pets in the world. But unlike dogs that are dubbed as Velcro pets because of their inclination to follow the owners around, cats are famed for their aloof and independent personalities. Cats’ self-reliance is the prime reason why they do not receive the same attention given to dogs. Dog owners would make sure that the pet is regularly groomed. Cats are noted for being fastidious groomers thus owners would not really make an effort to groom the pet. Maintaining the pet’s oral hygiene is one of the responsibilities most cat owners failed to do. The type of commercially prepared food plus the inability of the cat owner to maintain the pet’s oral hygiene can lead to the development of dental concerns. These dental concerns can be the reason why cats lose a tooth.

Dental problems are most common in cats. These dental concerns can affect the quality of life of the pet. Just like humans, cats too have sensory nerves thus cats can be overwhelmed by pain. What are the common dental diseases of cats? The commercial dry food given to the pet may have all the essential nutrients but if the dental hygiene of the pet is not maintained, if the cats’ teeth are not regularly brushed, this kind of diet can promote tartar build-up. Tartar build-up can result to the development of cavities and gum problems. Plaque bacteria would cause the gums to rut. The bone socket that firmly holds the teeth will be affected as well so that the teeth loosen. Feline Odontoclastic Oral Resorption Lesions occurs when plaque accumulation causes the formation of lesions on the tooth enamel. If left untreated, this condition can result to cavities.

These dental issues can cause the cat to lose teeth. Domestic cats may not need the teeth to hunt. Companion cats are regularly provided with all the food they can eat. However, a cat with dental concerns would be in pain. A cat that has lost a tooth or several teeth would not be a happy cat. Eating would be difficult for a toothless cat. Cat parents would always want to ensure the wellbeing of the pet. Brushing the cat’s teeth regularly and taking the pet to an animal dentist at least once a year would do a lot to prevent the development of dental concerns that can cause the pet to lose teeth.