Do cats lose their teeth?

Cats lose their baby teeth. Just as in humans, the baby teeth will be replaced with permanent teeth. The permanent teeth though would not really be permanent as some situations can cause cats to lose their teeth.

Cats have two sets of teeth – the milk or baby teeth and the adult or permanent teeth. Milk teeth are small, rather translucent and not quite as strong as the permanent teeth. To survive, kittens would nurse from the mother cat. Thus milk teeth would just be right for their needs as they do not need to eat solid food nor do they need to hunt and to tear the flesh of the prey apart. At the age of three months, a cat would start to lose the baby teeth. The 26 milk teeth will then be replaced by 30 permanent teeth.

Cats have very impressive teeth. Non-cat lovers or people that have not lived with cats may find the teeth, especially the fangs quite threatening. Teeth are very important to cats’ existence. Before domestication, cats have largely depended on their teeth and claws to survive in the wild. Cats would hunt and use the teeth to instantly immobilize the prey. The fangs sunk into the prey’s neck will cause instant death. The teeth are used as well to tear the prey apart and to remove the flesh from the bones. Teeth are fighting tools that allowed cats to survive predator’s attacks. Domestic cats no longer need to survive on their own resources. All the basic needs of cats and more are provided by the owners. The teeth though would still be important in the cat’s existence. Unfortunately, just like humans, cats can lose their permanent teeth too. While humans can use dentures, cats can’t and these animals would need to suffer the discomfort of being toothless.

How and why do cats lose their permanent teeth? Cats are very active animals. These fur balls are highly territorial as well. A cat can lose a tooth by fighting with cats and with other animals to settle territorial disputes. Cats have an unaccountable fondness for high places. Cats would climb roofs and trees. Cats may have the ability to survive but the great fall can result to a lost tooth. While cats would naturally lose the baby teeth, the most common reason for the loss of permanent teeth is dental concerns. Dental care for cats is not unlike the dental care for humans. Without proper dental care, humans would suffer from plaque and tartar buildup that can give rise to gingivitis, to cavities and to periodontal disease. The same thing would occur in cats. Feline dental concerns are common reasons why cats lose their teeth. Gum or periodontal diseases develop when bacteria-laden plaque is allowed to buildup on the surface of the tooth. The bacteria will cause the inflammation and the rotting of the gums. The receding gums, the damaged periodontal ligament will loosen the tooth’s bone socket. The teeth will wobble and will eventually fall off. Periodontitis can be reversed simply by removing the plaque and the tartar buildup so that the condition will not result to teeth lose. Allowed to progress, dental disease would cause the teeth to rot and to have cavities. Again, the condition will result to teeth falling out.

Cat experts make some serious noise about maintaining the oral hygiene of these lovable animals. Cats are already fastidious groomers thus maintaining the immaculate appearance of the coat may no longer be necessary. However, regular tooth brushing is very important. Cat owners must ensure that the pet is trained to accept being brushed. Tooth brushing is especially necessary for cats that are being fed commercially prepared dry cat foods.

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