The mysteries of a cat’s mouth remain elusive, even to the most observant among us. We often catch a brief glimpse of their sharp teeth when they yawn in our presence, a fleeting moment that passes too swiftly for us to fully comprehend what is happening inside. As natural hunters and carnivores, their teeth play a crucial role in their survival and overall health. In this article, we will answer the question: How many teeth do cats have? Keep reading to know the types of teeth found in cats, their functions, and the importance of dental care for our furry companions.
The Adult Cat’s Dental Structure:
On average, adult cats possess a total of 30 teeth, which are arranged in a specific pattern within their mouths. There are four different types of cat teeth: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars, each serving a distinct purpose in the cat’s oral cavity.
Situated at the front of a cat’s mouth. Incisors are small, sharp teeth, there are six in the upper part and six in the lower that help them grip and tear into their prey. These teeth are used for grooming, nibbling on small food items, and removing flesh from bones, and toys.
The prominent canines, located on either side of the incisors, are the long, curved, and sharp teeth that give cats their unique appearance. These formidable weapons are designed for grasping and killing prey effectively and also tearing and breaking down food with their canines.
Behind the canines, cats have premolars there are six premolars on their upper jaw and four on their lower jaw that aid in chewing and cutting food into smaller pieces. These teeth play a crucial role in the cat’s ability to consume and process their prey. These teeth typically show around 4-6 months of age.
Further back in the cat’s mouth, towards the rear, are the molars. There are four molars, two upper and two lower located on the left and right sides of the mouth. These flat and broad teeth are responsible for grinding and crushing food, assisting in the digestion process. Molars are not present in all cats, as some may have a reduced number or lack them altogether.
How Many Teeth Do Kittens Have When They’re Born?
Milk teeth typically start erupting until 2 or 3 weeks of age. Like human babies, a kitten has fewer teeth than an adult cat.
12 incisors at 2 to 3 weeks
4 canines at 3 to 4 weeks
10 premolars at 4 to 6 weeks
That adds up to 26 kitten teeth total, called deciduous teeth.
When Do Adult Cats Teeth Appear?
By the time your cat passes 7 months all 30 teeth should appear. The number and timeline for adult teeth eruption in below:
12 incisors at 3 to 4 months
4 canines at 5 months
10 premolars at 4 to 6 months
4 molars at 4 to 6 months
Dental Care for Cats:
Maintaining good dental health is essential for cats’ overall well-being. Regular dental care practices, such as brushing their teeth with toothpaste specially designed for pets, at least three times per week to help prevent dental diseases, such as periodontal disease and dental decay. Remember to use cat-friendly toothpaste flavors like fish, beef, and chicken can help make brushing time less stressful.
Dental Problems in Cats:
Neglecting dental care can lead to many dental issues in cats, including plaque buildup, tartar accumulation, gum disease, tooth loss, and oral infections. These situtuan can cause pain, and discomfort, and even affect the cat’s overall health. Regular veterinary check-ups, professional dental cleanings, and a proper oral hygiene routine are essential for preventing and addressing dental problems in cats.