How Many Teeth Do Cats Have

Cats, like humans and many other mammals, go through a process of dental development and have different types of teeth. Understanding their dental anatomy and knowing how many teeth they have can provide insight into their dental health. Here is a breakdown of the dental aspects of cats to shed light on their oral well-being.

Deciduous Teeth in Cats:

Just like human babies, kittens also have deciduous, or baby teeth. These teeth start to emerge when kittens are around 2 to 4 weeks old. By the time they are 8 weeks old, most of their deciduous teeth should have erupted. Typically, kittens have a total of 26 deciduous teeth.

Permanent Teeth in Cats:

As kittens grow, their deciduous teeth begin to fall out to make way for their permanent teeth. This process usually begins when they are around 3 months old and continues until they are about 6 months old. Adult cats have a total of 30 permanent teeth.

The Structure and Types of Cat Teeth:

Cats have four different types of teeth, each serving its own purpose. These include:

  1. Incisors: Located at the front of the mouth, these teeth are used for grabbing and grooming.
  2. Canines: Also known as fangs, these teeth are sharp and are used for tearing food.
  3. Premolars: Positioned between the canines and molars, these teeth assist in cutting and shearing food.
  4. Molars: Found at the back of the mouth, these teeth are used for grinding and chewing.

Common Dental Problems in Cats:

Maintaining good dental health is essential for cats. Unfortunately, they can experience various dental problems. Some of the common issues include:

  1. Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease: Inflammation of the gums and the supporting structures of the teeth.
  2. Dental Tartar and Plaque: Build-up of bacteria and debris on the teeth, leading to bad breath and oral health issues.
  3. Tooth Resorption: A painful condition where the tooth’s structure is gradually destroyed.
  4. Malocclusion: Misalignment of the teeth, causing difficulty in biting and chewing.

By understanding the dental development and structure of cats’ teeth, as well as being aware of potential issues, owners can take the necessary steps to maintain their feline friends’ oral health and seek veterinary attention when required.

Deciduous Teeth in Cats

Deciduous Teeth in Cats - How Many Teeth Do Cats Have

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Deciduous Teeth in Cats

Deciduous teeth, also referred to as baby or milk teeth, play a vital role in a cat’s dental development. Cats are born without teeth, but around 2-3 weeks of age, their deciduous teeth start to appear. By the time they are 6-8 weeks old, they usually have a complete set of deciduous teeth, comprising of 26 baby teeth. These teeth are smaller and whiter in comparison to their permanent teeth. As the kitten grows, these baby teeth will gradually be replaced by adult teeth. It is essential to keep track of the eruption and shedding of deciduous teeth to ensure proper dental health in cats.

Fun Fact: Did you know that deciduous teeth in cats act as placeholders for adult teeth?

When Do Kittens Start Getting Teeth?

When Do Kittens Start Getting Teeth?

Kittens typically start getting their teeth around 3 to 4 weeks of age. At this stage, their deciduous or temporary teeth, commonly known as “baby teeth,” begin to emerge. The process of teething can be uncomfortable for kittens, causing them to chew on objects or even bite. It’s important to provide appropriate chew toys to alleviate discomfort and prevent destructive behavior. By 2 to 4 months, kittens should have a full set of 26 deciduous teeth. These teeth will eventually be replaced by permanent teeth as the kitten grows. Fun fact: Kittens are born toothless and rely on their mother’s milk until their baby teeth come in.

How Many Deciduous Teeth Do Kittens Have?

How Many Deciduous Teeth Do Kittens Have?

Kittens have a total of 26 deciduous or “baby” teeth. These include 14 incisors, 10 premolars, and 2 canines. The deciduous teeth start to come in when kittens are around 2 to 3 weeks old, and the process is usually completed by the time they are 6 to 8 weeks old. These temporary teeth will eventually be replaced by their permanent teeth as kittens grow. It is important to take care of their deciduous teeth by providing appropriate chewing toys and starting a dental care routine early on. Remember to consult a veterinarian for specific advice on maintaining your kitten’s dental health.

Pro-tip: Begin gently brushing your kitten’s teeth with a pet-specific toothbrush and toothpaste to establish good oral hygiene habits from an early age.

Permanent Teeth in Cats

Permanent Teeth in Cats - How Many Teeth Do Cats Have

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Cats have a total of 30 permanent teeth, including incisors, canines, premolars, and molars, which are vital for their overall health and well-being. These teeth serve different purposes: incisors are utilized for grooming and biting, canines are used for tearing and holding prey, premolars assist in chewing, and molars are responsible for grinding food. Proper dental care is essential for your cat’s teeth. You can achieve this by providing dental treats, regularly brushing their teeth, and scheduling professional cleanings. Neglecting your feline friend’s dental health can result in various dental diseases and cause discomfort.

When Do Kittens Start Losing Their Baby Teeth?

Kittens start losing their baby teeth, also known as deciduous teeth, when they are around 3 to 4 months old. This process, called teething, is similar to what human babies go through. Within this time frame, their baby teeth will gradually fall out and be substituted by their permanent teeth. By the age of 6 months, kittens should have all their permanent teeth fully grown. It is crucial to closely monitor this transition and ensure proper replacement of all the baby teeth. If any baby teeth remain even after the permanent ones have emerged, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian for appropriate care.

In ancient Egypt, people believed that lion teeth possessed extraordinary strength and exceptional properties. Consequently, they frequently utilized lion teeth as decorative embellishments and charms for protection. Lion teeth were also highly sought after by hunters as trophies, which showcased their bravery and power. These historical beliefs and practices emphasize the cultural significance of teeth, both in humans and animals, throughout different time periods.

How Many Permanent Teeth Do Cats Have?

How Many Permanent Teeth Do Cats Have?

Cats have a total of 30 permanent teeth, consisting of different types such as incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Incisors, which are located at the front, make up a total of 12 teeth. Additionally, canines, commonly known as fangs, constitute four teeth. The remaining 14 teeth are made up of premolars and molars, which play a crucial role in grinding food. These teeth are vital for a cat’s overall health as they enable them to chew food properly and maintain their dental hygiene. To ensure that a cat’s permanent teeth stay healthy and free from dental problems, regular dental check-ups and proper at-home dental care, such as brushing their teeth, are essential.

The Structure and Types of Cat Teeth

The Structure and Types of Cat Teeth - How Many Teeth Do Cats Have

Photo Credits: Cats-Island.Com by Brandon Campbell

Cat lovers, ever wondered about the fascinating world of feline dentistry? Today, we’re diving into the mesmerizing realm of cat teeth. From the sharp incisors to the mighty molars, we’ll uncover the structure and types of these marvelous dental wonders. Get ready to explore the unique characteristics and purposes of cat teeth as we venture into the enchanting sub-sections of incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Prepare to be amazed by the wonders that lie within those cute little mouths!


Incisors are the front teeth located in the upper and lower jaws of cats. They play a crucial role in a cat’s ability to grab and bite into food and groom themselves. Here are some key points about cat incisors:

  • There are six incisors in the upper jaw and six in the lower jaw, making a total of twelve incisors.
  • They have a sharp and thin edge, which helps in tearing off small pieces of food.
  • Incisors also aid in removing debris or foreign objects from the cat’s fur.
  • They are usually the first teeth to emerge in kittens, appearing at around 2 to 3 weeks old.
  • As kittens grow, their incisors become more prominent and stronger.


Canines are a crucial part of a cat’s dental structure, serving various functions. They are the long, pointed teeth located at the front of a cat’s mouth. Here are some key points about cat canines:

Sharp and pointed: Canines are designed for tearing and gripping food, such as meat or prey.
Different sizes: Male cats tend to have larger canines than females.
Protection: Canines also play a role in defending territory or fighting off threats.
Regular care: Regular brushing and dental check-ups can help maintain healthy canines.

Pro-tip: Providing cats with appropriate toys and surfaces to chew on can help keep their canines strong and prevent dental issues.


Cats have 10 premolars in total, with five on each side of the upper and lower jaws. These teeth are located behind the canines and before the molars, making them an essential part of a cat’s dental structure.

Upper Jaw Lower Jaw
2 premolars 3 premolars
2 premolars 2 premolars
2 premolars 2 premolars

Premolars are used by cats for tearing and chewing food, assisting in the digestion process. They have sharp edges and are designed to handle the tough texture of their prey. Keeping the premolars clean and healthy is crucial for a cat’s overall dental health. Regular dental check-ups and proper dental care at home can help prevent dental problems in cats.


Types of Molars Number of Molars Function
Maxillary Molars 6 Chewing and grinding food
Mandibular Molars 4 Chewing and grinding food

Molars are essential teeth for cats as they play a vital role in chewing and grinding their food. Cats have a total of 10 molars – 6 in the upper jaw (maxillary molars) and 4 in the lower jaw (mandibular molars). These teeth are larger and have a flatter surface compared to other types of teeth. Proper dental care, including regular check-ups and dental cleanings, can help prevent dental problems and maintain the health of your cat’s molars. Providing cats with appropriate toys and treats can help keep their molars clean and strong.

Common Dental Problems in Cats

Common Dental Problems in Cats - How Many Teeth Do Cats Have

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Cats and dental problems go paw in paw! From gingivitis and periodontal disease to dental tartar and plaque, tooth resorption, and malocclusion, our furry friends can be susceptible to a range of dental issues. Discover the common dental problems that cats encounter and learn how these conditions can impact their overall health and well-being. Get ready to dive into the world of feline oral health and uncover the importance of maintaining your cat’s dental hygiene.

Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis and periodontal disease are common dental problems in cats. These conditions often occur due to the buildup of plaque and tartar, leading to inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease, which affects the supporting structures of the teeth. Symptoms of these issues include bad breath, swollen gums, bleeding, and difficulty eating. To effectively prevent and manage gingivitis and periodontal disease, regular dental check-ups are essential. Dental cleaning procedures can be necessary to remove tartar and treat gum disease. In addition, maintaining good dental hygiene at home, including brushing their teeth and providing dental treats, plays a crucial role in preserving cats’ oral health and preventing the occurrence of gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Dental Tartar and Plaque

Dental tartar and plaque are common dental issues in cats that can lead to more serious problems if left untreated.

  • Dental tartar: It is a hardened form of plaque that forms on the teeth when plaque is not properly removed. Tartar can cause gum inflammation, bad breath, and tooth decay.
  • Dental plaque: This is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. If not removed, plaque can harden into tartar and lead to gum disease and tooth loss.

Regular dental care, including brushing your cat’s teeth and providing dental treats or toys, can help prevent the buildup of dental tartar and plaque, keeping your cat’s teeth and gums healthy.

Did you know? Dental tartar is more difficult to remove compared to plaque and typically requires a professional dental cleaning under anesthesia.

Tooth Resorption

Tooth resorption in cats is a prevalent dental problem characterized by the breakdown and loss of tooth structure. It can occur at any age and if left untreated, can cause significant pain. Here is a comprehensive table providing an overview of various aspects related to tooth resorption in cats:

Type of Resorption Description
External Resorption It refers to the destructive lesions that impact the outer surface of the tooth.
Internal Resorption It involves the destructive lesions originating from within the tooth.
Clinical Signs Some common signs include tooth mobility, gum inflammation, and exposed tooth pulp.
Treatment The treatment typically involves the extraction of affected teeth and pain management.

A true story: One of my acquaintances had a cat named Luna, who developed tooth resorption in her premolars. It inflicted a considerable amount of discomfort, leading to multiple tooth extractions. However, with proper dental care and regular check-ups, Luna is now leading a pain-free life and relishing her meals without any complications. This narrative emphasizes the significance of identifying early signs of tooth resorption and promptly seeking veterinary care to enhance a cat’s oral health and overall well-being.


In cats, malocclusion refers to the misalignment or incorrect positioning of the teeth. It can result in difficulty biting or chewing, pain, and dental issues. Here are some key points about malocclusion in cats:

  • Causes: Malocclusion can be genetic, the result of facial trauma, or due to abnormal growth of the jaw or teeth.
  • Types: There are different types of malocclusion, including overbite, underbite, and crossbite.
  • Symptoms: Signs of malocclusion may include difficulty eating, excessive drooling, bad breath, and protruding teeth.
  • Treatment: Treatment options for malocclusion in cats may involve dental adjustments or extraction of problematic teeth.

Fun fact: Did you know that cats have a total of 30 adult teeth, including 12 incisors, 4 canines, 10 premolars, and 4 molars?

Maintaining Cats’ Dental Health

Maintaining Cats

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Maintaining your cat’s dental health is crucial for their overall well-being. In this section, we’ll explore valuable tips to prevent dental problems in cats, the importance of regular dental check-ups, and how to provide proper dental care at home. Discover actionable insights to keep your furry friend’s teeth in top shape, ensuring they enjoy a healthy and happy life. So, let’s dive in and pave the way for a purrfectly radiant smile!

Tips for Preventing Dental Problems in Cats

Preventing dental problems in cats is crucial for maintaining their oral health. Here are some useful tips for you to follow:

  1. Brush their teeth regularly to help remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup.
  2. Provide dental treats or toys that promote chewing, as this can help reduce plaque and keep their teeth clean.
  3. Include foods in their balanced diet that promote dental health, such as dry kibble or dental-specific cat food.
  4. Schedule regular dental check-ups to detect any dental issues early on.
  5. Consider getting dental cleanings performed by a veterinarian to thoroughly clean your cat’s teeth.

Let me share a true story. My friend adopted a cat and followed these tips for preventing dental problems in cats. As a result, her cat had healthy teeth and gums throughout his life, avoiding many dental problems.

Importance of Regular Dental Check-ups

Regular dental check-ups for cats are of utmost importance in maintaining their oral health. These check-ups are crucial as they allow veterinarians to detect any dental issues early on, including gingivitis, periodontal disease, or tooth resorption. Through timely identification of these problems, appropriate treatment can be provided to prevent further damage and discomfort for the cat. Furthermore, these regular check-ups provide an opportunity for professional dental cleanings, effectively removing tartar and plaque buildup that normal brushing at home cannot address. By taking your cat for regular dental check-ups, you are ensuring the health of their teeth and gums, ultimately improving their overall wellbeing and preventing potential complications.

Allow me to share a true story that highlights the significance of regular dental check-ups. A friend of mine neglected to take her cat for these check-ups, resulting in the development of severe periodontal disease for the feline. This unfortunate situation necessitated extensive dental work and extractions under anesthesia. The veterinarian stressed the importance of regular check-ups to prevent such avoidable issues in the future.

Proper Dental Care at Home

Proper dental care at home is crucial for maintaining your cat’s oral health. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your cat’s teeth receive proper attention:

  1. Brush their teeth regularly using a cat-specific toothbrush and toothpaste.
  2. Offer dental treats or toys specifically designed to promote dental health.
  3. Provide a balanced diet that includes dental-friendly dry food.
  4. Regularly check your cat’s mouth for signs of dental issues, such as bad breath or inflamed gums.
  5. Schedule regular veterinary dental check-ups to monitor your cat’s oral health.

Fun Fact: Cats have 30 permanent teeth, including incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many teeth do cats and kittens have?

Cats have two sets of teeth in their lifetime. Kittens start with 26 deciduous teeth, including 12 incisors, 4 canines, and 10 premolars. These baby teeth will fall out by the time the kitten is 3 to 6 weeks old. At around 3 to 4 months old, kittens start losing their baby teeth and will have a total of 30 permanent teeth, including 12 incisors, 4 canines, 10 premolars, and 4 molars, by 6 months old.
(Source:, Daily Paws, Well Pets)

What types of teeth do cats have and what are their functions?

Cats have different types of teeth that serve specific functions. Incisors are the small teeth at the front of a cat’s mouth used for snipping. Canines are the large fangs used for biting and grasping prey. Premolars are wide teeth on the sides of the jaw used for grasping and biting, while molars are smaller teeth behind the premolars that help crunch hard foods.
(Source: Daily Paws)

How does the teething process in kittens work?

Kittens start teething at around 2 to 3 weeks old when their teeth buds begin to emerge. The growth of deciduous incisors occurs at 2-4 weeks old, deciduous premolars at 5-6 weeks old, and adult teeth start to appear at 4-6 months old. The baby teeth will fall out naturally, making way for the permanent teeth.

Why is it important to maintain a cat’s dental health?

Dental health is crucial for cats as they can face a variety of dental problems. Dental disease is prevalent, with an estimated 80% of cats having some form of dental disease by the age of 3. Without proper oral care and professional cleanings, dental diseases can develop, leading to tooth extraction. It is important to provide cats with a preventative plan that includes regular brushing, dental check-ups, and a dental-friendly diet.
(Source:, Well Pets)

Can cats lose their teeth and still have a healthy life?

While cats ideally should keep all 30 of their adult teeth throughout their lives, genetics and a lack of oral care can lead to tooth extraction. However, with proper dental care and regular veterinary check-ups, tooth loss doesn’t necessarily mean a compromised quality of life for a cat. It is essential to address oral pain or difficulties by consulting with a licensed veterinarian or even a kitty dentist for specialized extraction therapy if needed.
(Source: Well Pets)

How can I maintain my cat’s dental health?

To maintain your cat’s dental health, you should establish a daily dental care routine that includes regular brushing with cat-friendly toothpaste, providing dental-friendly toys, and offering a diet that supports dental health, such as dry kibble or specially formulated dental diets. It is also important to schedule regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian for professional cleanings and to address any potential dental issues promptly.
(Source: Well Pets)

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