How Many Teeth Do Cats Have?

Yawning Cat showing teeth

How Many Teeth Do Cats Have? Adult cats have 30 teeth, while kittens have 26 baby teeth.

Cats’ teeth are sharp and designed for hunting and tearing meat.

Understanding Cat Teeth

Baby Teeth

Kittens are born without teeth.

Their baby teeth, also known as deciduous teeth, start to come in at around 2-4 weeks of age.

By the time they are 8 weeks old, kittens have a full set of 26 baby teeth.

Adult Teeth

Around 3-4 months of age, kittens start losing their baby teeth, which are replaced by adult teeth. By the time they are 6 months old, cats typically have their full set of 30 adult teeth. These include:

  • Incisors: 12 small front teeth used for nibbling and grooming (6 on the top and 6 on the bottom).
  • Canines: 4 sharp teeth used for puncturing and tearing meat (2 on the top and 2 on the bottom).
  • Premolars: 10 teeth used for shearing food (6 on the top and 4 on the bottom).
  • Molars: 4 teeth used for grinding food (2 on the top and 2 on the bottom).

Do Cats Regrow Their Teeth?

Cats do not regrow their teeth once their adult teeth come in. It is important to take good care of their teeth to prevent dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. These are the following Dental Health Tips for Cats:

  • Regular Check-ups: Schedule regular veterinary check-ups to monitor your cat’s dental health.
  • Dental Cleanings: Professional dental cleanings can help prevent plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Brushing: Brush your cat’s teeth regularly with a cat-specific toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Dental Treats and Toys: Provide dental treats and toys that help clean teeth and massage gums.

Importance of Sharp Teeth

  • Hunting: Sharp teeth are essential for hunting and capturing prey.
  • Eating: Sharp teeth allow cats to tear and chew meat efficiently.
  • Self-Defense: Cats use their sharp teeth for self-defense against predators and other threats.

Common Dental Problems in Cats

Cats can suffer from various dental problems, including:

  • Tooth Decay: Also known as dental caries, this is less common in cats but can occur.
  • Periodontal Disease: Inflammation and infection of the gums and structures supporting the teeth.
  • Tooth Resorption: A condition where the tooth structure breaks down and is absorbed by the body.
  • Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gums, often a precursor to periodontal disease.

Signs of Dental Problems

  • Bad Breath: Persistent bad breath can indicate dental issues.
  • Drooling: Excessive drooling may be a sign of oral discomfort.
  • Difficulty Eating: If your cat is eating less or seems to be in pain while eating, it could be a dental problem.
  • Pawing at the Mouth: Cats may paw at their mouth if they are experiencing dental pain.

Are Cat Teeth Sharp?

Cat biting woman

Yes, cat teeth are very sharp. Their teeth are designed to help them hunt and eat meat.

The sharp canines are particularly effective for puncturing and gripping prey, while their premolars and molars help them shear meat into manageable pieces.

Conclusion

Cats have 30 adult teeth that are essential for their hunting and eating habits.

Taking care of your cat’s teeth through regular veterinary visits, dental cleanings, and proper oral hygiene can help prevent dental issues and keep your cat healthy and happy.