HOW CATS LOSE THEIR BABY TEETH
Cats have 26 baby teeth and 30 adult teeth. Baby, or deciduous teeth, erupt between two and four weeks of age. The adult or permanent teeth come in between the ages of three and six months. Feline canine teeth (fangs), grow into the mouth and push the baby canines out, effectively replacing them. A cat always has to be able to eat and can’t afford to have teeth missing, especially since all four adult canines come in at the same time. Adult canine growth is a unique and rare time when a cat will have both sets of canines present in the mouth at the same time. Here’s a picture of five-month old Wildman when he had eight canine teeth:
The four longest teeth are the baby canines. The adult canines are the shorter, thicker teeth just medial to each baby canine. These adult canines will continue to grow and soon push the baby canines out. Note that cats have six upper and lower incisors, or front teeth, whereas humans only have four. Of the incisors, the two outermost lateral on the upper jaw are larger and more pronounced.
MAINE COON TEETHING
Teething in cats not only causes gum and tooth pain, it may also cause headaches and referred jaw pain. Though it may seem reasonable to give your cat a small dose of an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, this is not ok. Ibuprofen is not recommended for use in cats because they have a hard time metabolizing it. Even a small amount can lead to kidney failure, liver toxicity, or serious gastrointestinal problems. Always check with your vet before giving your cat any medications.
In the photo above, you can see redness around the upper left gum line. There’s not a whole lot you can do to relieve the irritation of teething. It will soon pass as your baby’s adult teeth come in. If your kitten stops eating or doesn’t feel well for more than two days, check with your vet to make sure there isn’t a more serious problem. Additionally, you can provide softer food options like soft canned meats or even kitten formula just so your cat can fill its belly. Kittens LOVE milk and formula, so providing this to your cat is also likely put him in a much better mood.