Interesting Cat Facts: How Many Teeth Do Cats Have?

Sep 8, 2023 | Cat Health

Hey there, cat lovers! Ever wondered how many teeth your feline friend has? Well, get ready to be amazed by some interesting cat facts! We’ll dive into the world of cat dentistry and explore the mysteries of their teeth. We’ll cover everything from the types of teeth they have to how many they possess. Have you ever wondered if kittens are born with teeth? Or if cats go through a teething phase like humans do? We’ll answer these questions and more. Plus, we’ll give you some tips on how to keep your cat’s teeth healthy because dental hygiene is important for our furry companions too.So, grab your favorite feline friend and get ready to uncover the secrets behind those sharp little teeth. By the end of this article, you’ll be a cat teeth expert!

Cat Teeth Key Takeaways

Orange Paw Bullet Point Cats have a total of 30 teeth, including incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.

Orange Paw Bullet Point Regular dental care, including brushing and dental treats, is crucial for maintaining a cat’s oral health.

Orange Paw Bullet Point Kittens have 26 deciduous teeth that eventually fall out to make room for their adult teeth.

Orange Paw Bullet Point Neglecting dental hygiene can lead to various dental issues in cats, such as gingivitis, periodontitis, endodontic disease, and tooth resorption.

Types of Cat Teeth

Cat opening their mouth wide showing all their teeth

So you’re curious about cat teeth, huh? Well, let us break it down for you:

### Incisors

Did you know that your cat’s incisors are the little teeth in the front of their mouth that they use for snipping? These tiny yet mighty teeth play a crucial role in your feline friend’s dental health. Cats, like humans, have two sets of teeth in their lifetime. They start with deciduous teeth, also known as baby teeth, which are eventually replaced by their permanent teeth. However, dental issues can arise in cats, including tooth resorption, where the tooth’s structure breaks down. This can lead to discomfort and the need for tooth extraction. Regular dental cleaning is important to prevent such issues and maintain your cat’s dental hygiene. So, the next time you see those adorable little incisors, remember their significance in your cat’s overall well-being.


### Canine Teeth

Right behind the incisors, cats have these impressive fangs called canines, which they use for biting and grasping. These long, strong teeth are essential for hunting and defending themselves. Canines are not always visible, but they may peek out when a cat is resting, giving them a fierce look. Adult cats have a total of 30 teeth, and their canines play a crucial role in their dental health. Just like humans, cats can suffer from periodontal disease, which affects the gums and the bones supporting the teeth. It’s important to take care of your cat’s teeth from an early age. When they’re kittens, they have tiny milk teeth that start to erupt around three weeks of age. As they grow, these milk teeth are replaced by their permanent teeth. To maintain a healthy mouth, it’s recommended to provide cats with dental treats specifically designed to promote good oral hygiene. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian and proper dental care can prevent gum disease and ensure that your feline friend keeps their impressive canines for a lifetime.


### Premolars

Nestled between the canines and molars, the premolars in a cat’s jaw are powerful tools that aid in capturing prey and devouring their meals. These teeth play a crucial role in your feline friend’s dental health. While cats have sharp incisor teeth at the front of their mouth for biting, the premolars are responsible for grinding and shearing food. They work together with the molars to ensure efficient chewing and digestion. Your cat’s dental formula, which represents the number and types of teeth, includes premolars. However, it’s interesting to note that adult cats and kittens have one fewer premolar on either side of the bottom jaw compared to other teeth. Taking care of your cat’s teeth is important to prevent dental conditions and keep those pearly whites intact. So, remember to brush your cat’s teeth regularly and keep an eye out for any signs of tooth problems.


### Molars

To maintain the health of your feline companion, it’s crucial to pay attention to the molars, those little powerhouses that are responsible for efficiently grinding and shearing food. These molars are the unsung heroes of your cat’s dental arsenal, helping them crunch through kibble and other hard foods with ease. These teeth sit behind the premolars and are smaller in size, but don’t let their size fool you – they play a vital role in your cat’s overall dental health. So, next time you’re brushing your cat’s teeth, make sure to give those molars some extra love and attention.

Cat teeth dental chart

How Many Teeth Do Kittens Have When They’re Born?

When kittens are born, they don’t have any teeth above the gum line, but it’s not until 2 or 3 weeks of age that their tiny teeth start to emerge. It’s like a delayed delivery service, but Mama Cat doesn’t mind the extra time to prepare. At this young age, kittens have a total of 26 deciduous teeth, also known as baby teeth. This includes 12 incisors, 4 canines, and 10 premolars. It’s a tiny set, but perfect for their tiny mouths. Just like human babies, kittens have fewer teeth than adult cats. As they grow, their baby teeth will eventually fall out to make room for their adult set of teeth. So, next time you wonder, “How many teeth do kittens have when they’re born?” remember, they start with none and gradually acquire their pearly whites over the first few weeks of their adorable little lives.

Do Cats Teethe?

Now that you know how many teeth kittens are born with, let’s dive into the fascinating world of cat teething! Yes, just like human babies, cats also go through this adorable yet slightly painful process. As obligate carnivores, their dental health is crucial, and teething plays a vital role in their development. From about four to six months old, your little furball will start growing their adult teeth. It’s a natural and necessary process as their adult teeth push through the gums. You might even find their tiny baby teeth in their toys or bed but don’t be surprised if they swallow them while munching on their food. To ease their teething discomfort, provide soft toys for them to chew on. This will not only soothe their sore gums but also prevent them from using your furniture as their personal dental floss. Remember, keeping their teeth healthy is essential for their overall well-being.

Cat Teething Timeline

How Many Permanent Teeth Do Adult Cats Have?

Adult cats possess a remarkable dental structure with a total of 30 teeth, including incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. It’s like having a mini dental clinic inside their little mouths! Taking care of your feline friend’s dental health is crucial for their overall well-being. Just like us, cats can suffer from tooth decay and oral health issues. Regular dental hygiene is essential to ensure healthy teeth and prevent any problems. As cats age, their teeth become more susceptible to issues, so it’s important to start a dental routine early on. Providing a balanced diet, including wet food, can also contribute to your cat’s oral health. So next time you brush your own pearly whites, don’t forget about your furry friend’s dental needs.

How to Keep Your Cat’s Teeth Healthy

Want to keep your cat’s teeth healthy and avoid costly dental cleanings? Here are three key points to remember:


Teeth Brushing

To make brushing your cat’s teeth a breeze, imagine yourself gently guiding the toothbrush along their pearly whites, creating a harmonious dance of oral hygiene. It may seem like a daunting task, but trust me, it’s the best way to ensure good oral health for your furry friend. Not only does it prevent bad breath, but it also keeps those sharp teeth in check. You see, dry food and cat treats often leave behind residue that can lead to plaque buildup and even loose teeth. By brushing, you’re removing those pesky leftovers and reducing the risk of dental issues. And don’t worry, there are toothbrushes and toothpaste specifically designed for cats, so you won’t accidentally use your own! So grab that brush and give your cat’s teeth some much-needed TLC because a healthy mouth equals a happy kitty!


Dental Treats

Get ready to pamper your furry friend with dental treats that will keep their breath fresh and their teeth sparkling clean. While dental treats can be a great addition to your cat’s oral hygiene routine, it’s important to remember that they’re not a substitute for regular brushing. Just like you wouldn’t rely solely on a special treat to maintain your own dental health, your cat shouldn’t either. Cats have 30 teeth in total, with 16 in the upper jaw and 14 in the lower jaw. Their little teeth may not be as sharp as a razor, but they still need proper care. Dental treats can help remove plaque and tartar buildup from the wide teeth at the front of your cat’s mouth, promoting healthy gums and preventing dental issues. So go ahead, spoil your feline companion, but don’t forget to brush their teeth too!


Regular Check-ups

Make sure you prioritize regular check-ups for your feline friend to ensure their dental health is always in top shape. Cats may not be too thrilled about dental care, but it’s crucial for their oral health. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are essential to catch any dental problems early on. Dental treats can help, but they’re not a substitute for professional care. During these check-ups, the vet will inspect your cat’s mouth for plaque buildup and signs of disease. Remember, some dental issues can only be detected with an X-ray, so don’t skip those. Common dental problems in cats include dental caries, tooth loss, and the occasional cat bite. Stay on top of your feline friend’s dental care to keep those pearly whites gleaming!

Veterinarian examining cat teeth in clinic

What Diet Helps Maintain a Cat’s Dental Health?

Feeding your cat a diet that’s high in protein and low in fat and carbohydrates is essential for maintaining their dental health. Cats have unique dietary needs, and their teeth play a crucial role in their overall well-being. By providing them with a balanced diet, you can help prevent dental issues such as tartar buildup and gum disease. A diet rich in animal products ensures that your cat receives the necessary nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids, which are vital for their dental health. Whether you choose to feed them wet or dry food, make sure it contains a combination of meat, grains, fiber sources, milk products, and essential vitamins and minerals. By following these guidelines, you can help your cat maintain healthy teeth and a happy smile.

What Dental Problems Can Cats Face?

If you neglect your cat’s dental hygiene, get ready for some not-so-fun surprises. Gingivitis, periodontitis, endodontic disease, tooth resorption, and developmental abnormalities are just a few of the delightful dental problems your feline friend can face. So remember, while your cat may have a dazzling personality, their teeth need some TLC too!


Gingivitis, a dental disease that causes red, swollen gums in cats, can be prevented by regularly brushing their teeth at home. It’s time to get up close and personal with your kitty’s teeth. And just like us, their teeth come in different shapes and sizes. The teeth at the front are sharp and pointy, perfect for tearing into their favorite treats. As you move toward the back of the mouth, you’ll find the molars, which are used for grinding food. But here’s a tip: don’t forget to brush the teeth at the back! Those are the ones that often get neglected. Take extra care of the bottom jaw, as this is where most plaque tends to build up. Remember, prevention is the best practice when it comes to dental health. Brushing your kitty’s teeth regularly will help keep gingivitis at bay and avoid the need for costly oral surgery or other medically treated cat issues. So, grab that toothbrush and show your kitty some love for their pearly whites!



Periodontitis can lead to irreversible damage and tooth loss, but there’s a simple way to prevent it and keep your furry friend’s smile intact. Just like human beings, cats need proper dental care to maintain their pearly whites. Ignoring their dental health can result in tooth loss, dental disease, and even behavioral issues. Periodontitis is a common cause of these problems in cats. And without regular dental care, those teeth can become a breeding ground for plaque and tartar, leading to periodontitis. So, make sure to brush your cat’s teeth regularly and schedule professional cleanings when needed. By taking care of their dental health, you can keep their teeth sparkling and their breath fresh, ensuring a healthy and happy cat for years to come.


Endodontic Disease

Now that you’re well-versed in the perils of periodontitis let’s sink our teeth into another form of dental disease that plagues our feline friends: endodontic disease. While periodontitis affects the gums and surrounding tissues, endodontic disease strikes right at the heart of the matter – the teeth themselves. It’s actually the most common disease that leads to tooth loss in cats, and trust me, you don’t want your furry companion going toothless. Endodontic disease can be quite painful and can make it difficult for cats to eat properly. If left untreated, it can even lead to more serious conditions like glaucoma or cysts. So, if you notice any changes in your cat’s appetite or the color of their teeth, it’s time to consult your vet. They might just need a tooth extraction or a root canal procedure to get back to chowing down in style.


Tooth Resorption

If you’ve ever wondered why your feline friend’s teeth seem to disappear before your eyes, tooth resorption in cats is a mysterious and potentially serious condition that you need to know about. It starts with the enamel of the tooth breaking down and being absorbed by the body, causing the tooth to get smaller until it eventually disappears. This can lead to inflamed gums and discomfort for your cat. The cause of tooth resorption is unknown, but it’s important to address it promptly. Surgery is often required to extract the affected teeth. While there is no definitive way to prevent tooth resorption, maintaining good oral hygiene with regular brushing and using water additives can help. Positive reinforcement during dental care is also crucial. So, make sure to keep an eye on your cat’s teeth because even though they may seem to vanish, tooth resorption is a serious issue that shouldn’t be ignored.


Developmental Abnormalities

Developmental abnormalities in felines can cause unexpected dental issues that may require treatment to ensure their health and well-being. While most dental problems in cats are related to genetics, developmental abnormalities can further complicate matters. One of the most common causes of tooth loss in cats is tooth resorption, which occurs when the body begins to reabsorb the tooth structure. This can lead to pain and discomfort for the cat, requiring a visit to the animal hospital for treatment. However, not all developmental abnormalities affect a cat’s ability to function or their overall health. Some abnormalities may only affect their appearance, such as a misaligned bite or defects in their teeth. In these cases, treatment may not be necessary, but it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian to ensure the cat’s well-being.



Pica in cats can lead to serious medical conditions if left untreated. It’s like they have a craving for the forbidden. Your furry friend may start munching on fabric, paper, or anything that’s not meant to be eaten. It’s like they’re on a quest to discover the world’s weirdest menu. But behind this quirky behavior lies a nutritional deficiency or anxiety. These little adventurers may show signs like constipation, diarrhea, or even a sudden disinterest in their food. So, it’s crucial to make sure your cat is getting the right nutrients to curb their cravings. Don’t let your feline friend become a culinary daredevil. Keep an eye on their diet and give them the proper care they need. After all, you don’t want their appetite for adventure to lead to a trip to the vet!



Trauma to a cat’s face and jaw can result in painful dental problems, requiring immediate treatment to alleviate discomfort and ensure your furry friend’s well-being. It’s like a feline wrestling match gone wrong, where your cat’s teeth become the casualties. Whether it’s a fight with another animal or an unfortunate accident, a fractured jaw or tooth can really put a damper on your cat’s day. And let’s face it, nobody likes a grumpy cat. So, what do you do? Get them to the vet, pronto! The severity of the trauma will determine the treatment, but the goal is to ease their pain and restore their pearly whites. Remember, a happy cat is a toothy cat!

Potential Dental Problems For Cats

What Leads To Cat Tooth Loss?

One of the main culprits behind cat tooth loss is the progression of dental disease, which can result in the need for extractions if left untreated. Just like humans, cats can suffer from plaque buildup, gum inflammation, and tooth decay. But here’s the twist: cats are experts at hiding pain, so you may not even realize they’re suffering until it’s too late. Their teeth may become loose, infected, or even resorbed, leading to painful abscesses and difficulty eating. It’s like a silent battle happening inside their mouths! That’s why it’s crucial to provide daily oral care and regular professional cleanings for your feline friend. By preventing and treating dental disease, you can help your cat keep their pearly whites intact and spare them from the discomfort of tooth loss.

How Does a Toothless Cat Eat?

Despite not having teeth, a toothless cat can still enjoy their meals by using their rough tongue to move food to the back of their mouth before swallowing. It’s like they have their own built-in food conveyor belt! The cat tongue, covered in papilla that feels like Velcro, acts as a master chef, propelling food effortlessly toward the throat. Who needs teeth when you have a tongue that’s both a spoon and a spatula? It’s a true marvel of nature. So, next time you see a toothless cat chowing down on its kibble or delicately licking up its wet food, marvel at its resourcefulness. They may not have pearly whites, but they certainly know how to enjoy a tasty meal with the help of their incredible tongue.

Cat Teeth Frequently Asked Questions

Do cats lose their baby teeth like humans do?

Absolutely! Just like humans, cats lose their baby teeth too. Around 4-6 months old, their adorable pearly whites start falling out to make room for their adult set. So don’t be alarmed if you find tiny teeth around the house!


Can cats get cavities?

Absolutely! Cats can get cavities too. Just like humans, their teeth can be affected by plaque and tartar buildup. Regular dental care, including brushing and professional cleanings, can help prevent cavities and keep their pearly whites in top shape.


What are some signs of dental problems in cats?

Signs of dental problems in cats include bad breath, drooling, difficulty eating, pawing at the mouth, and swollen gums. Regular dental check-ups and brushing can help prevent these issues and keep your cat’s pearly whites in purrfect condition.


Are there any specific breeds of cats that are more prone to dental issues?

Some cat breeds, like the Siamese and Persian, are more prone to dental issues due to different factors such as genetics and facial structure. Regular dental care is important for all cats to prevent dental problems.


How often should I brush my cat’s teeth?

Brushing your cat’s teeth is essential for maintaining their dental health. Aim for at least once or twice a month, using a cat-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. It may not be their favorite activity, but their pearly whites will thank you!

The Tail End

So now you know all about the fascinating world of cat teeth! From their tiny teeth as kittens to their impressive set of permanent teeth as adults, cats have quite the dental journey. Remember to keep their teeth healthy through regular brushing and a balanced diet. And if your furry friend ever loses a tooth, don’t worry; they can still chow down just fine. Cats truly are remarkable creatures, even when it comes to their pearly whites!

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