When you’re the parent of newborn kittens, every development and milestone of their growth brings a mix of emotions ranging from happiness to worry. Similar is the case when your kittens start teething.
While it can be an exciting feeling for you, the experience isn’t always that fun for your kittens. It can be painful and uncomfortable, which is why you need to learn to identify signs your kitten is teething and how to handle it.
Here’s what you need to know.
When Do Kittens Start Teething?
Just like we grow and lose teeth as babies before our adult teeth set in, so do cats. Kittens start teething when they are about two to four weeks old. These teeth, also called deciduous teeth, keep erupting for around another month or two or until they have all 26 baby teeth.
By the third month, these baby teeth start falling out, and in the next couple of months, the kittens start growing their adult set of teeth. Usually, by the time kittens turn six months old, they have all 30 of their adult teeth.
If the numbers seem a little off with your kittens, you can schedule a visit to the vet to make sure there isn’t overcrowding or any other issue. Sometimes, kittens can have a retained tooth where the baby tooth doesn’t fall off, and the adult tooth grows over it, resulting in two teeth. Moreover, even if everything goes well, it is recommended that you go for a dental checkup after six months to ensure everything is okay.
Cats are susceptible to a range of dental problems, and yet, their dental care is often underestimated and neglected. Therefore, if you want your kittens to grow up with strong and healthy teeth, you need to take care of them from an early stage when they start teething.
Signs Your Kitten is Teething
The first step to handling teething kittens is learning to identify the signs that your kittens are teething. Here are some signs you should look out for.
Fallen Teeth: The most obvious sign will be seeing missing teeth in your kitten’s mouth or finding fallen teeth around the house.
Excessive Chewing: Your kittens will start chewing anything and everything in sight to help relieve the pain or discomfort from the teething process.
Loss of Appetite: As their gums and teeth start to feel more sensitive or painful, the kittens might lose appetite as the food would feel too hard for them. As a result, they can also start losing weight.
Drooling: The kittens could start drooling due to excessive pain as well. However, always check their mouth as drooling can result from some other mouth injury or something getting stuck in their teeth.
Bleeding Gums: There can also be slight gum bleeding, so you’ll have to keep a close eye on their food and water for any specks of blood.
Bad Breath: Once the adult teeth start coming in, sometimes kittens can develop a mild case of gingivitis, which can lead to bad breath. This should go away on its own, but you should visit a vet if it doesn’t.
Pawing: You might also notice your kittens shaking their heads and pawing their mouth a lot due to the pain and discomfort.
Irritable Mood: Due to the constant pain, your kittens might exhibit irritable behavior with them not playing around or interacting with you much.
Sensitivity to Touch: The kittens might not like you touching their face as it would feel too sensitive due to the teething process.
Lesser Grooming: You’ll notice your kitten grooming itself a lot less due to the falling and erupting teeth.
What Can You Do When Your Kittens Start Teething?
While there’s nothing you can do to prevent this from happening, you can take certain steps to ease the entire experience for your kittens. Here’s what you can do.
· Giving Them Appropriate Food
Since chewing normal food would be a little difficult for teething kittens, give them appropriate food that they can easily chew and swallow without losing their appetite. This includes wet and soft foods that don’t take that much effort to eat.
· Controlling Their Chewing and Biting Habits
As their baby teeth fall out and adult teeth come in, kittens will develop excessive chewing and biting habits. It’s important to control and curb these behaviors from the beginning, not just for your sake but also for your kitten’s safety.
Their chewing habits could be dangerous if they start chewing on sharp objects or electrical cords. Similarly, the biting and nibbling habits they pick up at this stage could continue in their adult life if not corrected timely.
So, what you can do is strictly show them what’s okay to bite and what’s not by expressing outbursts of pain or putting them down. Most importantly, you have to provide them with soft chew toys so that they can find some relief without damaging anything or hurting their teeth. Place their chew toys in the fridge so that the cold feeling can help soothe their sore gums.
· Regular Dental Checkups
As mentioned earlier, dental care is extremely vital for cats, and it has to start at an early stage. Therefore, you might be tempted to start brushing their teeth from a young age.
While brushing is important for their oral hygiene and health, it’s best not to do so when kittens are teething as it can further aggravate their sore gums. Instead, you should schedule regular visits to the vet who can check your kitten’s teeth and provide appropriate dental care if needed.
Teething is a normal part of a kitten’s life, and while you do need to watch out for it, it’s not something you need to worry about too much. You simply have to let nature take its course. However, if you are concerned or can’t bear to watch your kittens in pain, you can follow the tips we’ve mentioned to ease the experience when your kittens start teething.
Our team at DhohOo believes in providing the best care and nourishment for your pets from an early age. If you’re concerned about what to feed your kittens after their teething is done, you can check out these high-quality and nutritional options.