Caring For Your Kitten's Teeth


This article is written by Pet Circle veterinarian, Dr Belinda Stancombe

It's never too early to start thinking about your kitten's dental health!

Kitten's like human babies, are born without teeth and at 2-4 weeks of age they grow their baby or milk teeth. This first set of teeth fall out during 'teething' when your kitten is 3-5 months of age, and are replaced with permanent adult teeth.

Many pet parents might be surprised to learn that around 80% of cats over the age of three years have some degree of dental disease. Prevention is better then cure, so starting your kitten on effective dental prevention early, will set them up with a happy and healthy mouth for life!

Caring For Your Kitten's Teeth


Your kitten will start teething from about 12 weeks as their adult teeth start to come through to replace their baby teeth or milk teeth. Most of the time owners don't even notice these baby teeth fall out as they are often swallowed, but don't be worried if you find the occasional little tooth around the house.

Signs of teething in your kitten may include:
• Missing Teeth
• Pawing At The Mouth
• Red and Inflammed Gums
• Bleeding Gums or Blood On Toys
• Reduced Grooming
• Reduced Appetite
• Irritability

*While these signs can be normal during teething, if you concerned at all by your kitten's behaviour please check with your veterinarian.

While they are teething your kitten may want to start chewing on everything, so make sure you give them plenty of appropriate chew toys. Until your kitten has all their adult teeth avoid giving harder dental chews, bones or toys as baby teeth are a little more delicate and may break if they chew hard objects.

Shop All Kitten Toys

How To Look After Your Kitten's Teeth

1. Daily Toothbrushing

Once all your kitten's adult teeth are through (usually by about 6 months), it's time to start thinking about how you will care for their dental health throughout their life. Veterinary dentists recommend daily tooth brushing as the gold standard for pet dental care, and the earlier you start the easier it will be for your kitten to accept this. Try to get your kitten used to having their mouth examined and handled from an early age.

Shop All Cat Dental Care Products

2. Toys and Dental Treats

Chewing is a great way for your kitten to keep their teeth clean. Chewing produces saliva which protects the teeth, while the chewing action scrapes the surface of the teeth, reducing plaque build-up.

It is important to ensure that you are giving chews and toys that are appropriate for your kittens age and size. Dental treats are a great way help keep your kittens teeth clean, but should be avoided until your kitten has matured at around 10 months of age.

Always monitor your kitten when they are chewing on a toy or treat and replace any damaged products to ensure your kitten is not at risk of choking or swallowing foreign objects.

3. Premium Kitten Diet

Kittens need special food to support their increased need for energy, calcium and other nutrients during growth. Feeding your kitten a high quality diet in their first year of life will set them up for a healthy life. Look for premium diets based on scientific research and development from brands including Hill's Science Diet, Royal Canin and Advance.

Science based kitten foods are rigorously tested to ensure safety, quality, nutritional soundness, palatability and digestibility. The end result is food that tastes great, is gentle on your kitten's tummy and delivers everything they need to grow and thrive.

The most convenient and economical means of feeding your cat is with dry food which also has the advantage of helping keep your kittens teeth clean through chewing and reducing the incidence of dental disease. Many owners like to offer a little wet food as a treat or to aid hydration.

4. Regular Vet Visits

Once your kitten's adult teeth have grown in at around 6 months or age, a dental check with your veterinarian is recommended. This is often around the time of desexing. Your veterinarian will check your kitten's teeth to ensure that there are no abnormalities.

Your vet will check for:
• Crowding or Crooked Teeth
• Retained Baby Teeth
• Broken Teeth
• Overbite or Underbite

Any of these findings can lead to dental issues for your kitten later in life, so your veterinarian may recommend a treatment plan including removal of teeth or referral to a Veterinary Dental Specialist.

As your kitten grows, 6 monthly veterinary check ups are recommended to ensure your cat and their teeth continue to be in good health.

Further Reading

Pooping, Biting, Scratching and Feeding: The Ultimate Kitten Training Guide

Best Kitten Food

How To Toilet Train Your Kitten

New Kitten Guide

Best Flea and Tick Treatment For Cats

Shop All Cat Products Now