What to Give Your Teething Cat to Chew

By Maureen Malone

Despite their small size, teething kittens can damage your furniture, clothes and shoes with their chewing. Your kitten may even decide your fingers and toes are fair game. Provide your kitten with appropriate toys and items to chew to help prevent damage to yourself and your home and protect your cat from chewing and swallowing things that may harm her.

Your kitten will begin teething at approximately 3 1/2 to 4 months of age. Teething continues until all of her adult teeth have grown in at approximately 6 or 7 months of age.

During this process, your kitten's adult teeth begin developing in the gums and placing pressure on the baby teeth. Eventually, the roots of the baby teeth disappear and the adult teeth push the kitten teeth out. Usually, your kitten swallows the baby teeth, but you may occasionally see a baby tooth on the floor or in her dish.

Signs that your kitten is teething include:

  • Chewing
  • Breath odor
  • Drooling
  • Irritability
  • Being reluctant to eat

Chew Toys For Your Kitten

There are many chew toys to consider for your teething kitten. When selecting a toy, make sure it is not something she can swallow or choke on. Avoid hard toys as these may damage her teeth.

Some toys are designed to be chilled in the refrigerator or freezer to provide relief for your kitten's sore gums. As an alternative, you can freeze a wet wash cloth and give it to your kitten.

Your kitten also may enjoy chewing on grass in a pot. Select a grass that is safe for cats, such as barley, oats, rye, wheat or a combination. You can purchase grass or seeds to grow your own at many pet supply stores.

Not all plants and grasses are safe for your kitten. Make sure your household plants are safe for cats by checking the [Humane Society of the United States](http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/plants_poisonous_to_pets.html?credit=web_id296997926)' list of toxic plants or consulting your veterinarian.

Although teaser toys, such as strings or feathers, are not suitable for your kitten to chew on, using them to get your kitten moving can help distract her from teething and drain excess energy. This reduces the chances of her chewing on inappropriate items in your home.

In addition to providing appropriate chew toys, help keep your kitten comfortable while she is teething by feeding soft food. In addition, do not try to brush her teeth. Doing so would be painful for your kitten and make dental care a negative experience.