Kittens may be cute and cuddly, but their razor-sharp baby teeth are often less than adorable! So, when do kittens lose their baby teeth?
According to the VCA Animal Hospitals, baby teeth, also called milk teeth or deciduous teeth, begin to emerge when a kitten is about four weeks old. This makes nursing uncomfortable for the mother by the time the kitten is around six weeks old, so this is also typically the ideal time to start the weaning process.
Most kittens will lose their baby teeth starting when they are about three months old and ending a few months later. The teething process for kittens is very similar to that of puppies; both tend to chew on things more as their adult teeth emerge. This is a way to decrease discomfort as well as a way of exploring the world around them, according to veterinarian Dr. Janet Tobiassen Crosby of About.com.
As a kitten's baby teeth fall out, you might find them on the floor or bedding or even stuck on toys. These teeth are so small, however, that they're usually hard to find. And, according to VCA Animal Hospitals, these baby teeth often fall out while the kitten is eating so they are swallowed. This is perfectly safe and normal, adds Dr. Crosby.
The VCA Animal Hospitals also points out that kittens are, understandably, uncomfortable when they're teething. They might drool a lot or not be interested in eating. They are probably tender and sore and may feel like biting something to ease the pain. Just be sure it's not your hand or other items you don't want your kitten to get into the habit of chewing, like clothes, furniture or shoes. Do your best to redirect this biting and chewing towards appropriate toys.
Once a kitten's adult teeth have grown in completely, take your kitten to the vet for a dental exam and get a demonstration of the best way to clean these new teeth, recommends Dr. Crosby. This will get you in the habit of brushing your kitten's teeth regularly and keeping his teeth and mouth healthy for the rest of his life.
And, remember, training a kitten not to bite inappropriate things like your hand, as early as possible is the best way to avoid much more painful bites when the kitten grows into a cat and he has his big cat teeth!
By Caroline Golon