A few weeks after adopting two kittens from a local shelter, I noticed a tiny mountain range of teeth on my pillow case. Apparently, one of the kittens had lost some of its baby teeth. It was as though a clump of teeth—not just one tooth—had jumped ship.
As a new cat owner, I had no idea that cats even had baby teeth. But with a little research, I learned that kittens develop tiny, near-translucent (ghost) teeth at about two weeks old, which signals to mom that she’s done nursing her babes. By about six months old, cats have all 30 adult teeth.
Now, these adult teeth are meant for killing prey and subsequently ripping the kill to shreds in a vicious display of carnivorism. Think: saber-toothed tiger. You won’t find any flat, plant-chomping molars in a cat’s mouth. This means cats don’t get cavities like we do. But, it also means that a majority of cats develop other types of issues—Manhattan Cat Specialists estimate 80 percent of cats three years or older have gum inflammation.
So, I decided to dig up everything I could on the matter to help keep my cats happy and healthy. Here, everything teeth-related you should know when it comes to your cat.