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The average human mouth contains 32 teeth, the majority of which erupt around the time you are 13 years old (wisdom teeth are the exception). Our teeth—the sturdiest material in the human body—are crucial for chewing, speaking, and maintaining good oral health. 20 baby teeth, also referred to as deciduous teeth, are present at birth.

Although you may be aware that your cat occasionally has a cat food-like odor on their breath, do you really know what’s going on with their teeth? How many teeth are there in cats? 

We’ll learn the average number of teeth cats have, the factors that contribute to tooth loss, and how you can care for your cat’s oral health at home in this article. 

Different Types Of Cat Teeth

Although humans, cats, and puppies all have a different number of teeth, we all have the same kind of teeth. For grinding, humans have a mix of sharp and flat-surfaced teeth. Due to their obligate carnivorous diet, cats’ teeth still have a sharp edge. Here is a description of what they are and how cats use them.


In the front of a cat’s mouth are these tiny teeth. When your cat is grazing on cat grass, for example, they are typically used for snipping.


Premolars, which are broad teeth, are located on either side of the jaw. These white teeth on your cat are used for eating kibble or for catching and biting prey. On either side of the bottom jaw, an adult’s and a kitten’s premolar are missing.


These teeth are located on both the top and bottom jaws behind the premolars. They assist in crunching kibble and other hard foods and are smaller than pre-molars.

Canine Teeth

The large canine teeth are directly behind the incisors. Occasionally, they will peek out while a cat is dozing. “When hunting or defending themselves, they use their long, powerful teeth to bite into and grasp the flesh of other animals, according to Shanna Landy, DVM, a dental and oral surgery resident at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals.

How Many Teeth Are There In Cats?

Cats are born toothless, just like newborn humans. Around three weeks old, kittens’ teeth start to erupt, and by six to eight weeks, all of them have emerged. She has 26 deciduous teeth when your pet is a kitten, also known as baby teeth, milk teeth, or primary teeth. She will start to lose her deciduous teeth as she ages. The teething process starts between the ages of three and six months. As your kitten’s baby teeth fall out to make room for her adult teeth, you might notice that she is chewing on her toys more frequently than usual. It’s possible to find your kitten’s baby teeth lying around the house, but it’s also perfectly normal for kittens to swallow their deciduous teeth. It won’t hurt your furry friend, so don’t be concerned. 

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How Many Teeth Do Cats need?

Although adult cats have 30 permanent teeth, how many do they actually need? Your cat should keep all 30 of her teeth her entire life, according to WellPets. However, tooth loss or extractions are frequently caused by a combination of genetics and bad oral hygiene. You should begin brushing your cat’s teeth when she is still a kitten, as per our recommendation. She’ll get used to getting her teeth brushed and, given the selection of delectable cat toothpaste available on the market, she might even enjoy it. 

Does Losing Teeth Occur Frequently In Cats?

Any permanent teeth lost by an adult cat in good health are not typical occurrences. While cats do not get cavities as people do, dental disease and tooth loss still affect them, according to veterinarian Dr. Laci Schaible.” However, dental disease is so widespread that two-thirds of all cats aged three and older have some degree of dental disease. Fortunately, not all dental diseases result in tooth loss in cats. Similar to in humans, plaque buildup can become tartar, which necessitates painful planning and scaling at your local veterinary dentist. Your pet can avoid dental disease by getting regular dental cleanings, brushing their teeth every day at home, and going to the vet once a year.

What Causes Cats To Lose Their Teeth?

Gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth resorption are the most typical causes of tooth loss in cats. Let’s examine each in greater detail. 


The buildup of bacteria along the gum line is what causes gingivitis. This bacterial assemblage weakens the connective tissue in your cat’s mouth, causing uncomfortable inflammation and possibly even tooth loss. Take your cat to the veterinarian for a checkup if you see any redness or swelling around the gums. You should check to see if your pet cat has any underlying health issues because some cats get gingivitis as a result of an autoimmune disease. Antibiotics, dental cleanings, and occasionally tooth extractions are required to stop gingivitis from getting worse.  


Periodontitis results from allowing gingivitis to advance. Periodontitis, in contrast to gingivitis, is irreversible because tooth loss is all but guaranteed because the connective tissue holding your cat’s teeth in her mouth is so severely compromised. If your cat has periodontitis, she will require a thorough cleaning to get rid of buildup and keep her teeth. If your pet has severe periodontitis, your veterinarian may advise multiple extractions. 

Tooth Resorption

Veterinarians are still baffled by the most frequent reason for tooth loss. Despite the fact that we don’t know why it occurs, tooth resorption causes the cat’s tooth’s internal structure to deteriorate. Between 30% and 70% of cats will experience tooth resorption to some extent. To stop the issue from getting worse, tooth resorption, which is characterized by lesions at the tooth root, needs to be treated right away. 

Cats Without Teeth Can Eat Dry Food, Right?

Cats with few or even no teeth can still live happy, healthy lives, though it is important to maintain their dental health. While cats do things a little differently than humans, who grind their food with their teeth, However, your cat will be able to eat dry kibble thanks to the rough, spiky surface of her tongue, unlike some cats who prefer wet food. Additionally, your cat swallows her food whole, just like wildcats who catch their prey.   

If you are worried about your cat’s dental health, take her in for a checkup, examine her teeth frequently, and brush them as frequently as you can. Although brushing twice a day is ideal, it’s acceptable if you can only do it once or twice a week. It’s never too late to start brushing your cat’s teeth, and prevention is always preferable to cure your furry friend. 

Cats: Do They Get Cavities?

They don’t, however, develop cavities in the same sense that humans do, which is also referred to as “caries.” Their teeth’s design is partly to blame for this.

“Cats do not have true carious lesions because, unlike humans and dogs, their molars lack occlusal tables [horizontal surfaces], according to Dr. Reiter says.

The pits and divots commonly found in occlusal tables, which are used for grinding food, are ideal habitats for the sugar-eating bacteria that cause caries.

Due to their diet and the shape of their teeth, domestic cats have never been reported to have cavities. Only one cat fossil from the 13th century was found to have cavities, according to research.

How Can You Maintain A Cat’s Teeth?

Periodontal disease, which includes gingivitis and the supporting tissues that keep the tooth in the socket, is the most prevalent illness in cats. “You’ll be able to tell your cat needs cleaning if she exhibits obvious symptoms of dental diseases, such as red gums, brown tartar, missing teeth, or loose teeth, says Meyers. It’s best practice to regularly take your cat to the vet for teeth cleaning in order to prevent the development of dental disease. By maintaining good oral hygiene at home, you can lessen the need for cleanings and their complexity.

In actuality, dental hygiene is very significant. “A cat’s lifespan can be reduced by up to four to six years if periodontal disease is ignored, according to Meyers.

Make an appointment with your veterinarian to check your cat’s teeth if you observe any discomfort or difficulty chewing food, dropping food, a change in texture preference, decreased appetite, or hissing or swatting at the food bowl.

Teeth Brushing

“Regular at-home tooth brushing is the only surefire way to keep periodontal disease under control, according to Landy. Considering what we just said about domestic cats’ razor-sharp teeth, this may seem intimidating. It doesn’t have to be as terrifying as it sounds (for you or your cat), with practice and encouragement. Additionally, we provide you with this helpful guide on how to brush your cat’s teeth.

Regular Check-ups

Whatever you and your feline companion can or cannot manage at home, routine dental examinations, according to Meyers and Landy, are essential. Your vet will perform a visual examination of your cat’s mouth during routine veterinary exams to look for plaque buildup and serious disease symptoms.

Unfortunately, the first indications of periodontal disease are hidden beneath the gum line and can only be seen with an X-ray while your cat is sedated. “If your cat is still a kitten, Landy advises having their first anesthetized periodontal treatment performed between the ages of 1 and 3 years. “If your cat is older, talk to your vet about whether general anesthesia is safe for your cat to undergo and how to prioritize treating periodontal disease.”

Dental Treats

Both experts agree that dental treatments and water additives are not a replacement for regular brushing. “Imagine not brushing your teeth even if you were indulging in a special treat. Would you feel okay about it?” Meyers says.

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