Fluffy tails and little pink tongues may be adorable, but don’t forget about your new kitten’s teeth! Dental wellness is highly important when it comes to keeping your tiny terror pouncing, playing, and purring. The friendly, expert staff at Tipp Veterinary Hospital in Tipp City is here to help. Grab your best furry friend, sit back, and catch up on everything you need to know about your new kitten’s teeth.

The Terrible Teething Stage: An Overview

Kittens are naturally curious and full of energy. Like puppies, they explore the world around them by taking a taste of everything — literally! You might think you’ve adopted a baby vampire into your home. No need to grab the garlic and holy water — teething is a growth stage all kittens (and owners) must suffer through.

If you’re the proud parent of orphaned kits, you’ll notice teeth coming in around 3 weeks of age. These teeth are commonly referred to as milk teeth or baby teeth, and are usually a good indicator that it’s time to start weaning orphans onto soft, wet food. Adult teeth start coming in around 3 months, respectively. The middle incisors are the first to come in, followed by the second and third rows of canines.

By 4 months of age, the full set of adult teeth have come in and your little vampire has grown into a proper cat.

Feeding Frenzy

Kittens are pretty great about letting their surrogate parents know when it’s time to start solid foods. If your orphan is chewing on the bottle and showing a curiosity in hard food, it’s time to start weaning. This stage typically occurs around 3-4 weeks of age. Experts recommend starting the process with a slushie-cocktail of fortified kitten food blended with formula (roughly a third kibble mixed with liquid formula). Entice kittens by allowing them to lick the mixture off your fingers. Let them sniff and investigate at their own pace. Most kittens will catch on pretty quick! Make sure your growing toddler doesn’t eat too quickly.

At around 4-5 weeks, you can begin shifting the ratio in favor of hard food and replacing the formula with a bit of water. After 6 weeks, the weaning process should be over and kittens should be confidently eating on their own.

Make sure to select a high quality hard food formula designed specifically for kittens. Youngsters require a higher caloric intake along with higher calcium and protein for growing teeth and bones. Purina Pro Plan Focus Kitten and Royal Canin are two great options for baby bellies!

Toys for Happy Teeth

If your sweet pea has been less-than-sweet lately, it may not be a behavioral issue driving your kitten’s desire to bite. Teething is just as rough on kittens as it is for their pet parents. Youngsters need plenty of toys to redirect their attention, provide mental stimulation, and alleviate the pressure of growing adult teeth.

The top qualities to look for in chew toys are safety and durability. Materials should be non-toxic, pet friendly, and toys should not contain any small pieces that kittens can tear off and swallow (they will!). Toys with unique designs, bright colors, and anything that mimics feather or string are sure to attract your kitten’s attention!

Toys that encourage play while also cleaning and strengthening growing teeth are ideal. Some of our favorites include:

Don’t be alarmed if you notice a bit of blood on teething toys. Like human babies, losing teeth is hard work and it’s not uncommon for teeth to bleed or fall out during this growth stage.

It’s also common for kittens to act out by chewing on cords and other household objects. Problem chewing behavior not only poses a choking or electrocution hazard, but kittens can actually damage their teeth and jaws on unsafe surfaces. This is a good time to start training your kitten. With patience and positive reinforcement, cats can be as obedient as dogs. Particularly stubborn chewers may benefit from deterrent sprays such as Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray.

Remember to always monitor your kitten closely with new toys. Even the safest chews and dazzlers may not be 100% kitten-proof. Until you’re certain a toy can’t break or become a hazard, it’s best to supervise play times. Plus, this gives you a chance to bond with your new baby!

Dental Hygiene and Healthy Habits

One of the most important things you can do as a new pet parent is establish lifelong health and wellness habits. Getting your kitten used to having their mouth touched, opened, and handled will greatly benefit your cat in future. We recommend brushing your cat’s teeth daily or a few times per week if an every day dental session isn’t practical for your routine. At home oral hygiene is a fantastic preventative measure in felines. Always reward your kitten with love and a dental-friendly treat after brushing.

Be sure to ONLY use cat approved toothpastes such as Sentry Petrodex Malt Toothpaste or Virbac’s Enzymatic Formula.

Continuing your cat on a high quality diet throughout every life stage is equally important in maintaining good dental health. Avoid table scraps and overfeeding treats.

Check your cat’s mouth routinely and be aware of any changes in behavior such as trouble eating, sensitivity, swelling and redness. Cats are notoriously good at hiding their illnesses! Annual check-ups are important for identifying dental issues before they evolve into bigger problems.

Leave It To The Experts

At home care is essential to your kitten’s well-being, but nothing can replace the value of regular dental cleanings by your friendly, neighborhood veterinarian. A comprehensive Kitten Wellness Plan offers a solid start to your new baby’s first year of life. Choose from Basic, Care Plus, and Care Premium options tailored to your budget. Monthly payments make taking care of your teething terror simple and painless.

Contact our caring staff today and book your kitten’s first visit!

Looking for more feline focused tips? Check out these 6 Steps To Take If Your Cat Has Destructive Separation Anxiety.