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Ever wondered just how many teeth your feline friend has? Cats actually have 30 adult teeth, a fact that surprises many cat owners. In this article, we’re going to dive into everything you need to know about your cat’s dental health from types of teeth and their numbers, to ensuring good oral hygiene for them.

Let’s embark on an exciting journey into the world of feline dentistry!

Key Takeaways

  • Cats have 30 adult teeth, including incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.
  • Kittens start with 26 deciduous teeth which are eventually replaced by their permanent set of teeth.
  • Good oral health is important for cats to prevent dental diseases and improve overall well – being.
  • Common dental problems in cats include gingivitis, periodontal disease, tooth resorption, broken or fractured teeth, oral tumors, stomatitis, and dental abscesses.
  • Caring for a cat’s teeth involves regular brushing using cat – specific toothbrushes and toothpaste approved by a veterinarian.
  • Dental treats can help clean your cat’s teeth while providing an enjoyable snack.
  • Regular check – ups with a veterinarian are crucial for detecting any potential dental issues early on and addressing them promptly.

Types of Teeth in Cats

Types of Teeth in Cats

Cats have four types of teeth: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.


Cats have twelve incisors, six on the top and six on the bottom. These small teeth positioned in the front of a cat’s mouth serve as tools for grooming and nibbling at food. They are also instrumental during hunting, helping felines to handle their prey with care.

Incisors aren’t known for cutting or chewing but are very sharp and efficient in performing specific tasks like removing skin from a fish or meat bone. Professional breeders often observe these teeth carefully to ensure they stay healthy and free of any dental problems.

Canine Teeth

Cats boast a pair of sharp canine teeth on both their upper and lower jaws. Just like the fangs seen in wild cats, these teeth play a crucial role for domesticated breeds. They are not only built for tearing meat but also come into play during territorial disputes or self-defense actions.

From the tooth’s shape to its position, every aspect is designed to ensure efficiency in grabbing and holding onto prey. Though your house cat might not be engaging in daily hunting outings, this instinctive feature remains unchanged through generations of evolution.

Understanding this part of feline dental anatomy can enhance care procedures, ensuring healthier oral hygiene for our furry companions.


Cats boast two types of premolars in their dental arsenal. Located directly behind the canine teeth, these play an invaluable role in tearing and grinding food during meals. Domestic cats typically have six premolars on top and four below, providing a combined total of ten razor-sharp tools for processing their prey.

If you notice any abnormalities or changes to your feline’s premolars, scheduling a visit with your veterinary technician is prudent to maintain optimal cat oral health. Regular at-home care can also prevent dental disease which could result in tooth extraction if left untreated.


Molars are the large, flat teeth located at the back of a cat’s mouth. These teeth have a rough surface and are responsible for grinding and chewing food. Adult cats have four molars on each side of their top jaw, and six molars on each side of their bottom jaw.

The molars play an important role in breaking down tough food, such as meat and bones, into smaller pieces that can be easily swallowed and digested by your furry friend. It’s crucial to ensure that your cat’s molars stay healthy so they can continue to enjoy their meals without any discomfort or difficulty.

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Number of Teeth in Cats

Cats have a total of 30 teeth, but it’s important to know how many they have at different stages of life. Curious to learn more? Read on!

How many teeth do kittens have?

How many teeth do kittens have?

Kittens have a total of 26 teeth. These little furballs start out with their baby or deciduous teeth, also known as milk teeth. In the beginning, they have 12 incisors at the front of their mouths for biting and grooming, four canine teeth on each side for tearing flesh, and ten premolars in the back for chewing food.

As kittens grow into adult cats, these baby teeth will fall out to make room for their permanent set of 30 adult teeth.

Cat breeders should be aware that proper dental care starts early in a kitten’s life. It is important to monitor their tooth development and ensure that all baby teeth are shedding naturally to make way for healthy adult dentition.

When do kittens start losing their baby teeth?

Kittens start losing their baby teeth around 3 to 4 months of age. During this time, the adult teeth begin to push out the baby teeth, causing them to fall out naturally. It is important to monitor their teething process and make sure that all the baby teeth are being replaced by permanent ones. If any baby teeth do not fall out on their own, it may require a trip to the veterinarian for extraction. Regular dental check-ups can help ensure healthy tooth development in kittens.

How many teeth do adult cats have?

How many teeth do adult cats have?

Adult cats have a total of 30 teeth. They have 12 incisors, which are the small front teeth used for nibbling. Behind the incisors, there are four canine teeth that help them tear and grip their food.

Additionally, adult cats have ten premolars and four molars towards the back of their mouth that they use to chew their food thoroughly. Maintaining good dental health is important for adult cats as dental problems can lead to discomfort and other health issues.

Regular check-ups with a veterinary technician and proper dental care can help keep your cat’s teeth healthy and strong.

Importance of Dental Health for Cats

Good oral health is essential for cats as it can prevent common dental problems and improve their overall well-being.

Why is good oral health important for cats?

Why is good oral health important for cats?

Good oral health is crucial for cats because it helps prevent dental diseases and promotes overall well-being. When a cat’s teeth are not properly cared for, plaque and tartar can build up, leading to gum disease and tooth decay.

This can cause discomfort, pain, and even loss of teeth for your furry friend. Additionally, untreated dental problems can lead to more serious health issues, such as infections that can spread to other organs in the body.

By maintaining good oral hygiene through regular brushing, professional cleanings when needed, and providing appropriate chew toys or treats, you can help keep your cat’s teeth healthy and improve their quality of life.

Common dental problems in cats

Cats can experience various dental problems that may affect their overall health and well-being. Here are some common dental issues in cats:

  1. Gingivitis: This is inflammation of the gums, caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar. It can lead to red, swollen gums and bad breath.
  2. Periodontal disease: If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease. This occurs when the infection spreads beneath the gumline, causing damage to the supporting structures of the teeth.
  3. Tooth resorption: Also known as feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORLs), this condition involves the loss of tooth structure due to cells breaking down the enamel and dentin.
  4. Broken or fractured teeth: Cats may break or fracture their teeth due to trauma or untreated dental diseases. This can cause pain and discomfort.
  5. Oral tumors: Cats can develop both benign and malignant tumors in their mouths, which may require surgical intervention.
  6. Stomatitis: This is a severe inflammation of the oral tissues, often characterized by ulcers and painful sores throughout the mouth.
  7. Dental abscesses: Abscesses can occur when bacteria infect the root of a tooth, leading to pain, swelling, and infection.

Caring for a Cat’s Teeth

Caring for a Cat's Teeth

To care for a cat’s teeth, regularly brush them using a cat toothbrush and toothpaste approved by your veterinarian.

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How to brush your cat’s teeth

Brushing your cat’s teeth is an important part of maintaining their dental health. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Start slowly and gradually introduce your cat to the idea of toothbrushing.
  2. Use a toothbrush specifically designed for cats or a finger brush.
  3. Choose a cat – friendly toothpaste that does not contain fluoride.
  4. Gently lift your cat’s lip to expose their teeth.
  5. Begin brushing the outer surface of their teeth using small circular motions.
  6. Pay extra attention to the back molars, where plaque tends to accumulate.
  7. Gradually introduce brushing the inner surface of their teeth as well.
  8. Make sure to praise and reward your cat during and after each brushing session.
  9. Aim for daily brushing, but even a few times per week can help maintain dental hygiene.

Dental treats

Dental treats can be a great addition to your cat’s oral health routine. These special treats are designed to help clean your cat’s teeth and promote healthy gums. They often have a crunchy texture that helps remove plaque and tartar buildup as your cat chews on them.

Dental treats also come in various flavors, making them more enticing for your feline friend. By giving your cat dental treats regularly, you can help reduce the risk of dental problems such as gum disease and tooth decay.

Just be sure to choose treats that are specifically formulated for cats and consult with your veterinarian for recommendations.

Regular check-ups and cleanings

Regular check-ups and cleanings are essential for maintaining your cat’s dental health. By taking your cat to the veterinarian on a routine basis, any potential issues can be detected early on and addressed promptly.

During these check-ups, the veterinarian will assess your cat’s teeth and gums for signs of disease or decay. They may recommend professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar buildup that cannot be removed through regular brushing alone.

These cleanings help prevent gum disease, tooth loss, and other oral health problems. Remember to schedule regular check-ups for your cat to keep their teeth in tip-top shape.

Cats with Limited or No Teeth

Cats with Limited or No Teeth

Caring for a cat without teeth can be challenging, but it is still possible to ensure their dental health. Special diet considerations and regular check-ups are essential for cats with limited or no teeth.

How to care for a cat without teeth

Caring for a cat without teeth involves certain considerations to ensure their well-being and comfort. Here are some tips for taking care of a toothless feline:

  1. Soft diet: Provide your cat with soft, moist food that is easy to chew and swallow. Wet canned food or softened kibbles can be suitable options.
  2. Smaller portions: Divide your cat’s meals into smaller, more frequent servings throughout the day. This can help prevent digestion issues and make eating more manageable.
  3. Water accessibility: Make sure fresh water is readily available for your cat at all times. In some cases, providing a shallow water dish or using a pet fountain can make drinking easier.
  4. Regular dental check-ups: Even though your cat doesn’t have teeth, it is still important to schedule regular visits to the veterinarian for oral examinations and overall dental health assessments.
  5. Oral hygiene practices: Although brushing may not be necessary without teeth, maintaining good oral hygiene is still crucial. Gently wipe your cat’s gums with a soft cloth or use dental wipes specifically designed for cats.
  6. Proper nutrition: Consult with your veterinarian about any dietary supplements or modifications that may be beneficial for your toothless cat’s overall health and well-being.

Special diet considerations

Cats with limited or no teeth require special diet considerations. These cats may have difficulty chewing their food, so it’s important to provide them with softer and easier-to-eat options.

Wet or canned cat food is a great choice because it has a smoother texture and is easier for toothless cats to consume. You can also try mashing up dry cat food or soaking it in water to make it more manageable for them.

Additionally, you can consult your veterinarian for specialized dental diets that are designed specifically for cats with dental issues.

Common Questions about Cat Teeth

Common Questions about Cat Teeth

– How many teeth do cats have on the top and bottom?

– Do cats teethe?

– What is the recommended diet for good dental health?

How many teeth do cats have on the top and bottom?

Cats have a total of 30 teeth in their mouth. On the top, they have 16 teeth which include 6 incisors, 2 canines, and 8 premolars. On the bottom, they also have 14 teeth with the same distribution of incisors, canines, and premolars.

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Understanding how many teeth cats have is important for maintaining their dental health and ensuring proper care.

Do cats teethe?

Cats do go through a teething process, but it’s not as noticeable as with humans. Kittens start to develop their baby teeth at around two weeks old and will begin to lose them around three months of age.

During this time, they may experience some discomfort and chew on objects to relieve it. However, unlike humans who have a set time for teething, cats don’t have specific stages or signs when it comes to teething.

It’s important to provide appropriate chew toys to help alleviate any discomfort and protect your cat’s belongings from being damaged.

Recommended diet for good dental health

Feeding your cat a well-balanced diet is essential for maintaining good dental health. Here are some recommendations to promote healthy teeth and gums:

  • Offer a diet that consists primarily of high – quality dry cat food, as the crunchy texture can help remove plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Incorporate wet food into your cat’s diet, as it provides moisture and helps prevent dehydration, which can contribute to dental issues.
  • Avoid feeding your cat excessive amounts of soft or canned food, as these types of foods can stick to the teeth and lead to dental problems.
  • Consider providing dental treats specifically designed to promote oral health. These treats often have a textured surface that helps clean teeth while chewing.
  • Opt for toys or treats that encourage chewing, such as dental chews or specially designed toys. Chewing stimulates saliva production, which aids in maintaining oral hygiene.
  • Consult with your veterinarian about any specific dietary recommendations based on your cat’s age, breed, or existing dental conditions.


How many teeth does a cat have?

In conclusion, taking care of your cat’s dental health is crucial for their overall well-being. By understanding the types and number of teeth in cats, as well as the importance of good oral hygiene, you can ensure that your feline friend maintains a healthy mouth.

From regular brushing to special diets, there are many ways to support your cat’s dental health. To learn more about feline dental care and how to prevent common dental problems, explore our resources for further information.

Final notes on feline dental health

Maintaining your cat’s dental health is crucial for their overall well-being. Regular check-ups and cleanings with a veterinary technician are important to catch any dental issues early on.

Brushing your cat’s teeth regularly and providing them with dental treats can help prevent plaque buildup and keep their teeth strong. In the case of cats without teeth, a special diet may be necessary to ensure they receive proper nutrition.

Remember, good oral hygiene is essential for keeping your cat healthy and happy!

Resources for further information

To learn more about feline dental health and how to care for your cat’s teeth, there are several resources available. You can consult with a veterinary technician or veterinarian who specializes in dental care for cats.

They can provide you with detailed information on cat dental anatomy, tooth development, and the importance of oral hygiene. Additionally, there are numerous online sources such as reputable pet health websites and forums where you can find articles, videos, and discussions on cat dental health tips and techniques.

These resources will help you stay informed about preventing dental problems in cats and maintaining good oral health for your furry companions.


1. How many teeth does a cat have?

An adult cat typically has 30 teeth, including incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.

2. When should I start brushing my cat’s teeth?

It is recommended to start brushing your cat’s teeth as early as possible, ideally when they are kittens, to establish good dental hygiene habits.

3. Can I use human toothpaste to brush my cat’s teeth?

No, you should never use human toothpaste for cats as it contains ingredients that can be harmful if swallowed. Use a specially formulated cat toothpaste without fluoride instead.

4. What signs indicate dental problems in cats?

Signs of dental problems in cats may include bad breath, drooling, swollen or bleeding gums, difficulty eating or reduced appetite.

5. How often should I take my cat for a professional dental cleaning?

A professional dental cleaning for cats is typically recommended once a year to remove tartar buildup and prevent oral health issues. However, the frequency may vary depending on your veterinarian’s recommendation based on your cat’s individual needs.

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