How Much Teeth Does a Cat Have? Feline Dental Health Explained

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As a feline enthusiast, I have always been fascinated by the dental health of our furry friends. Did you know that the average adult cat has 30 teeth? That’s right, and each tooth plays a crucial role in their overall well-being. In this informative blog post, I will delve into the specifics of a cat’s dental anatomy, the potential risks of poor oral hygiene, and provide you with essential tips for maintaining healthy teeth and gums in your beloved pet. Understanding the importance of dental health in cats is vital for ensuring they live a long and comfortable life, so let’s explore this topic in more detail.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cats have 30 teeth: Adult cats have a total of 30 teeth, consisting of incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.
  • Regular dental care is essential: Routine brushing and annual dental exams are crucial for maintaining a cat’s dental health and preventing issues such as periodontal disease.
  • Symptoms of dental problems: Watch out for signs of dental issues in cats, including bad breath, drooling, reluctance to eat, and pawing at the mouth.
  • Dental diet can help: Specialized dental diets and treats can aid in reducing plaque and tartar buildup to support a cat’s oral health.
  • Professional cleanings may be necessary: In some cases, professional cleanings under anesthesia may be required to address more advanced dental problems in cats.

Number of Teeth in Cats

Your cat has a total of 30 teeth, but the number of teeth can vary slightly from one cat to another. Most cats have 12 incisors, 4 canines, 10 premolars, and 4 molars. These teeth are essential for a cat’s overall health and well-being, so it’s important to understand the different types of teeth and their functions.

Deciduous Teeth

During the first few weeks of a kitten’s life, they will start to develop deciduous teeth, also known as baby teeth. These baby teeth begin to appear when the kitten is around 2 to 4 weeks old, and by the time they are 8 weeks old, the kitten should have a full set of 26 deciduous teeth. These baby teeth play a crucial role in the development of the kitten’s jaw and serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth to follow. It is important to monitor your kitten’s dental health during this time, as any issues with the deciduous teeth can impact the development of the permanent teeth.

Permanent Teeth

As your kitten grows, their deciduous teeth will start to fall out, making way for their permanent teeth. This process usually begins around 3 to 4 months of age and is complete by the time the kitten reaches 6 to 7 months old. The permanent teeth are stronger and more durable than the baby teeth, allowing your cat to grasp and chew food effectively. It is crucial to maintain proper dental care during this stage to prevent dental issues that can affect their long-term dental health.

Feline Dental Anatomy

One of the key aspects of understanding your cat’s dental health is having a good grasp of their dental anatomy. Just like humans, cats have two sets of teeth in their lifetime. The first set, known as deciduous or baby teeth, starts to come in when they are about 2-4 weeks old. These teeth eventually fall out, being replaced by their permanent adult teeth. However, sometimes the baby teeth do not fall out as they should, leading to retained deciduous teeth. If you are interested in learning more about this, you can read about Persistent Deciduous Teeth (Baby Teeth) in Cats in detail.


The incisors are the small teeth at the front of your cat’s mouth. They are used for nibbling and grooming. You’ll see the incisors when your cat is grooming themselves or eating, as they are the first teeth visible in their mouth. Keeping these teeth healthy is essential as they are used for grooming and grasping food.


The canines are the sharp, pointed teeth located towards the back of your cat’s mouth. These teeth are used for tearing and holding prey. In domestic cats, they are used for biting and holding onto toys or during play. Keeping these teeth healthy is crucial for oral health and their ability to eat properly.


The premolars are the larger teeth located behind the canines. They have a flatter surface and are used for shearing food. How well your cat’s premolars function is important for their ability to eat and digest food properly.


The molars are the largest teeth located at the back of the mouth. They have a broad, flat surface and are used for grinding food. Proper dental care for your cat is crucial for the health and longevity of their molars, as they play a vital role in their ability to eat and maintain overall health.

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Dental Health in Cats

Unlike humans, cats have 30 permanent teeth, and their dental health is crucial for their overall well-being. Just like us, they can suffer from various dental issues if their oral health is not properly taken care of. It’s important to pay attention to your cat’s dental health and take necessary steps to ensure their teeth remain healthy and strong. For more information on cat dental care, check out Cat Dental Care: Top Tips For Healthy Feline Teeth.

Common Dental Problems

Common dental problems in cats include tartar buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay. If left untreated, these issues can lead to more serious health problems, including heart and kidney disease. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential to prevent these problems and maintain your cat’s overall health.

Oral Hygiene Tips

When it comes to maintaining your cat’s oral hygiene, brushing their teeth regularly is key. Use toothpaste specifically formulated for cats and a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean their teeth and gums. Additionally, providing dental treats and toys can also help keep their teeth clean. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial to catch any dental problems early on. Though cats may not always show signs of dental pain, it’s important to keep an eye out for any changes in their eating habits or behavior, as this could be an indication of dental issues.

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How Much Teeth Does a Cat Have? Feline Dental Health Explained

With these considerations, it is clear that cats have a total of 30 teeth, 16 on the top and 14 on the bottom. Understanding the importance of feline dental health and the structure of your cat’s teeth is crucial for maintaining their overall well-being. Regular dental check-ups and proper oral care at home are essential for preventing dental diseases and ensuring your cat’s teeth and gums stay healthy. By being proactive in taking care of your cat’s dental health, you can help them live a long and happy life.


Q: How many teeth does a cat have?

A: Adult cats have 30 teeth, consisting of incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Kittens have 26 baby teeth that are later replaced by adult teeth around 6 months of age.

Q: Why is dental health important for cats?

A: Good dental health is crucial for cats as it can affect their overall well-being. Poor dental hygiene can lead to dental disease, which can cause pain, difficulty eating, and potential systemic health issues.

Q: How can I maintain my cat’s dental health?

A: Regular dental check-ups by a veterinarian, a balanced diet, and dental care at home, such as brushing your cat’s teeth or providing dental treats, can help maintain your cat’s dental health.

Q: What are signs of dental problems in cats?

A: Signs of dental problems in cats include bad breath, reluctance to eat, drooling, pawing at the mouth, inflamed gums, and visible tartar buildup on the teeth.

Q: How often should I have my cat’s teeth checked?

A: It is recommended to have your cat’s teeth checked by a veterinarian at least once a year as part of their overall wellness exams. If you notice any signs of dental issues, such as bad breath or difficulty chewing, it is important to schedule a dental examination promptly.

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