Have you ever taken the time to watch Kitty’s teeth ? For an adult cat, you should count 30. They are all very sharp, to serve his carnivorous diet. In addition to their 4 sharp canines (useful for hunting), our feline friends have 10 premolars, 4 molars and 12 incisors. The latter, the tiny front teeth, also serve your cat to wash and care for his coat (by catching the parasites that are there or by getting rid of the burrs that are tangled there). In short, the teeth of your cat are indispensable to him. Hence the importance of taking care of them. We tell you how.
A kitten’s baby teeth
Like humans, cats do not have teeth at birth, which allows them to be nursed by their mother without hurting her. Their first teeth then appear at the age of 2-3 weeks. These 26 baby teeth (the molars only arrive with the final teeth), will begin to fall from the 3rd month of the kitten to give place to its teeth of adult at the age of 6 months.
If you have a kitten, you may not realise immediately that he loses his teeth. Indeed, it is very common that he swallows them (when he loses them by eating for example). You may notice a small loss of appetite, gums may be painful, or a small amount of blood at the place where the tooth has fallen. Do not panic : you will only have to wait a little so that everything returns quickly in order. Be sure, however, that the new teeth are growing well and that they are not bothered by baby teeth still in place. If this is the case, you will have to take your cat to the veterinarian.
Dental diseases of cats
Oral diseases are common in cats, especially for elderly ones. Only a careful monitoring will allow you to detect a possible problem related to the health of your cat’s teeth. You will need to be vigilant if you find that he has bad breath, excess saliva, difficulty eating (or eating only on one side), or if you see his gums bleed or are red and swollen.
Cats can indeed, like humans, have tooth decay. But these often appear under the gums and can not be observed with the naked eye (it is the veterinarian who will be able to detect them by making an x-ray). They may also have plaque. The accumulation of this in too great a quantity can cause an inflammation of the gums, an infection or a loosening of the tooth, hence the importance of eliminating it.
Brushing your cat's teeth
To prevent the formation of tartar on Kitty's teeth, the most effective is the toothbrush ! And yes, you can brush your feline teeth regularly (several times a week) with a brush and a suitable toothpaste (careful: not toothpaste for human!). This ritual can eliminate 75 % of the tartar formation and keep your cat healthy teeth.
Kitty could nevertheless not understand the interest of a regular toothbrushing : it is better to accustom him gradually and when he is small. Other solutions also exist if you do not have the ability to brush your cat's teeth: drinks, gels or spray to slow down the formation of plaque and bacteria. But the most effective and safe way is to make an appointment with your veterinarian, who can perform a complete scaling (under anesthesia) and check for any other oral problems.