How Many Teeth Do Cats Have?

by Naomi Millburn, Demand Media
    Feline teeth are designed for meat consumption.

    Feline teeth are designed for meat consumption.

    Cats are more like humans than you may realize. Just like people, the fluffy cuties begin their lives with sets of deciduous "milk teeth," only for them to fall out and be replaced by permanent adult-caliber chompers shortly after. Fully-grown cats end up with 30 beautiful pearlies in total.

    Deciduous Teeth

    The amount of teeth a cat has depends on his specific age. Young kittens possess baby teeth until their adult sets appear at roughly 6 months old. During the tender kitten months, a cat will have 26 teeth -- four less than the adult amount. However, newborn kittens are completely toothless, with the first remnants typically emerging somewhere between the two and four week bracket.

    Baby Teeth Setup

    Kittens do not have any baby molar teeth. Molar teeth in felines are exclusive to adults. However, the fluff balls have two lower canines, two upper canines, six upper premolars, four lower premolars and 12 incisors. These teeth all function just fine for a kitten until they begin falling out at around 3 to 4 months old, notes the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.

    Adult Teeth

    For the most part, kittens attain their full set of adult teeth by the time they're approximately half a year old. Felines definitely mature a lot faster than human babies! Adult cats grow 30 teeth, including molars, premolars, canines and incisors. The incisors appear first, followed closely by the canine, premolar and then molar teeth.
    During the teething process you may notice some signs of discomfort in your kitty, including reluctance to eat, gum soreness and irritable behavior as a result of oral discomfort -- poor thing. Although these are all typical signs of teething, consult your veterinarian just to be 100 percent sure.

    Adult Teeth Setup

    Adult cats are equipped with 30 teeth with which to finely chop up their meals. The little guys are major carnivores to the core. Felines all have four molar, 10 premolar, four canine and 12 incisor teeth. Although cats have close to as many teeth as their human companions, the function is pretty different. Feline teeth don't have as strong a focus on chewing. The sharp little things focus heavily on grinding and chopping, so always watch your hands!

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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