Molars in Cats

by Naomi Millburn, Demand Media
    Regularly examine your kitty's teeth situation.

    Regularly examine your kitty's teeth situation.

    When it comes to ensuring that your precious pet is healthy, skim over nothing, and that includes her teeth -- from her molars to her canines. Because of the importance of your kitty's teeth, routine veterinary examinations are essential, no matter how much your fluff ball may protest at first.

    Feline Molars

    Your cat's molars are located in the back of her mouth, just like human molars. The premolars are situated directly in front of them. Cats possess four molar and 10 premolar teeth in total, all of which work harmoniously together in order to cut food down to size. The lack of molars is a direct result of the feline diet, which is almost exclusively meat. Since felines are carnivorous creatures, the razor-sharp molars are effective for essentially pulverizing their meals. Unlike people, kitties don't really "chew," per se. Rather, their premolars hack the food up into manageable bits. Then, the hungry cat finishes the job by swallowing!

    Kitten Teeth

    Although cats are born sans teeth not unlike humans, they very quickly begin to develop them -- typically around the second week or so of their lives. A full deciduous set consists of 26 tiny chompers in total, although there are no molars at all. Despite the lack of molars, the little ones indeed still have premolars, which are frequently also referred to as bicuspids. When a kitten reaches approximately 6 months in age, she very likely will possess all of her permanent adult teeth.

    Permanent Molar Teeth

    According to the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, a kitten's adult molars generally start growing in when she is between 4 and 5 months in age. During this time, her premolar and canine teeth will also emerge.

    Molar Distribution

    The Feline Advisory Bureau indicates that cats have a pair of lower molars and a pair of upper molars, with four of them in total. For dental extraction purposes, the upper molars are a significantly easier job as their roots are not directly connected to any bone. On the other hand, the lower morals are tougher because of the presence of two roots, as well as a direct pathway to ligament and bone.

    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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