Do cats lose their baby teeth?
May 16, 2010 4:21 PM   Subscribe

Should I be worried that my older kitten/young cat has lost two teeth in the past week?

In late February, I adopted Boris from the local animal shelter; the shelter people estimated his age at four or five months (he was 2 pounds when adopted, if that helps with age estimates), making him around 7 months old now. In the past week, he has lost two teeth.

The first time it happened, he was curled up on my lap, with his face on my arm. When he jumped down to the floor, I noticed something hard stuck in my sweater's sleeve, which turned out to be a tooth (not one of the long fangs, but a side tooth or something). A couple of days after that, when I was going to bed, I noticed Boris sitting at the end of the bed and went to pet him. There was a second, smaller tooth there on the comforter next to him.

He doesn't seem to be in any pain or discomfort; he's eating his normal diet of dry catfood and playing a lot (as kittens are wont to do). He loves carrying his toy catnip balls around in his mouth, and his lost teeth don't seem to impede that any. So, basically, I'm not sure if I should be worried here. Is it normal for young cats to lose teeth (like baby teeth), or is this a serious issue I should take him to the vet for? I'm especially concerned if it will affect his diet, since the few times I've offered him wet catfood, he turned up his nose, and only eats dry.
posted by mesha steele to Pets & Animals (10 answers total)
My male cat, who is eleven, was happily chowing down on dry food just a few days after having two teeth extracted. So that won't be a problem.

However, your kitten should not be leaving teeth all over the house, so I'd suggest a trip to the vet.
posted by thomas j wise at 4:23 PM on May 16, 2010

Cats have baby teeth, which fall out, but you should maybe take it to the vet just to make sure that this is the baby teeth shedding, and not something really wrong with its gums.
posted by shownomercy at 4:24 PM on May 16, 2010

Are you certain they're not deciduous teeth? Cats do have baby/milk teeth, though they tend to come in at around four months or so, if we made a correct guess about the ages of our most recent adoptees.
posted by pullayup at 4:26 PM on May 16, 2010

(Need photo of Boris. Great name.) Can you see missing teeth? They could be milk teeth that he didn't swallow. But worth a vet check to make sure.
posted by meerkatty at 4:26 PM on May 16, 2010

Yes cats have baby teeth and they fall out around five to nine months. It's not always obvious though so you could have missed the others. I didn't see any at all for the first group if kittens I had and only knew to look out the next time I had a kitten because the vet mentioned it. This is also part of the reason why young cats should get kitten-appropriate food until they're ten or twelve months old, small teeth as well as still growing.

I still remember finding a perfect little incisor sitting in the middle of my pillow when my current cats were about Boris' age. It's normal.
posted by shelleycat at 4:58 PM on May 16, 2010

I've had kittens lose baby teeth, and it's not unusual, though I think 7 months is a bit late. (That said, a 4 month old kitten that's only 2 pounds is very small, so he could be younger than you think.)

It's not a rush visit, and your vet may be able to say "yes, these are baby teeth" on the phone to avoid the visit. How do the gums look?
posted by jeather at 4:59 PM on May 16, 2010

This is totally normal, though if Boris is as old as you think he is, it's a little late. Nothing to be worried about, though. You might want to schedule a "well baby" checkup with your vet, which could not only ease your mind, but also give you an opportunity to ask questions about other milestones and things you should be on the lookout for.

I had a cat with poor eyesight who lacked depth perception, and knocked out her own front teeth by making a flying leap into (instead of onto) her cat tree; she got the velocity down but not so much the height. Face-plant into the side of the solid wood cat tree at high speed.
posted by juniperesque at 5:22 PM on May 16, 2010

It's totally normal, though it usually happens earlier. But we must consider that perhaps your kitten is younger than he seems. I've had cats/kitten for years and never found any baby teeth. Then we brought home a very young rescue kitten, and he was polite enough to lose his teeth in spots where they'd be easily found. So now we have a collection of 5 little kitten teeth sitting in a bowl. Do take a look inside your kitty's mouth when he's feeling relaxed. Probably you'll see nothing wrong, but it's a good idea to peek just in case.
posted by BlahLaLa at 5:41 PM on May 16, 2010

I'm still amazed that so many veterinarians visit metafilter!!!

I'm amazed that all of these metafilter veterinarians can diagnose over the internet and give an armchair diagnosis of "It's totally normal" or "This is totally normal."

It very likely could be, but seeing as you have had this cat for 2 months and it was a shelter cat, you should probably follow what the smarter mefites above have said and contact your vet/take the cat in for a checkup. I don't know if you have already taken him in for his visit, but do so for vaccines/spay/neutering (this should be done anyway right around this time).

While you are there, ask about the teeth to make sure it isn't something more serious (yes, there are plenty of things that it "could" be, but most likely aren't but since we aren't there and aren't veterinarians we can't give you answers).
posted by TheBones at 6:22 PM on May 16, 2010

Nthing totally normal. (source) I had no idea this happened myself until I fostered a litter and kept two of the kittens. I actually kept the last of my kitten's baby teeth; it fell into my lap. One of mine was a freak for a couple weeks -- had 4 canines (the fang-like pointy ones) while the adult ones had grown in and the baby ones were still there.

Next time you're at the vet, they will most likely do a teeth check to see if all the adult teeth have grown in properly. If not, ask. a phone call also never hurt anyone, if you're worried that it's something more. But generally, a kitten losing teeth at that age is about as normal as a 6 year old human losing theirs.
posted by cgg at 10:21 PM on May 16, 2010

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