How Many Teeth Do Cats Have?

How Many Teeth Do Cats Have
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Last Updated on May 20, 2023 by Pauline G. Carter

Cats have 30 teeth. Adult cats have two sets of teeth – 16 top teeth and 14 bottom teeth – while kittens only have 26 teeth as they have no permanent teeth yet.

These teeth are crucial to a cat’s survival as they are designed for hunting and help with grooming and self-defense. As a cat owner, it’s essential to take care of your cat’s oral health to prevent dental problems like gum disease, bad breath, and tooth loss.

Regular brushing and periodic dental check-ups with a veterinarian can help keep your cat’s teeth healthy and prevent any potential dental issues. In this article, we’ll explore in-depth about a cat’s teeth, their function, and how to maintain good oral health for our feline friends.

How Many Teeth Do Cats Have?


Understanding Cat Dentition

Cats are fascinating creatures, and their dental structure is no exception. Cat teeth are a significant part of their anatomy, and it’s essential to understand their teeth to keep their health in check. We explain the different types of cat teeth, how they differ from humans, and their functions.

Introduction To Cat Teeth

Cats have five types of teeth, and each has their purpose. Understanding each type of tooth will help you gauge if your cat’s teeth are healthy or if there are any potential dental problems.

The Different Types Of Cat Teeth

  • Incisors: These are the small front teeth in a cat’s mouth used for biting and grooming. Cats have six incisors on both the upper and lower jaws.
  • Canines: These are the long pointy teeth beside the incisors in a cat’s mouth. They are used for biting and tearing prey and can inflict a considerable amount of damage.
  • Premolars: These teeth are located between the canines and molars. They’re designed for cutting flesh and grinding bones. There are four premolars on both sides of the upper jaw and below.
  • Molars: These teeth are located at the back of the cat’s mouth. They’re used for crushing food and grinding meat. The cat has two molars on the upper jaw and three on the lower jaw.
  • Deciduous (baby) teeth: These are the first teeth kittens grow in. They eventually fall out and make way for adult teeth. Kittens have 26 baby teeth.

How Cat Teeth Differ From Human Teeth

Cat teeth differ from human teeth in many ways.

  • Cats have fewer teeth than humans. Adult cats have 30 teeth, while adult humans have 32 teeth.
  • Cats’ teeth are sharper and pointier than humans. This structure makes them efficient for killing prey.
  • A cat’s jaw is more flexible than a human’s, and they can open their mouth wider. This ability helps them catch prey and tear meat.
  • Cat’s teeth are prone to dental problems like gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth resorption.

Understanding cat dentition is crucial to maintain your cat’s dental health. Regular visits to the vet and adequate dental care can prevent dental problems and keep your cat healthy.

Cat Teeth Care

How To Tell If Your Cat Has Dental Issues

Cats, like humans, need proper dental care. Unfortunately, dental issues are common in cats. Dental problems can cause your feline friend a lot of pain and discomfort.

  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty eating or chewing
  • Drooling
  • Bleeding or swollen gums
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Pawing at the mouth or face

If you notice any of these signs, you should take your cat to the vet immediately. Dental issues can worsen over time and lead to more severe health problems.

Proper Dental Hygiene For Cats

Cats require regular dental care to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

  • Brush your cat’s teeth: Yes, you read that right! You can brush your cat’s teeth with a specially designed toothbrush and toothpaste made for cats. It is best to start when they are young, but it is never too late to start.
  • Provide chew toys: Giving your cat chew toys can help clean their teeth and remove tartar buildup.
  • Feed a dental diet: Some cat foods are designed to help maintain dental health. These foods typically have a crunchy texture that helps to clean teeth as your cat chews.
  • Regular vet check-ups: Make sure to take your cat to the vet at least once a year for a dental check-up. Your vet can remove tartar buildup and check for any signs of dental issues.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to dental issues in cats. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure your furry friend has a healthy, pain-free smile.

Common Dental Problems In Cats

How many teeth do cats have?

Cats have 30 teeth, with 16 on the top and 14 on the bottom. Just like humans, cats require proper dental care, as neglect can lead to various dental issues. Here are a few common dental problems in cats and how to prevent and manage them.

The Prevalence Of Dental Problems In Cats

Dental problems are a common issue among cats, with some studies estimating that over 70% of cats over the age of two have some form of dental disease. This prevalence can be attributed to various factors, including diet and genetics.

Common Dental Issues In Cats

Here are some of the common dental issues cats may face:

  • Periodontal disease: This is the most common dental issue in cats and refers to inflammation of the gums. It can lead to tooth loss and even bone damage in severe cases.
  • Tooth resorption: This occurs when the tooth’s structure is gradually destroyed, leading to severe pain and eventually tooth loss.
  • Plaque and tartar build-up: This is caused by food particles and bacteria accumulating on the teeth and can attract more harmful bacteria, leading to gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Broken teeth: Cats are prone to breaking their teeth, which can expose the sensitive root, leading to pain and infections.
  • Oral cancer: This is a rare but severe dental condition that can cause swelling, bleeding, and weight loss.

How To Prevent And Manage Dental Issues In Cats

Fortunately, many dental problems in cats can be prevented or managed with proper care.

  • Regular dental check-ups: Regular check-ups can help identify dental issues early on before they become more severe.
  • Brushing your cat’s teeth: This may seem daunting, but it’s a great way to remove plaque and tartar build-up. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically designed for cats, and start with brief sessions to get them used to it.
  • Dental diets and treats: Feeding your cat dental-specific diets and treats can help keep their teeth clean and healthy.
  • Professional cleanings: If your cat has severe dental issues, professional cleaning is necessary to remove tartar and plaque build-up and prevent further damage.
  • Surgical intervention: In extreme cases, dental surgery may be necessary to manage dental issues, such as tooth extractions or root canals.

Dental problems are a common issue among cats but can be prevented and managed with proper care. Regular dental check-ups, brushing your cat’s teeth, feeding dental-specific diets and treats, and professional cleaning are effective ways to prevent and manage dental problems in cats.

So, start giving your kitty’s oral health the attention it deserves for them to live long and healthy lives.

Frequently Asked Questions For How Many Teeth Do Cats Have?

How Many Teeth Do Adult Cats Have?

Adult cats have 30 permanent teeth consisting of incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.

What Are The Dental Problems In Cats?

Dental problems in cats include gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth resorption, which can cause pain and discomfort.

How Often Should I Brush My Cat’S Teeth?

You should brush your cat’s teeth at least once a week to prevent dental problems and maintain their oral hygiene.

Can Dental Problems Affect My Cat’S Health?

Yes, untreated dental problems can cause infections, abscesses, and affect the overall health of your cat, leading to serious health problems.

How Can I Help Prevent Dental Problems In My Cat?

You can help prevent dental problems in your cat by brushing their teeth regularly, providing them with dental treats and toys, and scheduling regular dental check-ups with your vet.


Cats have a total of 30 teeth, including their incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Understanding your cat’s dental health is essential to their overall wellbeing. Regular dental checkups with your veterinarian are crucial to prevent any oral health problems that can lead to more significant health issues in the future.

In addition, providing chew toys, brushing your cat’s teeth, and incorporating a balanced diet into their daily routine can significantly improve their dental health. Lastly, keeping an eye out for signs of dental issues, such as bad breath, loose teeth, and difficulty eating, can save your cat from pain and prevent them from developing more serious health problems.

Remember, as a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to prioritize your pet’s dental care.

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