Cats are carnivores that have sharp, slicing teeth that are designed for catching, holding, and tearing up their prey and biting through bones when necessary. Just like humans, both cats and dogs are born without teeth. Cats get their first teeth, known as milk teeth, after they are several days old. These teeth change into adult teeth several months later. Unlike some other animals, a cat’s teeth do not continue to grow throughout their lives.
The Dental Formula Of Cats
The composition of the teeth can be described in a dental formula. This formula consists of two lines underneath each other, for the upper and lower jaw. The formula then describes half of a jaw, since the left side of the jaw is identical to the right side. (Assuming that all teeth are still present).
The dental formula that can be used to describe a cat’s teeth uses abbreviations. These abbreviations are as follows: C = canine, P = premolar, M = molar. These abbreviations in small letters mean milk teeth and capital letters mean adult teeth. The dental formula of cats is as follows:
A Cat’s Teeth By Age
The teeth of a kitten erupt when it is just 11 to 15 days old. When the kittens are 37 to 60 days old their milk teeth are considered complete. These milk teeth are later replaced with permanent adult teeth when the kitten reaches the age of 13 to 24 weeks.
The replacing of milk teeth into adult teeth happens in a certain order. This order is as follows:
I -13 to 16 weeks
C-20 to 24 weeks
P-20 to 24 weeks
M-18 to 24 weeks
During a cat’s teething process it is possible to give a fairly accurate estimation of the age in case you ever need to do so for a foundling.
Just like humans, cats can develop tooth problems. It is for this reason that you should schedule regular dental checkups with your veterinarian to ensure that your feline friend’s mouth is healthy and working to its best ability.