All about cats

What age do cats lose their teeth

Most cats lose their first tooth before they are one year old, although there are many exceptions. Cats that are kept indoors are likely to lose their first tooth as early as six months old, as long as they become used to the routine of having one less tooth to chew on. Cats that are kept outside at least some of the time and perhaps cats that have free access to rodents and other prey animals will most likely lose their first tooth sometime between one and two years old.

Cats that are kept inside are at risk of developing dental problems if they chew on household items such as shoes and clothing, on carpeting, linoleum, furniture, and hardwood floors. Cats that chew on cabinets and other household items will have problems with the nails on their front paws. Cats that have free access to rodents and other prey animals and that are allowed to eat these rodent and prey animals will have health problems because they chew on bones and other hard portions of the prey animals.

Are there any health risks associated with losing a tooth?

Yes. Losing a tooth can cause the tooth to become infected or break off in the mouth. The tooth may also become loose and may need to be removed.

How do I know when my cat has lost a tooth?

Your veterinarian will be able to tell you if your cat has lost a tooth by looking in the mouth and checking for signs of tooth loss. You can also check for signs by listening to your cat's mouth. If you can hear a clicking sound as your cat chews, there is a good chance that your cat has lost a tooth.

If your cat has lost a tooth, your veterinarian will remove the tooth and will check to make sure that the tooth has not become loose, has not become infected, and that the tooth has not become decayed.

If the tooth has been lost, is loose, or is infected, your veterinarian may be able to glue the tooth back into place temporarily to prevent your cat from losing the tooth again. If a tooth is loose and needs to be removed, your veterinarian will probably remove it and then give your cat some pain medication so that your cat will not be in pain while the tooth is being removed.

If a tooth has turned into a "fang" and is growing into your cat's mouth, your veterinarian may be able to remove the tooth and then surgically remove the tooth.

Will my cat still eat normally if he or she has lost a tooth?

Yes. Cats can eat normally if they have lost one or more teeth.

Can I give my cat a liquid or tablet to help with the pain of losing a tooth?

No, but some cats do like to chew on "toy" tooth toys or chew on the ends of shoelaces.

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