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Guide to kitten teething

Kittens go through the teething stage in the same way babies do. Discover everything you need to know about signs a kitten is teething and how you can help.



Do kittens lose their teeth?

Is your kitten showing signs of drooling, slow eating and crankiness? This may mean your kitten has started teething. As well as discovering the world, your kitten will be faced with the uncomfortable teething process. Kittens lose their baby teeth at around three to four months  when their adult teeth start coming through. 

While some kittens handle teething well, others might need some more comfort to soothe them as their teeth cut through. It’s a natural stage in their life, and by the time they’re six months old , they’ll already have all their adult teeth.

Read on to learn more about teething in cats and the common signs of teething.  

What are the signs of kitten teething?

In some cases, you may not even know your kitten is losing teeth until you see one on the floor. But don’t worry, it’s normal. In fact, most kittens swallow their teeth, but this doesn’t cause them any harm.

It’s likely your kitten may experience some discomfort when they’re teething. The most obvious signs to look out for in teething kittens are:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Pawing at their mouth
  • Inflamed or sore gums
  • Excessive chewing
  • Slight gum bleeding
  • Irritability
  • Drooling
  • Eating less
  • Bad breath

How to help a teething kitten

It won’t come as a surprise that your kitten will want to chew on everything when they’re teething. Including your sofa. Luckily, there are a few things you can try to help soothe your kitten while teething. 

Keep them busy

Kittens need physical and mental stimulation so it’s important to keep them active. This will help take their mind off the discomfort. From a scratching post and poms-poms to a cat tree, your kitty will be distracted for hours.

Give them soft chew toys

Your kitten will need an alternative to your sofa to chew on. Offer your kitty a cloth toy or braided rope instead. There are a range of kitten teething toys available – some even have catnip in. Alleviate their gums further by putting their toy in the freezer first.

Don’t brush their teeth while teething

The last thing your teething kitten needs is more discomfort. Avoid brushing their teeth while they’re teething, as this will put more pressure on their sensitive gums. Plus, your kitten might associate tooth brushing with pain going forward. 

Feed them wet food

Wet food will encourage your kitten to chew less while they’re eating. Try offering your feline friend kibble soaked in warm water or a canned diet for easier and less painful mealtimes.

Be gentle with them

Your kitten is going through the motions. They may be irritable and come across as mischievous, but they shouldn’t be punished for chewing. Try positive reinforcement and rewarding your kitten for chewing on their own toy – whether that’s with affection or food.

Have a good dental hygiene routine

Dental hygiene is always important, but especially for teething kittens. This is the perfect opportunity for your kitty to get used to you checking inside their mouth. It will also allow you to spot dental problems in the future, helping you and your kitten to bond.

Getting the right food for teething kittens

It’s important that your kitten gets the right food that’ll keep them healthy and help them grow. The right food will contain all the vitamins and minerals they need to develop healthy teeth. Teething kittens may prefer to eat tinned foods, or kibble soaked in water. 

When should you take a teething kitten to the vet?

If your kitten’s teeth have not fallen out before the adult teeth come through it can cause problems. You need to look out for overcrowding in your kitten’s mouth. If your cat still has baby teeth when they’re six months old, your vet may recommend removing some of them under anaesthetic .

Inflamed and sore gums that don’t recover within a few weeks may be an issue separate from teething, and you may need to take your kitten to the vet. Keep your eye out for:

  • Drooling
  • Discomfort and pawing at the mouth
  • Bleeding gums 

Does pet insurance cover kitten teething?

Not all pet insurance policies cover dental as standard. But luckily, Sainsbury’s Bank cat insurance offers dental treatment cover due to an illness or injury. It may help to pay towards problems like:

  • Gingivitis
  • Toothache
  • Damage to teeth and gums  

But we cannot cover fillings, crowns, or root canals. We also cannot cover treatment for baby teeth if your pet is over 16 weeks of age at the start of your policy . Check your policy documents for more information about what we can cover around kitten teething. 

All insurance policies have restrictions. To find out more about our terms and conditions including exclusions, excesses and limits, please take a look at our policy documents.

Frequently asked questions 

How long is the teething process for kittens?

Kittens start losing their teeth when they’re around three to four months old to make space for their adult ones to come through. In most cases, their adult teeth will have all come in by the time they’re six months old.

Do kittens bite more when teething?

Yes, just like teething babies, teething kittens will bite and chew on anything they can get their paws on. Keep a close eye on them, as they may try and nibble on human fingers and toes. 

Do kittens play less when teething?

You may find that your kitten is not as keen to play when they’re teething and is hesitant to bite down or shake their toys. They’ll be chewing more on soft things and may paw at their mouths.


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