How much do you really know about cat teeth? Would you have guessed that a cat’s teeth can tell its age? Or what are your pointy molars really intended for? Pettime has the answers!
A cat doesn’t just use its teeth for biting and chewing. The pearly whites hold many secrets. A couple of these will be revealed today.
Determining the Age of a Cat by Its Teeth
Like humans, cats have two different sets of teeth in their lives. The first is a set of 26 baby teeth that begin to grow at two to four weeks of age.
Permanent teeth grow at three to four months of age. Adult cats have 30 permanent teeth.
Teeth to Eat Flesh
Although domestic cats are used to dry food and patties, their teeth are not suitable for this type of food. Cats have teeth that are adapted to the meat they find and eat in nature.
In contrast to the molars of humans and herbivorous animals such as cows and horses, the molars of cats do not have flat surfaces that are designed for plant material. They are pointy and serrated so they can tear muscles, crack bones, and cut meat into pieces.
Also, cats are unable to move their jaws from right to left as humans do.
Special Teeth for Grooming
The cats’ front teeth are perfect grooming accessories. With these tiny teeth, cats can catch fleas that crawl in their fur and swallow them whole.
The incisors are very useful for getting rid of plant debris that clings to their fur during their forays into the garden.
Cats Also Have Tooth Decay
Like humans, cats sometimes have tooth decay. About one in three cats develop these so-called dental resorptive lesions, which are mostly located on the back teeth (molars).
Excessive salivation, bad breath, and bleeding in the mouth are signs to look out for, especially since tooth decay is not visible in cats. It is therefore difficult to treat them in a timely manner.
It should be noted that this disease is more common, especially in older cats, and can lead to a painful condition such as inflammation of the gums or tartar.
Very Painful Tooth Injuries
Cats don’t express their pain, but that doesn’t mean they can’t feel pain. When they have tooth decay or other dental problems it can be extremely painful for them, as it can for us. This is why it is important to have your cat’s teeth checked regularly.