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Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

Dental Development of Cats

By Dana G. Allen, DVM, MSc, DACVIM, Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph ; Sharon Campbell, DVM, MS, DACVIM, Pfizer Inc.

Each type of companion animal has its own unique type of teeth, depending on what type of food the animal normally eats. For example, a meat-eating animal such as a cat has quite different teeth compared to a grass-eating animal such as a horse. However, all domestic animals have 2 sets of teeth during their lives, as humans do: a set of deciduous (“baby”) teeth that fall out, and a set of permanent teeth that come in later.

Most cats have 26 deciduous teeth and 30 permanent teeth. The deciduous incisors begin to erupt at 2 to 4 weeks of age, and the deciduous premolars at 5 to 6 weeks of age. Permanent teeth usually begin to appear at around 4 to 7 months (See table: Feline Adult Dentition).