Does your kitty keep nipping at your fingers?
Teething is perfectly normal for young cats, but there are certain things you should know. This can be a very frustrating time for both the cat and its owner.
The more you learn about this behavior, the easier it will be to deal with it.
When do Cats Begin Teething?
A cat’s baby teeth start coming in when they are around two weeks old. This is when their fangs start to peak out from their gums.
You will probably notice your cat start to teethe when it is about three to four months old. This usually when their baby teeth go out and their adult teeth come in.
Most kittens stop teething at around six months, which is when their adult teeth have fully come in. At this point you will no longer have to deal with all the biting and other issues.
How to Tell if Your Kitten is Teething
If you have a young cat, you will need to pay attention for signs of teething.
They Aren’t Eating as Much
A lot of cats that start teething don’t eat as much as they normally do because of gum pain. The discomfort from their adult teeth coming in may also cause them to chew their food slower and more carefully.
If your cat seems to be nipping at and chewing on just about everything, they are probably teething. A lot of owners notice their cat nibbling on their fingers when they hold them. This is simply your cat’s way of dealing with the discomfort it is experiencing.
Another signs of teething in kittens is inflamed guns as well as halitosis (bad breath). These symptoms tend to go away on their own as the cat’s adult teeth come in.
There are a couple of other signs of teething that you should be aware of, including excessive drooling. Your cat’s gums might also start to bleed during this phase. If you notice either of these things, you should take your cat to the vet. These could be symptomatic of something else that is far more serious than just teething.
Protecting Your Kitten While it is Teething
You should take a few basic measures to ensure the safety and well-being of your kitty while it is teething, including:
- Make sure that there are no electrical cords or anything other things that could injure your kitten if it chews on them.
- Remove any plants that you have around the house, as they could be essentially poisonous to your cat if ingested.
- If your cat has started gnawing on furniture, keep them away from it. There is a chance that small pieces of wood could break off into their mouth.
- Take your kitten to the vet for regular checkups to ensure that their adult teeth are growing in properly.
How to Make Teething Easier for your Kitten
You should provide your cat with plenty of toys to chew on. This can help distract them and satisfy their need to chew while they are teething. Make sure that you only get toys that are highly tough and durable.
This will ensure that they last all the way through this process. You shouldn’t give your kitten any toys that present a choking hazard.
You might also want to give your kitten a little bit of fabric to bite on and play with. Cats love the texture of leather, so you’ll need to keep that in mind. Just make sure that the material is durable and won’t break apart easily. You don’t want your cat to ingest any of it.
When your kitten starts nipping at your fingers when you are holding it, you should yell “Ouch!” so they know this is unacceptable. The last thing you want is for your cat’s biting to carry on into adulthood, which is a distinct possibility.
Another good way to discourage biting during the teething phase is to not offer up your fingers as playthings. This will only send the message that it is okay to bite, which it is not.
Selecting the Right Food
It is particularly important that you get the right food for your cat while it is teething. You’ll want to look for a food that is specifically formulated for kittens. This way your pet will get everything it needs to grow into a healthy adult.
The food that you buy for your kitten should be crunchy but not too hard. This should help in satisfying their need to bite while they are going through this stage of development.
Maintaining Your Cat’s Oral Health
It is important that you maintain your cat’s oral health. This means brushing their teeth at least once every week until they have reached eight months. You also need to keep a close eye on how their teeth are developing. If you notice anything that looks out of the ordinary, you should take them to the veterinarian for a checkup right away.
- Most kitten start teething around 3-4 months, which is when their baby teeth go out and their adult teeth begin coming in.
- It is important that you provide your cat with plenty of durable and fun toys for it to chew on.
- You shouldn’t allow your cat to bite your fingers while it is teething, as it will teach them bad habits that could carry on into adulthood.
- Keep your cat away from anything that might be potentially dangerous for them to chew, including electrical cables and furniture.
- It is crucial that you choose the right food for your kitten. You’ll need to get them a food that is specifically meant for kittens.
- If you notice any bleeding from the gums or an irregular bite, you should take your cat to the vet to get looked at.
- Brush and inspect your cat’s teeth on a regular basis until it is 6-8 months old.