Why Do Cats Chatter Their Teeths?

kitten happy

You have probably noticed your cat’s teeth chattering loudly from time to time.

This is a fairly common occurrence among felines, but why exactly do they do it?

Some of the reasons may surprise you, even if you are a seasoned cat owner.

1. Your Cat’s Killer Instinct

It is very likely that your cat’s chattering teeth is due to its primal instincts as a hunter. These animals are historically accustomed to jumping on their prey and chomping down on the neck. As they do this, their teeth vibrate to kill the animal as quickly and effectively as possible. This ensures the easiest possible kill for them.

Even domesticated cats that are very docile and mellow still retain some of their primal instincts. This isn’t a bad thing at all, as it allows your cat to satisfy its ancient urges without putting itself in any danger whatsoever.

This actually tends to be less common in outdoor cats that are allowed to hunt. This is probably because they are able to act on their natural primal urges.

2. They are Just Excited

Chattering teeth in cats can just be a sign of excitement. They might be excited to see you come through the door after getting home from work. You can view this as a big compliment, because it means that they really like you. These animals do not get this worked up over just anyone. They might also do this if you put some catnip out in front of them, or a fun new toy to play with.

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cat shatter teeth

3. Anxiety

A cat may also exhibit this behavior if they are feeling anxious for whatever reason. There are many different things that can cause anxiety in cats, such as moving to a different home with their owner. A sudden change in environment can be very disorienting for these animals to say the least.

If you ever notice your cat’s teeth chattering, there is a chance that they are feeling anxious about something. Anxiety can be debilitating for some of these animals, so it is not something you should take lightly.

4. Annoyance

There is also a chance that your cat is chattering its teeth because it is annoyed about something. Maybe you have been petting it a little too long, or another pet in the house is getting too close. Cats tend to have a pretty low threshold for annoyance, so you will need to keep this in mind about your pet.

It is important that you are aware of the signs that your cat is becoming annoyed. This will help you to avoid getting nipped at or even scratched up. Cats will usually let their owners know when they have had enough of being handled before using their claws or jaws.

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5. Dental Issues

Cats can also develop dental issues that may cause teeth chattering. This is why it is so crucial that you get your cat examined by a veterinarian on a semi-regular basis. They will be able to check for signs of dental disease in your pet.

Other signs of dental disease to look out for include red or inflamed gums and a lack of appetite. If your cat’s teeth or gums are hurting them, there is a good chance that they will avoid eating because of the discomfort. This can quickly go from being a minor problem to a major health concern, so you need to get it taken care of right away.

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6. They are Cold

Sometimes a cat’s teeth will chatter for the same reason a person’s does—they are cold. The fact is that these animals have very thin skin, so they don’t handle extreme heat or cold very well. This can be true of even cats with very long or thick coats, like the Maine Coon.

Certain cats with very thin coats should be protected from the cold when going out for a walk with their owner. You can buy little sweaters and clothes for cats online and in some stores. This will keep your cat comfortable while you go for a walk with them. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you are cold, your cat is almost certainly chilly as well.

7. Seizures

Chattering teeth can be one sign of a seizure in cats. While sometimes these seizures are very obvious and dramatic, they can also be quite subtle. It could be just one part of your cat’s body that seizures, or all of their limbs at once.

A seizure disorder is very serious and requires powerful medication to treat. It is possible for these animals to have a seizure and never experience one again though. You will want to get your cat looked at by a trained veterinarian if you notice them seizing at all.

General seizures that affect the entire cat’s body can result in chattering teeth, as they completely lose control of their jaw muscles. Even a partial seizure can cause this, though it is a lot less common.

The sooner you get your cat looked at, the sooner they will be able to receive the treatment they need. This can be a very serious problem, depending on the exact cause.

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  • An excited can will often chatter its teeth because it just cannot contain itself. This is usually in response to seeing their owner or getting some catnip put in front of them.
  • Stress or anxiety can also elicit this response, which is basically their body’s way of coping with whatever is happening.
  • Chattering teeth in cats could be a manifestation of their natural urge to hunt. This is especially common among indoor cats that don’t get to hunt outside.
  • Some cats will chatter their teeth when they are annoyed. If your cat starts doing this while you are petting it, you should probably back off for a little bit.
  • Certain dental issues can cause a cat’s teeth to chatter. While it is not a common symptom of dental disease, it has been known to occur in these animals.
  • A seizure disorder like epilepsy could also be causing your cat to chatter its teeth. It is important that you get it looked at by your veterinarian.