There are so many ways to be able to tell the age of something just by a feature. Have you ever counted the rings on a tree stump to find out how old it is? Did you know you can do the same for a kitten? Well, you’re not counting rings, but rather their teeth! Imagine you find a kitten, but you can’t tell how old it is. Here’s a definitive way to determine the age of your kitten just by looking at their teeth.
The Number of Teeth Determines Age
Before three weeks of age, kittens don’t have any teeth. At three weeks, the incisors come in. These teeth are the bottom front teeth we see that help them tear apart food. At three weeks, the teeth are mostly used for grooming since they are still getting their food from mom or being bottle-fed. However, these are temporary and a permanent set of incisors will come later.
At around four weeks of age, the canines come in. These are those front teefers we see when our kitties look up at us with their mouth closed and their teeth stick out. Or is that just our vampire kitties? Anyway, these teeth help with eating so your kitten may start to be more interested in foods other than milk.
Between four and six weeks of age, the baby premolars start to come in. The majority of the time these emerge at six weeks, but sometimes they can come earlier. Premolars are at the back of the upper and lower areas of the teeth, much like where you would find our own molars or wisdom teeth. At this point, the kitten should be eating normal cat foods.
Teeth Disappear and Reappear Just Like Us Hoomans
Remember how when we were children our baby teeth would fall out? We’d gasp, show our tooth to our parents, then stick it under our pillow and wait for the tooth fairy to come. Kittens go through the same process! At two months, all of your kitten’s baby teeth should have appeared. At around three to four months kittens begin to lose their baby teeth and grow their permanent teeth. You may happen to find small teeth around the house, which is perfectly ok!
At around 14 weeks, the middle incisors come in. At 15 weeks, the second incisors come in. At 16 weeks, the final third incisors make their way out. But how do you tell between kitten teeth and adult teeth? It’s actually pretty tricky, but the ASPCA states:
“The baby teeth are a little smaller with pointed tips, while permanent teeth are a little wider with flat edges. Because the first two incisors in this kitten are permanent teeth and the third incisors are still baby teeth, we would estimate her age at approximately 15 weeks.”
You can also tell teeth beyond their kitten years too! At one year old, there’s no wear and tear on the teeth and they should be nice and pearly white. Between the ages of one and two, the teeth start to yellow a bit and plaque may appear. Yellowing and tartar increasingly become more built up and wear and tear begins between the ages of five and ten.
And there you have it! Kitten Teeth and Aging 101.
See more in the video from eHow below: