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Cat Teeth:

  • Kittens are born with 26 needle-sharp milk teeth.
  • These baby teeth are replaced during the first 6 months of life with 30 adult teeth.
  • The cat has 2 upper canines, 6 upper incisors, 6 upper premolars, and 2 upper molars.
  • On the bottom jaw, the cat has 2 lower canines, 6 lower incisors, 4 lower premolars, and 2 lower molars.
  • The upper and lower incisors are the front teeth between the canines (fangs).
  • The incisors grasp the prey or food.
  • The canines (fangs) grip the food and are used to kill prey.
  • The canine teeth sit in beds of sensitive tissue that let the cat feel what it is gripping. The cat can feel the tiny depression at the back of the neck on its prey so the cat knows where to bite.
  • The premolars (right behind the canines) and the molars (at the very back) shear, cut, and chew meat.
  • The cat has few molars because its diet is almost entirely carnivorous.
  • In a natural diet, the teeth are cleaned as the scrape over bones. Pet owners have to make sure their domestic cats teeth are kept clean.

The Encyclopedia of the Cat, Bruce Fogel, DVM, DK Publishing, Inc., New York, 1997, p. 68.