You have a very important Skype call and your battery is almost dead. You run to connect the phone to your charger but you see that your cat has chewed the cord in half! This is definitely not an impossible scenario, and it is only a symptom of the painful teething your furry friend is going through. However, don’t panic – teething is a perfectly natural process, but it can be pretty stressful to the owners if they’re not familiar with it. When my cat Clara was teething, I had known several things about the problem, but I wish I had known even more. Take a couple of minutes and read this article as it can be very helpful in the future:
Cat Teeth 101
So, what are the basics you ought to know when it comes to your cat’s teeth? Well, the first thing you should know is that kittens are born without teeth and that the first teeth come out when they are about two weeks old. Canine teeth come a couple of weeks later and premolars follow them. Altogether, your cat has 26 baby teeth (milk teeth) when you’re one month old. However, the true teething problems start at the age of about three months, when they lose their baby teeth and replace them with the adult ones. You can expect to see a bit of blood on the cat’s toys, but don’t be frightened, this is a natural (if painful and uncomfortable) process for them.
There are three symptoms that you should pay attention to in order to know your cat is teething. The first one is definitely chewing. Since kittens tend to chew anything (even though they sometimes choose the most important thing to us so they most often chew the cords), it’s important to kitten-proof your home. Tie up all your electrical cords and put plastic on any spot in your home that you value. However, in order to make it easier for your little fella, it would be a great idea to put a frozen towel next to their favourite spot. They can chew the towel for fun, but the cold will ease the pain. Moreover, you can find teething rings and toys at pet stores that are made especially for this.
What Not To Do
The first thing not to do is allow your cat to play too roughly. As we already said, the teething process is painful, so they will try and find the closest pain-reliever. During this process, they can hurt their gums, which can result in more serious problems. Moreover, don’t change their diet. I’ve been feeding my Clara with natural Black Hawk cat food since she was a kitten, and when she started teething, I changed this and started to feed her with home-cooked meals. Days later we consulted with a vet who told us that this was the biggest mistake we could have made, because soft food will not help the cat – it can only prolong the teething process and make it more complicated.
Brushing your cat’s teeth might be a habit you’ve developed, but don’t do this during the teething process as it is dangerous. If you want, you can let them play with soft toys that are covered with little pet toothpaste, or let your cat lick the toothpaste from your finger. Also, at least once a week gently open your cat’s mouth and take a look inside to see if they have retained baby teeth or a double tooth. Make sure to call your vet if you see that the double tooth is present for more than a couple of days.
The positive thing is that the teething process is not very long, no matter how stressful it might be to you or your cat. It’s always good to know that this problematic period will pass quickly and, later on, you can let your cat chew (almost) anything!
Guest post by Zara Lewis
Zara Lewis is a regular contributor at Highstylife.com a full time animal lover. Passionate about creating a better world for the generations to come, she is a mum of two, raising them inseparably from their furry family members.