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Dr. Ernie's Top 10 Cat Dental Questions... And His Answers!

Reviewed by Bill Saxon DVM, DACVIM, DACVECC on Thursday, January 21, 2016
Posted December 18, 2014 in Cat Checkups & Preventive Care

Dr. Ernie Ward delves into his top dental questions when it comes to cats. For more from Dr. Ward, find him on Facebook!

For some inexplicable reason, I get fewer questions from my cat clients about their kitty’s teeth and mouth than inquiries from dog guardians. I have a few theories on this phenomenon:

  1. I think in general cat guardians have less direct interaction with their cat’s mouths (i.e. not as much kissing or licking. Cats are far too dignified for that.).
  2. Cat guardians have less direct contact with their pet’s mouth through chew toys and bouts of tug-of-war (as if a cat could be bothered).
  3. The fact that poking around a cat’s mouth often results in deep puncture wounds (well…duh).

Take your pick, add your own, but the majority of cat owners I serve seem largely uninterested in the teeth, gums, lips, and tongue of their feline friend. But when they do ask questions, they’re some of the best, most challenging and interesting inquiries you’ll encounter. Read on; you just may learn something or get a chuckle or two. 

1. How many teeth do cats have? I only see two – the fangs. 
Cats have 30 adult teeth and 26 baby teeth. That’s far fewer than dogs (42 and 28) and less than humans (32 and 20). Those “fangs” or upper canine teeth often protrude saber-tooth tiger style and lend some cats an intimidating smile. Yes, I’m afraid. And I think those enamel-embellished kitties prefer it that way.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

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Ernie has more than 20 years of experience in the veterinary industry and is a well-known veterinarian, media personality and author. He is also a founding member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.