When they’re a couple weeks old, most kittens begin teething. Then, it can last for several more months. First, you have to deal with their baby teeth coming in.
After you have a little peace when that’s done, they’ll start losing baby teeth. Then, you have another struggle in the making as their adult teeth start coming in.
It can feel like rollercoaster if you’ve never dealt with a teething kitten before. Don’t worry, we’ve been there and we’d like to save you the pain of going it alone, and without a guide! Let’s dive in, so you can get some peace again.
How to Know When Your Kitten is Teething?
First, consider their age: between 2 and 4 weeks of age, kittens begin to have baby teeth push through their gums. This can continue until they’re around 8 weeks old. Then, you (and your kitten) have a brief respite.
Then, when they’re around 3 or 4 months old adult teeth begin growing in. It can last a few months, but they should have all 30 adult teeth by the time they’re about 7 months old.
Is your cat between these ages? If so, you might be looking at teething.
Here’s what else to look for:
- They won’t allow touching their face (or show discomfort when you do)
- Attitude changes- they may seen ‘cranky’ or eat less because of the pain
- Kitten seems to be ‘chewing’ or ‘rubbing’ their face
- Infrequent or reduced self-grooming
- Bleeding gums- you may see this on the gums themselves, or on their food bowls or favorite toys
Note: please visit your vet if the kitten has baby/adult teeth present (it can look like multiple rows) or if your kitten has discharge or heavy swelling in their gums.
How to Help Your Teething Kitten?
If you’ve determined that your kitten is in fact teething, then they need some help to get through it more easily. That’s where you come in.
First, and we can’t say this enough: be patient. If you could remember teething yourself, you know it’s not any fun. The good news is, it doesn’t last forever.
Keep a wary eye so you can see when your cat’s teething, and hopefully prevent having your furniture chewed up. Having plenty of cat chew toys on hand gives them an option for relief. If you’re in a bind, a washcloth can provide relief.
When people have injuries or aches, a common resolution is to put ice on it. Guess what? It works just like that for teething kittens and their achy gums.
If they like a certain cloth toy, you can moisten it and put it in the freezer. If your kitten is reluctant to try it, that's okay. Here’s what to do:
Instead of plain water, soak the toy or washcloth in some watered down broth before freezing it. If you don’t have broth on hand, you can use the water you’d usually drain from a tuna can.
How Long Does Teething Last for Kittens?
Believe us when we say that we are well aware (very well aware, in fact!) that a kitten’s teething process seems endless. So how long can you expect you kitten to be teething?
The short answer is it should all be over by the time they’re about 7-8 months old.
However, it’s helpful to have a timeline for what to expect, based on your kitten’s age:
- 2-4 weeks: baby teeth, or ‘milk teeth,’ begin pushing through the gums
- 4-6 weeks: canine teeth and premolars have emerged
- 8 weeks (approximately): all 26 baby teeth are present
- 11-12 weeks: baby teeth begin falling out
- 3-4 months: incisors begin growing in
- 5 months: canine teeth are present
- 6 months: premolars and molars are growing in or present
- 7-8 months: all 30 adult teeth are present
Best Kitten Teething Toys and Cat Chew Toys
The inner ‘wheel’ of this teething toy looks more like what you’re familiar seeing in baby teething toys. The wheel is the real winning point when you have a teething kitten, since it’s extremely durable.
It feels good for the kitten too, and its ridged design helps massage their sore gums, and reduces the stress the feel when teething.
Naturally, kittens won’t necessarily flock to a plain wheel when they’re teething, so it has ribbon streamers on each side. It’s a great addition because it seems more like a play toy than a teething tool to your kitten.
- Gives kittens a relaxing gum massage feeling
- Easier to get cats to use with streamers on each end
- Extremely affordable, yet still very durable
- No catnip or noises, so you have to get your kitten interested so they start using it
While it looks like a plushy squid, the Hugga Wubba toy has a design that kittens love. The different legs give them something to grab onto, so while it looks rather large, it’s manageable for cats of all sizes.
Kittens are very attuned to different sounds, so the distinct crickle crackle noise this teething toy makes is an irresistible lure. It’s nice and soft, so it won’t further irritate teething gums. While it is soft, like all Kong toys, you can trust that the Hugga Wubba is built to stand up to some serious abuse.
- Small enough for kittens to manage, but large enough for playing together
- Filled with catnip to get kittens instantly interested
- Makes rattling and crackling noises
- Soft enough for sensitive gums, but durable
- Very tiny kittens may have trouble biting it, although most manage
This is the cat chew toy and kitten teething toy that does it all. They come with plenty of different, interesting shapes, which keeping your cat from getting bored and gnawing on your things.
The toy is filled with catnip, so your kitten will want to start chewing on it right away. While they’re doing that, there’s an outer netting that serves to clean their teeth.
Don’t worry, it won’t tear; it’s designed to be durable enough to handle sharp little teeth. We loved how lightweight it is; our kitten was able to pick it up and carry it all over the house!
- Tons of different textures and feels
- Stuffed with catnip and catnip stalks
- Light enough for teething kittens to carry
- Helps clean budding teeth
- Seems to get lost easily due to smaller size (and ease of carrying)
4. Best Budget Pick: HDP Petstages Nighttime Catnip Rolls
Although these kitten teething rolls may say ‘nighttime,’ if you’ve got a teething kitten, you can be sure they’ll use these all day too.
Naturally, we loved how well it kept our kitten busy at night (and a teething kitten can wake you up just as much as a toddler). So if your main concern is giving your cat a chew toy to keep them busy so you can sleep, this is a nice, quiet option.
They’re completely filled with catnip, so believe us when we say your cat is going to stay interested. The pack includes 3 rolls, which is perfect considering that teething can last for several months.
- Rope casing is soft, but surprisingly durable
- Doesn’t make any noise, so it’s perfect for sleep deprived pet owner
- Lightweight and compact enough for even very young kittens to carry
- Filled with catnip to keep kittens interested
- Not particularly innovative, but extremely effective
If we had a category for ‘most adorable cat chew toy,’ this pretzel would take the cake, no questions asked. Yes, the picture does make it look pretty large, but it’s manageable for even very small kittens.
It’s about 2 inches all around; big enough you don’t worry about a choking hazard, and small enough for teething kittens.
Like many cat teething toys, it’s filled with catnip to keep them interested. However, we found that our teething cats really seemed attracted to how easy it was to grab and bite all over it.
- Covered with ultra durable netting that maintains dental health
- The size is perfect for cats to grab and bite
- Very cute (maybe more of a bonus for pet parents)
- Filled with catnip
- Over time, catnip smell dissipates (we recommend refreshing it with catnip spray)
Once you know what to expect, and have an arsenal of teething toys at hand, the process of teething gets a lot easier for you and your kitten.
You have a good understanding of what will happen, and what you can do about it, now you just need the best teething toy for cats!
We love all the cat chew toys we’ve included: they’re all safe, durable, and soothing for teething kittens.
With that said, the Petstages Dental Health Cat Chew Toy was our favorite. It has plenty of textures to keep your cat happy, and even the youngest kittens can carry it around.