Remember how much fun your gums were when you lost your baby teeth and how much human babies cry when they begin to teeth? Unfortunately, kittens don’t have a tooth fairy, so help them out with special treatment to ease their pain and discomfort while teething.
Like humans, cats are born without teeth and go through two sets in their lifetime. The first set of temporary deciduous teeth, also called milk or baby teeth, begins growing in when your kitten is about two weeks old. He will continue to get baby teeth throughout his first month. Then he will start to lose them and grow in his permanent teeth at around three months. Anytime your kitten loses or grows in teeth, her gums may be itchy and sore.
Make sure your cat has plenty of soft food to eat during teething. He may avoid eating if crunchy chow hurts his gums, so providing soft food and plenty of water encourages him to eat.
Soak a small rag in a mixture of water and chicken broth. Wad the rap and freeze it. Let kitty play with the frozen rag in the backyard or an a hard surface floor. Be aware that it will melt as she plays, so carpet will get stained from the chicken broth. The broth gives the rag a fun taste to keep kitty interested. As she gnaws on the frozen cloth, the cold rag will soothe her itchy, sore gums.
You can also try giving your kitten hamster chew sticks, which are similar to a soft balsa wood, but made of vegetable matter instead. Your kitten can chew away without your worry of him getting splinters.
Play a game with plastic bottle caps. They roll around and your kitten can bat them to play on her own. They are too big to fit completely inside kitten’s mouth, so she can’t choke on them, and they usually stand up to some pretty heavy chewing.
Don’t try to teach your kitten about oral hygiene during teething. If you start brushing your cat’s teeth when the gums are sore, she will learn to associated tooth-brushing with pain. Wait until her permanent teeth have grown in and the vet ok’s a tooth-brushing regime.
As your kitten learns proper behavior, he may try playing rough with you. His instincts tell him that playing rough is ok, but teething may cause him to bite harder and possibly break your skin. Break this habit now to avoid a biting adult cat. When your kitten begins biting your hands, give a loud, painful screech and tell him, “No!” Avoid using your hands to express yourself as kitten will think you are playing. Quickly remove your hands, tell kitten no, and distract him with a new toy. Redirecting rough play from your body to a new toy is the most effective way to avoid bad habits in adult cats.