Determining Kittens Age by Teeth

When I see a kitten for their first post adoption visit, the family often asks me to determine the kitten’s age. Since weight and size are dependent on nutrition, I use teeth instead. Here are the guidelines I use for determining age in kittens:  Please note that baby teeth are also called deciduous teeth.

3-4 weeks old-Deciduous incisors are present. These are the little teeth on the front of the upper and lower jaw, between the large canine teeth.

3-4 weeks old-Deciduous canines are present. People often refer to these large teeth as ‘fangs’.

5-6 weeks-deciduous premolars are present. The premolars are the large teeth in the back of the mouth.

8 weeks-All deciduous (baby) teeth are present.

3 -4 months-Permanent incisors erupt

4-5 months-Permanent canine, premolar and molar teeth erupt. Usually, the canines or fangs appear first followed by the premolars and molars.

All permanent teeth should be present by 6 months of age.

Source:                                                                                                                              -Gorrel, Cecilia. Veterinary Dentistry for the General Practitioner. Saunders 2004, p 30.

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.

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