|Kittens have 26 teeth, which start falling out between 3 and 4 months of age. Those baby teeth are replaced by 30 adult teeth — 12 tiny incisors, used mostly for grooming; four canines for catching and holding prey; 10 premolars designed for tearing meat off bones; and four molars far in the back of the mouth.
Unlike those of humans and dogs, cats’ jaws can move only in an up-and-down motion. The lack of side-to-side movement makes it impossible for cats to grind food, which is why they usually swallow kibble whole instead of chewing it.
Cat expert and animal communicator JaneA Kelley is the webmaster and chief cat slave for Paws and Effect, a weekly cat advice column by cats, for cats and their people.
December 19th, 2011