Our furry pets have been living with people for many years in a safe home environment, but this does not change their nature. And their nature is predatory, and this, of course, is reflected in the cat's anatomy and behavior.
A cat’s teeth are her weapon, no less formidable than her claws. If there were directors among the main victims of cats - mouse-voles - we would surely have the pleasure of reading horror films dedicated to the orderly series of frightening fangs and predatory incisors. In the meantime, such films have not been made, let's just get acquainted with interesting facts about cat teeth.
Cat teeth designed for cutting meat
People are omnivores, but our teeth are similar to those of ruminants. Our molars are flat, designed to “work” with plant foods. Thanks to our teeth, we can chew food before absorbing it. And also our jaw, as well as the jaws of ruminants, can move both horizontally and vertically, which allows us to effectively chew on plant foods.
The teeth of predatory animals (in particular, the cat) are different. The molars of a cat are not flat, but sharp and shaped like a triangle. Cats do not chew food. With the help of their teeth, they cut the meat from the bones of their victim, divide it into smaller pieces and swallow it whole. The jaw of a cat can only move vertically, and it can be difficult to cope with some plant foods.
Cat's teeth are made not only for killing, but also for personal care
Of course, you know that your kitty is an unprecedented cleanlore, and there is no more pleasure for her than licking her hair. Although, maybe a piece of raw meat. However, this is not about that. The thing is that the best way for a cat to free its hair from tangles, fleas and various dirt that is not amenable to licking is to literally gnaw away unwanted areas of hair with teeth. To perform this task, cat's teeth are simply irreplaceable.
The teeth of cats indicate the age of their owners
As with our children, in kittens with age, milk teeth change to permanent. At the age of two to four weeks, kittens acquire 26 milk teeth, which help them until they reach three to four months of age. At this moment, the milk teeth change to permanent, and their number grows to 30. These teeth remain with the cat for the rest of his life.
Cat teeth need dentists too
A cat’s teeth, like a man’s teeth, can hurt. Cats can also develop diseases such as tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontitis. And, of course, outwardly your pet may not show his pain in any way, but this does not mean that he will not experience it. And therefore it is very important that you, as a caring host, monitor the condition of your pet’s teeth and gums, give him cleaning treats and be taken to the veterinarian when the first suspicions of the disease arise.
1. The age of the kitten can be determined by the teeth.
Like our children, kittens undergo a complete change of teeth. The first “set” of twenty-six primary teeth appears at the age of two to four weeks. These teeth do not last long: at the age of three to four months, they are replaced by permanent teeth, with which cats live for the rest of their lives. An adult cat has thirty teeth in its mouth.
2. Cat teeth sharpened for meat.
In humans and other ruminants (cows, horses), molars have a flat surface. This is necessary in order to grind plant foods and chew dense fibers. The molars of cats are triangular and sharp. They are designed to cut meat from bones and cut it into small pieces in the mouth. The cat does not chew the pieces of meat, but swallows it whole.
The lower jaw of a cat can only move vertically - up and down. This is enough for her. And people and herbivores can move their jaws from side to side. Therefore, we can chew salads, but cats can not.
4. Cats also have caries.
In humans, caries (a hole in the tooth) begins, as a rule, on the chewing surface of the tooth and gradually deepens. But cat caries - more precisely, a resorptive lesion of the bone tissue of the teeth - develops on the neck of the tooth or on the root, under the gum line. Therefore, dental disease in cats is difficult to notice. Such a disease can last for years and lead to complete tooth decay. That is why it is so important to monitor the health of gums in cats and be very attentive to the very first signs of their diseases - gingivitis and periodontitis.
5. Cats also have toothaches.
A cat with bad teeth does not give out its pain, but this does not mean that it does not hurt at all. In fact, a cat with a bad tooth is tormented in the same way as a person, and only instinct prevents it from showing its suffering. Therefore, do not be lazy to regularly check the condition of your cat’s gums and give her cleaning treats!