Kitten Basics: Taking Care of Your Kitten’s Oral Health banner
Kitten Basics: Taking Care of Your Kitten’s Oral Health

Maintaining Your Kitten's Oral Health: A Guide for New Pet Parents

As a new kitten parent, maintaining your pet's oral health is crucial. Teething is one of the most important stages and it is essential to start good oral hygiene practices during this period. A healthy mouth is vital for your kitten's overall wellbeing. It can prevent dental issues such as plaque, tartar, and tooth decay. Not sure how to support your kitten’s oral health during its growth years? This guide will provide you with the knowledge you need to keep your kitten's teeth and gums strong and healthy.

Understanding the development of kitten teeth

To ensure proper kitten dental care, it is important to be aware of the stages of your kitten's dental growth. Kittens are born toothless but begin to develop teeth once they turn 2 or 3 weeks old. By 8-12 weeks, they will have all their primary teeth. These baby teeth will eventually be replaced with permanent adult teeth during the teething stage. This can cause discomfort, pain, swelling, or bleeding gums. It is imperative to consult your vet and make this period a little bearable for your little pal.

How to brush your kitten's teeth

Want to ensure your kitten's dental health? Here's a step-by-step guide on how to properly brush its teeth:

  1. First, introduce your kitten to a toothbrush and toothpaste. Let them sniff and lick it to become familiar with the taste and sensation. Start by allowing them to play with the toothbrush and toothpaste, and gradually move on to brushing.
  2. Gently lift your kitten's lip and brush their teeth in a circular motion. Make sure to reach all surfaces. Use a soft-bristled brush designed for cats and toothpaste formulated for them.

  3. Use a small amount of toothpaste and make sure your kitten doesn't swallow it.

  4. Reward your kitten with a treat or cuddles after each brushing session to make the experience a positive one for them.

  5. Gradually increase the frequency and duration of brushing once your kitten becomes more comfortable with the process. Remember to be patient and gentle when brushing your kitten's teeth as it may take some time for them to get used to it.


Kitten dental care and prevention

Maintaining the dental health of your kitten is crucial for their overall wellbeing. Here are some tips on how to prevent plaque and tartar buildup to keep your kitten's teeth and gums healthy:

  1. Brushing and toothpaste: Regular brushing is the best way to prevent plaque and tartar buildup and should be started early. Buy a tube of toothpaste that is specifically formulated for cats as regular toothpaste can be harmful for them. Brushing your kitten's teeth at least two to three times a week can help to remove plaque and tartar and keep its teeth and gums healthy.
  2. Dental wipes, rinses, and pads: Dental wipes or pads can clean your kitten's teeth and gums. In fact, it is a useful alternative to brushing. Dental rinses can also freshen your kitten's breath and kill bacteria

  3. Dental treats: Providing your kitten with dental treats can also keep their teeth clean and healthy. Look for treats formulated to reduce plaque and tartar. Moreover, avoid cat treats that are loaded with sugar.

  4. Regular vet check-ups: It's essential to have regular check-ups with your vet to ensure that your kitten's teeth and gums are healthy. Your vet can also help you identify any issues that may arise and recommend an appropriate course of action.


Maintaining good oral health is essential for a cat’s overall wellbeing; hence, you must establish oral hygiene habits from its early age. Following the steps outlined in this guide can ensure that your kitten's teeth and gums remain healthy and strong throughout its life. Regular brushing, dental treats, and vet check-ups can help keep your kitten's mouth healthy. With your care and attention, your kitten can enjoy a fresh and healthy mouth for many years! Always consult your veterinarian if you have concerns or questions about your kitten's oral health.

Kitten Basics: Taking Care of Your Kitten’s Oral Health
Kitten Basics: Taking Care of Your Kitten’s Oral Health

Frequently asked questions

  1. At what age are kittens teething?
  2. Kittens typically begin teething when they are around 3-4 weeks old. By 6 months of age, a kitten should have a complete set of 30 adult teeth. However, some kittens may take up to 9 months to fully develop their adult teeth.

  3. Do kittens bite a lot when teething?
  4. When kittens are going through the teething process, they may bite more frequently to relieve discomfort and pressure associated with new teeth growing. To help alleviate this behavior, it is important to provide appropriate chew toys and discourage the biting of hands or other inappropriate objects. It's always best to consult with a veterinarian for further advice.


  5. When should you start brushing the kitten's teeth?
  6. It's recommended to brush your kitten's teeth as soon as they develop adult teeth, i.e. when your pet is around 3-4 months old. However, it's important to consult with a veterinarian first to ensure that you are using the right technique and check your kitten's dental health before starting a regular tooth-brushing routine.


  7. How can I keep my kitten's teeth healthy?
  8. To maintain the oral health of your kittens, it is essential to schedule regular dental check-ups with a veterinarian, brush their teeth every day using toothpaste made for cats, and provide them with toys and treats that promote dental hygiene. Additionally, make sure that they are consuming a diet that supports dental health.


  9. Can I keep my cat's teeth clean without brushing?
  10. Yes, it is possible to maintain your cat's dental hygiene without brushing its teeth. This can be done by giving them hard and crunchy food, providing them with chew toys, and scheduling regular dental check-ups and cleanings with a veterinarian. Additionally, it is important to keep an eye on your cat's eating habits and address any dental issues as soon as they arise.


  • Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes
    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes-mob
    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes

    Understanding and learning how to decipher kitten food product codes will help you choose the right kitten food. While selecting the right ingredients is important, making sure those ingredients are fresh is just as vital to your young cat. Learn how to read the product codes of kitten food packages and cans with our handy guide.


    What Is a Product Code?

    A product code is a series of numbers and letters printed on the outer package of each product a manufacturer produces. This code provides information about when and where the kitten food was made.

    As part of the product code, IAMS™ products include a “Best Used By” date, or the date at which the product is no longer considered fresh and should no longer be sold. This date is expressed in “ddmmyy” and “ddmmmyy” formats.

    The second line of the product code represents company internal information for use in traceability and inventory control.

    Line 1: (ddmmyy) (ddmmmyy)

    Example: 040220 04FEB20

    Line 2: 60351111## QQQQQQQ

    This product should be used before February 4, 2020.

    Depending on the production line, pouch products* may have code date information in a single or double line. By recognizing and understanding these codes, customers can make sure they are receiving a fresh product.


    What Is Shelf Life?

    Shelf life is the duration, measured in months, during which a properly stored kitten food product maintains its freshness. This means if a product has a 16-month shelf life, it is fresh for up to 16 months from the date of manufacture.

    The shelf life for IAMS dry kitten foods is 16 months. All canned formulas have a shelf life of 24 months.


    How to Properly Store Dry and Wet Kitten Food

    Unopened dry kitten food products are best stored off the floor in a cool, dry place. Open bags of kitten food should be stored in a clean, dry container with a tight seal. Dry kitten food products may also be frozen without loss of nutrients.

    Opened wet kitten food products are best kept refrigerated in tightly sealed containers for no more than three days after the container has been opened. Wet products should not be frozen in unopened cans. However, wet kitten foods can be frozen if removed from the container, packed in freezer containers and frozen immediately.

    *IAMS has no kitten pouch products at this time.

    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes