As a pet owner, you’re in the perfect spot to notice any little changes in behavior or other signs that might indicate a health problem with your feline friend. The sooner you can identify and treat an issue, the faster your cat can start feeling better.
One thing to keep an eye on is the color of your cat’s gums. We’ve even put together a helpful chart to guide you. Checking in on your pet’s gum color and being aware of any changes can aid in early disease detection and can also let us know when your kitty might be hiding something serious.
Of course, we don’t base our diagnoses solely on gum color, but it can be a helpful piece of the puzzle when combined with other symptoms your cat may be showing.
Cat Gum Color Chart
|Pink gums||Ideal – Your cat’s gums are not showing any signs of disease or distress.|
|Bright pink to red gums||This could mean your cat’s gums are irritated, or might indicate a tooth problem. Bright pink to red gums can also mean your cat’s body temp is high – they could be hot from the environment, an illness, or eating a toxic substance. |
If the bright pink to red color is only along the gum line, the problem likely lies within the cat’s dental hygiene. If this color persists, it would be best to take them to the vet for an evaluation.
|White gums||Gums that lack color often mean your cat is losing blood or is anemic.|
|Yellow gums||Yellow gums can indicate a problem with the liver.|
|Purple or blue||Your cat might not be taking in enough oxygen if their gums are blue or purple.|
Other Gum Features
When it comes to your cat’s health, their gums can give you some important clues. The color, texture, and refill time of their gums can all indicate whether or not they’re healthy. Here are a few things to look for:
- A light pink color: Healthy gums should be a nice, light pink. Keep in mind that some cat breeds, like black and orange cats, may have darker gums. If you’re unsure, ask your vet to take a look.
- Smooth texture: Gums that are healthy shouldn’t be rough. As cats age, they may develop pigmentation in their gums, like brown or black spots. But as long as they’re smooth to the touch, that’s totally normal.
- Moist and slippery: When you touch your cat’s gums, they should feel moist and slick from saliva. This is a good sign that your cat is well-hydrated.
How To Assess Your Cat’s Gums
When assessing your cat’s gum health, here are a few things to keep an eye out for:
- Redness, swelling, or discoloration: Healthy gums should be pink and firm, so any signs of redness, swelling, or discoloration could indicate an issue.
- Bleeding or tenderness: Press gently on your cat’s gums to check for any bleeding or tenderness.
- Gum color: As we’ve mentioned, healthy gums should be a neutral shade of pink. However, there are a few different colors that can indicate different issues. For example, pale gums could indicate anemia or shock, yellow gums could indicate jaundice or liver disease, and blue gums could indicate poor oxygenation of the blood.
- Lumps or bumps: Check the gums for any lumps or bumps, which could be a sign of oral cancer.
It’s important to note that some cats may have black gums or black spots on their gums from birth, which is totally normal. But, if you notice any changes in color or texture of the gums, it’s important to observe the cat gum color chart in order to understand the normal gum color of your cat and to consult with your vet.
Cat Gum Colors and What They Mean
If you notice any changes in your cat’s gums, it’s important to pay attention. Signs of unhealthy gums can include sores, inflammation, bleeding, and discoloration. If your cat’s gums are not their usual pink color, it could be a sign of a health issue. To be sure, it’s best to take your cat to a veterinarian for an examination.
1. Why Are My Cat’s Gums Black? – One thing to note is that in certain cat breeds like black domestic shorthairs or panthers, black gums are a natural feature. However, in other cats, like orange, calico, or tortie cats, black spots on the gums and lips can be present. These spots are usually caused by a harmless genetic condition called lentigo simplex, which are like feline freckles. But if the black spots are painful, raised, or accompanied by bleeding or bad breath, it could be a sign of something more serious like cancer or gum disease.
2. Why Are My Cat’s Gums White? – If you notice that your cat’s gums look pale or white, it’s important to take action. One way to check if your cat is dehydrated is to press on their gums and see if the color returns quickly. If it doesn’t, it could be a sign of dehydration or another issue, and you should take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.
Another thing to look out for is if your cat’s gums become incredibly pale or white. This could be a sign of serious issues like shock, blood loss, or severe anemia. If you notice this, it’s important to act fast and take your cat to the vet for examination.
3. Why Are My Cat’s Gums Red? – Red gums on a cat can be a sign of several issues. It could be caused by a high body temperature, heatstroke, illness, or toxicity. If you notice that the redness is around the teeth or along the gum line, it could be a sign of dental health problems like gingivitis. Additionally, red and inflamed gums can also indicate a condition called stomatitis.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible. Especially if you suspect that your cat may be experiencing heatstroke, toxicity or a high body temperature, it’s essential to seek immediate medical attention.
4. Why Are My Cat’s Gums Blue? – If you notice that your cat’s gums are turning blue or purple, it’s a cause for concern. This can be a sign of poor blood flow or a lack of oxygen in the blood. Possible causes include poisoning, shock, cancer, and various diseases affecting the heart, liver, and kidneys.
This is a serious symptom and requires immediate attention from a veterinarian. The most common cause of blue gums in cats is low oxygen levels in the blood, which can have serious health consequences if not addressed promptly.
5. Why Are My Cat’s Gums Yellow? – Yellow gums on a cat can be a sign of a liver issue. If you notice that the gums have a yellow tint, it’s important to pay attention to other areas of your cat’s body such as the eyes, ears and skin. If these areas also have a yellow tinge, it’s important to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible. This could be an indication of liver disease, which requires immediate medical attention.
How To Keep My Cat’s Gums Healthy?
As a cat owner, it’s important to pay attention to your feline’s dental health. Taking care of your cat’s teeth and gums can prevent issues like gingivitis, stomatitis, and periodontitis, which can lead to additional health problems like heart, kidney, and liver diseases.
Here are some ways to ensure your cat’s dental health:
- Brush your cat’s teeth 2-4 times a week.
- Provide dental chews and toys to keep their teeth and gums clean and healthy.
- Schedule regular dental check-ups with your vet to detect and prevent gum disease.
- Feed a well-balanced diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
- Keep an eye out for changes in your cat’s gums such as redness, swelling, or bleeding and consult your vet immediately.
- Provide clean water for your cat to drink.
- Use dental products recommended by your vet, such as dental sprays, gels, or oral rinses.
By incorporating these steps into your cat’s routine, you can help keep their gums and teeth healthy and prevent gum disease. Remember, good oral hygiene is important for your cat’s overall well-being.