You are in the best position as a pet owner to watch for any subtle behavioral changes or other symptoms that might point to a health issue with your cat. The sooner your cat’s condition is identified and treated, the sooner he or she can begin to recover.
The color of your cat’s gums is one indicator of cat health that can tell us about their potential health issue. That’s why we prepared a cat gum color chart.
Monitoring your pet’s gum color and keeping an eye out for changes can help with early disease diagnosis and can also show us when your cat may be trying to hide a serious illness.
Although we do not solely rely on gum colour for diagnosis, it can help us with further diagnosis and treatment of a sick cat when combined with other symptoms your cat may be displaying.
Cat Gum Color Chart
|Pink gums||Completely healthy and normal|
|Bright pink to red gums||Your cat may be experiencing a high temperature (such as heatstroke), an illness, or toxicity if the entire gum area of their mouth is bright pink to reddish in color. But if the redness is present around the teeth and/or along the gum line, as in this picture, your cat may be having dental health issues.|
|White gums||May point that your cat has been shocked or lost a lot of blood.|
|Yellow gums||May point to organ problems like liver disease|
|Purple or blue||May point to a lack of oxygen.|
What Color Are Healthy Gums?
The following characteristics of the gums are signs that your cat is healthy. Gums that are healthy can be identified by their color, feel, and refill time.
• Pink color: Healthy cat gums should be a light pink color. One that is neither too bright nor too pale is the ideal pink hue. We must note that black and orange cat breeds might have spotted or black gums.
However, make sure your cat’s gums are a normal shade of black by asking your veterinarian to double-check.
• Smooth: Cat gums that are in good health should not be rough. As cats are becoming older and older, they might have some pigmentation in their gums like brown or black spots, which resemble freckles. But as long as they have good texture, that is completely normal in the aging process.
• Wet and slippery: When you touch your cat’s gums, they should feel wet and slick from saliva. This is a reliable sign that your cat is properly hydrated.
How To Check Your Cat’s Gums?
• Hold your cat’s head steady with one hand and lift the upper lip of the cat’s mouth with the other hand.
• Look for any signs of redness, swelling, or discoloration in the gums. Healthy gums should be pink and firm.
• Press gently on the gums to check for any bleeding or signs of tenderness.
• Check the color of the gums, healthy gums should be pink, if it’s pale it could indicate anemia or shock, if it’s yellow it could indicate jaundice or liver disease, and if it’s blue it could indicate poor oxygenation of the blood.
• Examine the gums for any lumps or bumps, which could be a sign of oral cancer.
Your cat’s gums should generally be a neutral shade of pink that is neither too dark nor too light. Pink comes in a variety of hues, so it’s crucial to know what is typical for your cat so you have a reference point for comparison.
Some cats actually have black gums from birth as we already mentioned, and some even have black spots that resemble freckles on their lips and gums.
However, black gums can also indicate that something is wrong with your cat so it is important to observe the cat gum color chart in order to understand the normal gum color of your cat.
What Color Is A Sick Cats Gums?
If a cat’s gums are unhealthy, they may show signs such as sores, lesions, inflammation, bleeding, and discoloration. Gums that are not their usual pink color, such as black, white, red, blue/purple, or yellow, can indicate various health issues.
It is essential to seek professional help from a veterinarian if you notice any discoloration in your cat’s gums, to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
1. Black Cat Gums
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.
The black spots are caused by lentigo simplex, a benign genetic condition that is completely safe and resembles feline freckles. However, if the black spots are painful, raised, and/or present with bleeding or bad breath, they may be an indication of cancer or gum disease.
2. Pale Cat Gums / White Cat Gums
If you spot that your cat has pale cat gums, check if she’s dehydrated. To see this, you can apply pressure to your cat’s gums (known as the capillary refill test).
If the color of the gum doesn’t return almost immediately, your cat may be dehydrated or have another problem and needs to be examined by a veterinarian right away.
White cat gums may be a sign that your cat has suffered shock, blood loss, or severe anemia. If your cat’s gums become incredibly pale or white, you should take them to the vet right away.
3. Red Cat Gums
Cats that have red gums may be suffering from a high body temperature, heatstroke, illness, or toxicity. It is an indication of dental health problems like gingivitis if the redness is present around the teeth or along the gum line.
Gums that are red and inflamed may also indicate stomatitis. Of course, if your cat experiences any of these problems, you should take them to the vet, but you should take them as soon as possible if you think they may be experiencing heatstroke, toxicity, or a high body temperature.
4. Blue/Purple Cat Gums
Blue or purple cat gums are a sign of poor blood flow and/or an oxygen shortage in the cat’s blood. Possible causes include poisoning, shock, cancer, kidney, liver, and heart disease. If you spot that your cat has purple or blue gums, the vet should be sought immediately.
The most common cause of blue gums in dogs and cats is low oxygen levels in the blood, which can have a number of serious health consequences.
5. Yellow Cat Gums
Gums with a yellow tint in cats are a sign of organ issues, like liver disease. If you notice that your cat’s eyes, ears, and skin has become yellow, you should take your cat to the vet right away.
Unhealthy Gums And What Diseases Indicate
If you notice any of these unusual traits, make an appointment with the veterinarian.
Gums Growing Over Teeth
If a cat’s teeth appear to be receding beneath the gum line, pet parents should be concerned. This is a blatant indicator of the dental condition known as tooth resorption.
When a tooth slowly deteriorates and returns to the jaw bone, it is said to have undergone tooth resorption. Most older cats go through it at some point in their lives, and it’s a drawn-out, painful process.
Red Or Bright Pink Gums
When redness develops around teeth or along the gum line, it indicates that gingivitis occured. Periodontal disease can develop from gingivitis, at which point the entire gum line will appear either red or vivid pink.
If your cat’s gums suddenly turn these colors, your cat may be suffering from heat stroke. Heat stroke can quickly become fatal, necessitating an urgent trip to the veterinarian.
If you spot that your cat’s gums are any of these colors mentioned, you should take your cat to the vet as soon as possible since it indicates that your cat is not getting enough oxygen.
Pneumonia or a blockage in the windpipe may be to blame for this. These colors demand immediate medical attention, so don’t hesitate another second!
Tacky Or Dry Gums
The gums on your cat shouldn’t be dry or sticky when you touch them. If they are, that indicates that your cat is pretty much dehydrated. This symptom can occasionally be present in addition to heat stroke-related redness.
Encourage your cat to start drinking a lot of water immediately. You must go to an emergency clinic so that veterinarians can rehydrate your cat if the gum’s moisture level doesn’t return to normal.
Bumps, Craters Or Lesions
Gum that has a bumpy texture typically means that something is wrong. For a variety of reasons, cats can get lumps or lesions on their gums. The bumps may occasionally be malignant tumors linked to oral cancer.
This is particularly true if the bumps are very uncomfortable. The presence of craters or open sores in the cat’s gums could indicate a bacterial infection brought on by poor dental hygiene. Any texture that isn’t smooth necessitates a trip to the vet, regardless of the cause.
Pale Or White Gums
White or pale pink gums indicate that your dear feline friend is having poor blood circulation. These colors may indicate one of these two things:
• internal bleeding
• insufficient production of red blood cells
Consult your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis. If something seems off with your cat, start by checking its gums. The color, texture, or moisture of your cat may change, which can tell you a lot about its health.
Pet owners shouldn’t assume that because their cats’ gums are unhealthy that they are having issues. If your pet has abnormal gum characteristics, take them to the vet so that they can accurately determine the best course of action.
How To Keep My Cat’s Gums Healthy?
You need to pay attention to your cat’s dental care since it is related to their gum well-being.
Maintaining your kitties’ teeth and mouth will help you avoid gum problems and diseases like gingivitis, stomatitis, and periodontitis, which in turn will help you avoid additional health problems like heart, kidney, and liver diseases.
This is how you will take care of your cat’s dental health:
• Your cat’s teeth need to be brushed 2 to 4 times a week.
• Provide dental chews and toys: Dental chews and toys can help keep your cat’s teeth and gums clean and healthy.
• Schedule regular dental check-ups: Regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian can help detect and prevent gum disease.
• Feed a well-balanced diet: Feeding a well-balanced diet that is rich in protein and low in carbohydrates can help keep your cat’s gums healthy.
• Watch out for changes: Keep an eye out for changes in your cat’s gums such as redness, swelling, or bleeding. If you notice any changes, consult your veterinarian immediately.
• Provide clean water: Make sure your cat always has access to clean water.
• Use dental products recommended by your vet: Dental sprays, gels, or oral rinses can help keep your cat’s gums and teeth healthy.
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 health.
Maintaining the dental health and general well-being of your cat involves many steps, including checking for healthy cat gums. By looking at the cat gum color chart, you won’t have any problems detecting issues.
You should regularly check your cat’s gums to ensure they are maintaining good health because the color and condition of their gums may be signs of underlying health problems.
Because cats are experts at hiding any discomfort or medical conditions, it’s crucial to watch over your cat and examine its teeth and gums. You can prevent more costly and painful issues later on by being aware of and maintaining your cat’s gum health