A cat’s tongue is an important part of her anatomy: Not only it helps her drink and eat, but it’s also the essential tool that helps her groom herself all day long.
You probably haven’t thought thoroughly about your kitty’s tongue, but it can actually be an important indicator of your furry friend’s health.
The color of your pet’s tongue can help you tell if your cat is healthy, or something might be going on with her.
Let’s take a look at the cat tongue color chart, and what different colors could indicate.
Cat Tongue Color Chart Overview
|Bright pink||Healthy cat|
|White patches||Anemia, fungal stomatitis, tongue cancer|
What Is A Normal Cat Tongue Color?
If everything is in order with your cat, her tongue should be bright pink.
The video below demonstrates what a normal cat tongue looks like.
Your cat’s tongue is covered in numerous tiny white keratin protein spines, which give it a rough, sandpaper-like texture.
Thanks to these spines, wild cats are able to eat their prey and clean the bones from it. Furthermore, these spikes help cats groom their coats and clean it out of loose hair, dirt, and debris.
Besides it should be pink in color, a healthy cat’s tongue should also be dry, with no excess saliva.
What Could White Patches On A Cat’s Tongue Indicate?
You might notice your cat’s tongue isn’t completely pink, but has some white patches on it.
This could indicate a couple of health issues in her.
Anemia is a condition characterized by a reduced number of circulating red blood cells and/or hemoglobin, and is a result of specific diseases in a cat’s body, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.
Besides the tongue, a cat’s gum might also turn pale, and anemic cats usually show decreased energy levels, and get tired quickly.
Some conditions that might cause feline anemia are trauma or injuries to blood vessels, parasite infestations, tumors, chronic kidney disease, or liver disease.
If you notice symptoms of anemia in your cat, you need to take her to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Anemia treatment can include corticosteroids or deworming medications, and even blood transfusion, if a cat is severely anemic.
2. Fungal Stomatitis
Another condition that might cause white patches on your cat’s tongue is fungal stomatitis, which is caused by overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans, as MSD Veterinary Manual suggests.
Together with a white tongue, some of the most common symptoms of this condition are bad breath, loss of appetite, and excessive drooling.
Stomatitis causes severe inflammation of the cat’s entire mouth, and might occur as a result of a suppressed immune system or long term-use of antibiotics.
Once again, if your cat has symptoms of stomatitis, you should get her checked.
3. Tongue Cancer
Unfortunately, white tongue in cats might even be a sign of cancer.
This type of cancer in cats, also known as the lingual squamous cell carcinoma, usually occurs underneath a cat’s tongue where it attaches to the bottom of her mouth, according to PetMD.
Most common symptoms of tongue cancer in cats are drooling, a small white growth right under the tongue, lack of appetite, difficulty chewing and eating, and possibly blood coming from the mouth.
If possible, a veterinarian performs a surgery to remove a part of the cat’s tongue, together with the tumor.
Additionally, radiation therapy or chemotherapy might be recommended as treatment options.
Why A Cat Might Have A Blue Tongue?
Your cat’s tongue, normally pink in color, has suddenly become blue?
This is most likely due to cyanosis, a condition in which there is a severe lack of oxygen to the cat’s blood.
Different conditions, such as trauma, brachycephalic airway problems, poisoning, pneumonia, or heart defects, might cause feline cyanosis.
To diagnose cyanosis, a vet will need to perform a measurement of the cat’s oxygen levels, an ultrasound of the heart, a chest X-ray and possibly other diagnostic tests.
The treatment will depend on the underlying cause, so a cat might be prescribed antibiotics, diuretics, or steroids.
Why Are There Black Spots On A Cat’s Tongue?
Obviously, any color other than pink on your cat’s tongue might initially raise concerns about her health.
This probably makes you think that black spots on your cat’s tongue could bring the worst news possible.
This isn’t true, actually. Black spots on a cat’s tongue usually indicate lentigo, which is simply a hyperpigmentation seen on a cat’s skin, tongue, nose, or her eyes.
There isn’t a definite cause of feline lentigo, but this condition is most often seen in orange cat breeds. Although this is a hereditary condition, you might not spot it in a newborn kitten, but later on in its young adulthood.
If you notice black spots on a cat’s tongue, you don’t have to worry, since lentigo is only a cosmetic thing, and not a condition that requires veterinary care.
As we could have seen with this cat tongue color chart, this part of your cat’s anatomy can tell you a lot about her health.
If your cat is healthy, she should have a nice pink tongue that’s dry, with no excess saliva.
Other colors, such as blue or white might indicate a couple of health conditions in your cat. Black spots, on the other hand, usually indicate that a cat has lentigo, which is a benign condition.
It’s a good idea to occasionally pay attention to your cat’s mouth, tongue, and gums to get a picture about her health.
If you notice anything suspicious, you should consult your veterinarian right away, not only in the case of changes in your cat’s mouth but also for any other potential concerning symptoms.
Our cat gum color chart also offers some useful information. Hope to see you there!