How Your Cat's Gums Can Help You To Determine Their Health

3 January 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Cats are susceptible to dental disease like humans are, but their gums can also reveal other things about their overall health. Paying attention to your cat's gum color and appearance can help you to determine if your cat is healthy, or if they have an underlying illness you are unaware of. This guide will explain what the different colors of cat's gums can mean, and how you can regularly examine your cat's gums to protect their health.


Most cats should have pink gums, unless your cat is particularly dark-skinned. Even then, your cat's gums will probably appear to be black or grayish, with pink undertones.

Pink is the best color your cat's gums can possibly be. It indicates that there's good circulation to the surface of the gums, and that there isn't any additional inflammation changing the color of the gums.


Red indicates that your cat's gums are undergoing some kind of inflammation or infection. While pink is a healthy color, a deeper or brighter red indicates that there's inflammation at the tissue's surface, resulting in this color. If your cat's gums are red, you should take them to a veterinarian to find out if they have gingivitis or another form of gum disease.


If your cat's gums are yellow, their health may be in serious danger. Yellow gums, as well as yellow tongues or paw pads can indicate that your cat is experiencing liver failure or liver disease.

If the liver isn't functioning properly, a build-up of bile may accumulate in your cat's body, resulting in a yellow, jaundiced appearance to their skin. However, since most cats are covered in fur, you may only notice the yellowish tinge on their gums, tongue, or paws. If your cat has yellow gums, get them to a veterinarian immediately; their life may depend on it.

Pale or White

Pale or white gums are also a sign that there's a serious health problem with your cat. Gums turn pale if there's an insufficient supply of iron or red blood cells circulating through the body. In short, it means that your cat is probably anemic, and isn't producing enough blood to stay healthy. Your cat may or may not also exhibit other signs of anemia, like weakness, lethargy, or shortness of breath during any kind of activity.

If your cat's gums are white, you should get them to the veterinarian immediately. In some cases, your cat may simply need some nutritional boosts to increase their iron levels and improve their ability to produce blood. In extreme cases, however, your cat may require an immediate blood transfusion.

Cats' gums can say a lot about their overall health and wellness, and all it takes is a simple peek to check. Keep an eye on your cat's gums to help monitor their well-being and to keep them safe and healthy. If your cat has any discoloration of the gums, or any other health problems, see a vet like 1st Pet Veterinary Centers or others in your area.