3 Signs Your Cat May Have Gum Disease
Cat teeth aren't that different to human teeth in some ways. They are often prone to the same kinds of problems. For example, some cats have issues with gum disease. Left untreated, this can also go on to give them problems with their teeth.
While your cat can't tell you about its dental problems and you may not feel safe prodding around inside its mouth, there are some signs you can look out for. How can you tell if your cat has a problem with its gums?
1. Colour Changes
Like human gums, cat gums should be a healthy pink colour. Changes in colour can indicate a gum problem.
Try to take a look inside your cat's mouth when you next get the chance. If your cat is placid enough to let you near their mouth, then raise its lips to get a look at its gums. If it won't let you do this, then having a look in the mouth when your cat yawns may work.
If part or all of your cat's gums look red rather than pink, then things aren't right. Additional signs to look out for include gums that look sore and swollen.
2. Changes in Eating Habits
If your cat has gum disease, then it may hurt when they eat. If you usually feed your cat a mix of hard and soft foods, then it may start to leave the hard foods and focus solely on the soft ones. Softer foods put less pressure on sore gums, so they are easier to eat.
You may also find that your cat avoids treats that it normally likes. For example, it may refuse to eat chewy, crunchy or hard treats. Again, your cat may be trying to avoid hurting its gums and teeth.
3. Changes in Eating Behaviour
Even if your cat eats softer foods readily enough, the way it eats can also be a sign of gum problems. If your pet normally dives right in and is full-on focused on its food, then any changes in its behaviour while it eats may be significant. For example, your cat may move its head to the side if eating is painful. It may stop chewing food and just swallow it. It may simply look uncomfortable when it eats.
It's important for your cat to have regular dental as well as health check-ups. If you suspect your pet has a gum problem, then take it to your local veterinary dentistry clinic. The sooner you deal with gum disease, the better the outlook.