what do pale cat gums look like

Pale gums are identified when the normal light pink color of the gum tissues turn pale or white, indicating a serious underlying condition.

Cats that seem ill or injured in the wild are more likely to be attacked by predators. Cats tend to hide their illnesses, only appearing sick when they are very ill. Being a cat owner puts you in the best position to notice any small behavioral changes or other symptoms that could point to a health issue with your cat. The earlier your cat’s illness is identified, the sooner it can be treated, and the sooner it can begin to heal.

Bright pink to red gums: If your cat’s entire mouth’s gum line is bright pink to reddish in color, this could be a sign of a high body temperature (eg heatstroke), an illness or a toxicity. But, as this picture illustrates, if your cat has redness around their teeth and/or along their gum line, they may be having dental health issues.

Gum color is one sign of illness that can tell us something about your cat’s general health and wellness. Not only can monitoring your pet’s gum color help with early disease detection, but it can also help identify times when your cat may be concealing a serious illness. Although gum color alone is not a reliable diagnostic tool, it can help us diagnose and treat your cat more thoroughly when combined with other symptoms that your cat may be exhibiting.

Click to jump to each section:

The precise shade of pink may differ based on the pigmentation of your cat. The pink color indicates good blood circulation and oxygenation.

Additionally, cats should have smooth, moist gums, as this indicates general good gum health.

In cats, pale gums are abnormal and should always be taken seriously.

What Causes Pale Gums in Cats?Common causes of pale or white gums in cats include the following, according to Dr. Stephanie Wolf, DVM, a veterinarian with

  • Anemia is a disorder where the amount of red blood cells in the body decreases. Hemolysis, problems with the bone marrow, blood loss, and other conditions can all lead to this (destruction of red blood cells)
  • Shock: A potentially fatal condition brought on by low oxygen levels, frequently as a result of reduced blood supply to the body’s tissues It can be brought on by a serious illness, injury, or exposure to specific toxins; it can result in organ failure and death.
  • Heart disease: Some heart conditions can result in low blood oxygen levels, which can cause pale or white gums.
  • Blood loss: Trauma, organ damage, and certain illnesses can all result in blood loss. An uncommon but frequent cause is parasitic infection, which can be caused by an excessive number of fleas or ticks on a cat.
  • Kidney disease: The production of blood is significantly influenced by the kidneys. Pale gums in middle-aged and older cats may indicate kidney disease.

Other less alarming reasons for cats’ pale gums could be stress or mild dehydration, according to Dr. Wolf.

It’s crucial that you never attempt to diagnose your cat’s pale gums on your own. If you notice pale or white gums on your cat, you should always take them to the vet for a thorough examination, as this color change may indicate a serious underlying health issue.


What is considered pale gums in cats?

The most easily observed and common clinical sign of anemia is a loss of the normal pink color of the gums; they may appear pale pink to white when examined. “Pale gums and lethargy indicate the need to perform blood tests.” Anemic cats also have little stamina or energy, so they seem listless or tire more easily.

What do unhealthy cat gums look like?

White or pale pink gums: While blue indicates a lack of oxygen, white or pale pink gums mean your kitty has poor blood circulation. It’s possible their body isn’t producing enough red blood cells, but these colors could also be a warning sign for internal bleeding.

What do anemic cat gums look like?

An anemic cat may have little energy to play or may sleep more than usual. The cat’s gums may appear almost white or even yellow (a condition called jaundice) due to red blood cell destruction.

What do dehydrated cat gums look like?

The gums are also pale, dry, and tacky. If you gently press on the gums in a hydrated cat, a small white patch appears and then quickly disappears. If the cat is dehydrated, the pink color doesn’t quickly reappear.