Skip to Content

What color are tabby cats gums?

Gum color can be an important indicator of your cat’s health. Knowing what is normal for your tabby cat can help you spot potential problems early. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at tabby cat gum color and what it means.

What Are Considered Normal Gum Colors for Tabby Cats?

For most tabby cats, normal gum color ranges from light pink to bubblegum pink. Here are the gum colors that are considered normal and healthy for tabby cats:

  • Light pink
  • Bright bubblegum pink
  • Pale pink

These gum colors indicate good circulation and oxygenation. As long as your tabby cat’s gums are some shade of pink, there is likely no cause for concern.

What Do Different Gum Colors Mean?

While pink is the healthiest gum color for tabby cats, other gum colors can sometimes occur. Here is an overview of what different gum colors may indicate:

Gum Color Potential Meaning
Pale pink May indicate anemia or decreased blood circulation
White or gray Often a sign of shock or decreased blood flow
Blue or purple Usually indicates a lack of oxygen reaching the tissues
Bright red May indicate inflammation, infection, or gingivitis
Yellow or orange Often a sign of jaundice or liver disease

Some gum color changes are transient and resolve on their own. However, abnormal gum colors often require veterinary attention to diagnose and treat any underlying condition.

What Causes Gum Color Changes in Tabby Cats?

There are a variety of health issues that can cause your tabby cat’s gums to change color. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Anemia: With anemia, the blood lacks sufficient healthy red blood cells. This can lead to pale gums.
  • Dehydration: Dehydration thickens the blood and decreases circulation, causing pale or white gums.
  • Oral disease: Gingivitis and other dental diseases can cause red, inflamed gums.
  • Respiratory disease: Any condition that impairs oxygen levels can turn gums blue or purple.
  • Toxins: Exposure to toxins like antifreeze can give gums a blue tint.
  • Jaundice: Liver disease andblocked bile ducts can result in yellow gums.
  • Shock: Any cause of low blood pressure, like trauma or heart disease, leads to white or gray gums as circulation decreases.

Your veterinarian will need to run tests to determine the specific cause of any gum color change. Prompt veterinary care is important, as many of the underlying causes can become serious if left untreated.

When to See the Vet

You should bring your tabby cat to the vet promptly if you notice any of the following gum changes:

  • Pale, white, or gray gums
  • Blue, purple, or yellow gums
  • Gums that are a brighter red than normal
  • Gums that are painful or bleeding

It’s also important to seek veterinary care if your cat is showing any signs of illness along with gum color changes. Symptoms like lethargy, appetite loss, vomiting, or difficulty breathing should be addressed as soon as possible.

Diagnosing the Cause of Gum Color Changes

To determine what is causing your tabby cat’s gum color change, your vet will likely recommend the following diagnostic tests:

  • Complete blood count (CBC): Checks for anemia, infection, clotting issues, and inflammation.
  • Biochemistry panel: Assesses organ function, electrolytes, and blood sugar.
  • Urinalysis: Checks for signs of dehydration, diabetes, kidney disease, and other imbalances.
  • Bile acid test: Helps identify liver problems leading to jaundice.
  • Blood gases: Measures oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.
  • Blood pressure: Low pressure can cause pale gums.
  • Dental exam: Checks for oral health issues that may cause gum inflammation.
  • Imaging tests: X-rays, ultrasound, or CT scans to look for internal issues.

Based on your cat’s exam and test results, your veterinarian can zero in on the specific diagnosis. Timely, appropriate treatment can then be provided.

Treatments for Gum Color Changes in Tabby Cats

Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of your tabby cat’s gum color change. Some possible treatments may include:

  • Fluids and electrolytes for dehydration
  • Iron supplements and erythropoietin injections for anemia
  • Oxygen therapy for respiratory disease
  • Antibiotics and antifungals for infection
  • Steroids and other anti-inflammatories for inflammation
  • Transfusions for blood loss
  • Dental cleaning and tooth extractions for oral disease
  • Surgery to address underlying issues

Your vet may also recommend follow-up care like a special diet, vitamins, more frequent exams, and lab tests to monitor your cat’s condition. With appropriate treatment tailored to the specific problem, many cats with gum color changes recover well.


While gum color changes sometimes arise spontaneously, there are steps you can take to try to prevent them:

  • Feed a high quality diet to support your cat’s health
  • Give your cat plenty of fresh water daily
  • Have your vet perform wellness exams twice yearly
  • Administer any recommended vaccines to prevent illness
  • Use veterinary approved dental care products to reduce plaque buildup
  • Avoid exposure to toxins like antifreeze that could cause gum color changes
  • Learn to recognize your cat’s normal gum color when healthy
  • Watch for any signs of illness and seek prompt veterinary care

While you can’t prevent all gum color changes, these measures can lower your tabby cat’s risk. Being vigilant and contacting your vet at the first sign of abnormal gum color is also key for the best outcome.

Gum Color Changes in Tabby Kittens

Kittens can also sometimes show gum color changes, usually due to the following causes:

  • Fading kitten syndrome
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Juvenile lymphoma
  • Anemia from fleas, intestinal parasites, or poor nutrition
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Liver disease

A kitten’s gums normally look more red or deep pink compared to an adult cat. You should seek prompt veterinary care if your tabby kitten’s gums appear pale, white, blue, purple, or yellow.

Early diagnosis and treatment is key for kittens, as their small size makes them more vulnerable to serious effects from conditions leading to gum color changes. With aggressive supportive care, many kittens with abnormal gum colors can recover.

Monitoring Gum Color at Home

Between vet visits, you can monitor your tabby cat’s gum color by gently lifting their upper lip at home. Here are some tips for checking gum color:

  • Use natural light rather than artificial light
  • Look at the gums and tissue just beneath the teeth
  • Press gently with a finger – the gums should briefly blanch white then return to pink when released
  • Note any variance from your cat’s normal gum color
  • Take a photo to show your vet if concerned
  • Check gums when your cat seems lethargic or unwell

Don’t forcefully pull back your cat’s lips, as this may damage their mouth. Go slowly and give treats after so they don’t resist next time. Contact your vet immediately if you observe abnormal gum color or texture.

Can Gum Color Return to Normal?

With treatment, your tabby cat’s gum color can often return to its normal pink shade. However, in some cases gum color changes can be permanent. For example:

  • Chronic kidney disease can lead to pale gums that don’t improve.
  • Gingivitis that is left untreated can permanently redden the gums.
  • Scarring from autoimmune disease can cause gums to appear blue or purple.
  • Cats with gum cancer may have chronically inflamed, red gums.

Your vet can give you an idea of your cat’s prognosis. In many cases, even if some gum color change remains, your cat can still live a good quality of life with appropriate care.

When to Seek Emergency Vet Treatment

In most cases, abnormal gum color in cats does not require emergency veterinary treatment. However, you should seek emergency care if your tabby cat has pale, white, blue, or purple gums and also shows any of these symptoms:

  • Unconsciousness or collapse
  • Severe lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Crying or whining in pain
  • Very fast or slow heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Bleeding from mouth
  • Extreme jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)

These signs can indicate a critical problem like toxin exposure, shock, a ruptured organ, or congestive heart failure requiring rapid treatment. Bring your cat to an emergency vet clinic right away if they are very ill.


For tabby cat owners, keeping an eye on your cat’s gum color is an important part of monitoring their health. Normal gum color ranges from pale to deep pink. If your cat’s gums are white, blue, purple, bright red, or yellow, prompt veterinary care is advised. With rapid diagnosis and treatment, many cats with gum color changes can recover well and regain normal gum color.