Cat Gingivitis: 3 Secret Causes and What You Can Do at Home

Cat Gingivitis: 3 Secret Causes and What You Can Do at Home

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If you’ve been noticing a bit of a funky smell to your cat’s breath or behavior that’s a little off, you may be worried about cat gingivitis. Gingivitis in cats isn’t something to sweep under the rug (along with those squeaky toys), as it can lead to more serious problems down the road. To get your cat’s smile in great shape, here’s everything you need to know about gingivitis in cats and how to easily remedy it at home.

What Is Cat Gingivitis?

There are four stages of periodontal disease in pets, each stage more serious than the last. The good news is that gingivitis – inflammation of the gums – is the earliest stage of periodontal (gum) disease and is completely reversible with good oral care.

Plaque is the starting point for gingivitis. Plaque is filled with bacteria that can irritate and inflame the gums if it isn’t removed. When plaque hardens into yellow-brown tartar, that’s when you know gum disease is advancing.

gingivitis in cats signs symptoms and causes

3 Secret Causes of Gingivitis in Cats

While poor oral care is the #1 cause of gingivitis in cats, there are some secret causes that can make your cat more susceptible to plaque attacks and gingivitis:

1. Age

Your regal cat may be aging gracefully in the looks department, but it could be a different story inside their smile. Older cats are more likely to develop gingivitis, and if your cat is a purebred, the odds increase even more, as their teeth are often overcrowded, hiding more plaque.

2. Diabetes

Just like in humans, cats with diabetes are much more prone to gum disease. Poor glycemic control can reduce blood flow to the gum tissues, inviting infection into the mouth. If they do get an infection, they will have a harder time fighting it off.

3. Autoimmune Disorders

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) predispose cats to gingivitis. With their delicate immune systems, gum infections can easily spread.

How to Detect Gingivitis in Cats Naturally

There are many tell-tale signs you can look for at home to determine if your cat may have gingivitis:

  • Cat halitosis (bad breath)
  • Redness and swelling along the gum line
  • Pawing at the face
  • Film on the teeth (indicates plaque)
  • Yellow or brown coating on the teeth (indicates tartar)
  • Difficulty chewing hard kibble – e.g. just chewing on one side of the mouth

You’ll also want to have your veterinarian regularly examine your cat’s teeth and gums. Oftentimes, pet owners don’t notice a problem until the later stages of gum disease.

Best Gingivitis in Cats At-Home Remedy

Remember – gingivitis is entirely reversible in its early stages. And the best way to ensure your cat has a healthy smile is through daily oral care.


We get it. Even the most mellow cats can throw a hissy fit when they see a toothbrush headed their way. That’s why we crafted our unique, best-selling formula to help – and it’s easy – you just add a capful to their water daily: Oxyfresh Pet Dental Care Water Additive.

This no-brush daily water additive goes straight into the cat’s water bowl to fight plaque and tartar. Unlike other water additives, our vet-recommended formula is tasteless and odorless – even the pickiest cats love it. Your cat will be none-the-wiser that you’re giving him a healthier smile with every sip.

Our secret to fresh breath and healthy teeth and gums is Oxygene® and Zinc. This is our exclusive formula that neutralizes bacteria and bad breath molecules at the source.

No harsh chemicals, irritating alcohol, mint, tea tree or clove oils. Only the best for our pets and yours.

2 Paws Up for Pet Dental Care Water Additive

  • Freshens cat breath
  • Fights plaque & tartar
  • Tasteless & odorless
  • Non-toxic & USA-made
  • Vet-recommended

And the best reason … IT WORKS.

Mouth Saver/Money Saver
“I have been a customer since 2002 when my cat Pooka was 20 weeks old. She turned 17 last week and has NEVER needed a tooth cleaning. Her teeth have never had any tartar accumulation. Amazing product … I recommend it to all my friends.” Smudge’s Mom –Clinton Township, MI

Teeth Are Clean And White
“I use the water additive on my 3 dogs and 2 cats. It keeps their teeth clean and white. When I first started them on it 6 years ago their teeth had a lot of plaque. We have had no problems since!” Linda S. – Coeur d’Alene, ID

Great Product, Excellent Service
“Our vet was impressed with our cats’ dental health and strongly approves of Oxyfresh. It’s an easy way to help your pets!” Gary E. – Parker, CO

The final word on gingivitis in cats: whether cats have 1 life or 9, let’s make sure they’re happy and healthy ones! Discover just how easy daily oral care can be with Oxyfresh Dental Care Water Additive, the preferred water additive of pets, vets and thousands of loyal cat lovers like you.

P.S. Meow, phhht, phhht, meow. That’s cat talk for “Please share this post with other cat parents so their pets can have healthy smiles too!” Meow. (Thank you.)

oxyfresh pet water additive for fresh pet breath

melissa gulbranson oxyfresh cmo

Meet the Author

Melissa Gulbranson is the Co-Chief Operating Officer & Chief Marketing Officer for Oxyfresh. A recipient of the Pet Age's "Women of Influence" Award, she’s passionate about educating pet parents in ways that really resonate with them. Melissa loves days on the lake and hiking with her fur kid, Parker, and husband, Doug. Parker (a total ham) can be spotted running laps through the office each morning, greeting every team member. You can find Parker near the treats, and Melissa on Linkedin.