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Cat doesn't eat: does she have a toothache?


There are several possible causes of anorexia in cats. For example, toothache is often noticeable when a cat eats nothing. The cat seems hungry, but doesn't like to eat? Maybe she has a toothache - Shutterstock / zizar

Toothache, gingivitis and periodontitis can be so difficult for a cat that it does not eat anything. Read here to find out how you can tell whether your pet is actually eating nothing due to sore teeth and what symptoms there are for dental problems.

Cat doesn't eat? Toothache as a cause

Cats are used to not showing pain too clearly, because in the wild they could be life-threatening if they showed weakness earlier. Therefore, it is difficult to recognize toothache from the outside. The feeding behavior can provide important information. For example, an affected cat may be sitting in front of its bowl and eating little or nothing.

It is also possible that it sneaks around the bowl, suddenly eats very quickly and drops food in the process. Maybe she leans her head to chew on the painful side when chewing, or she suddenly prefers only wet food, although she otherwise likes to eat dry food. The reverse is also a symptom. Some cats also cry out when they chew with aching teeth. However, refusal to eat and loss of appetite can have other causes than toothache. These are not always harmless, especially when there are other symptoms such as fatigue, diarrhea or constipation. Either way, a visit to the vet is advisable if cats do not eat for more than 24 hours.

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Other symptoms of toothache in cats

In addition, there are other indications of toothache in cats. For example, your cat may react unusually aggressively if you want to pet it on the head or chin. Howls at them and may hit you, which is a sign that your mouth is hurting. But a slight flinch when touching the chin or head is already an indication of pain.

Cats who suffer from toothache also often try to get their paw to the painful area and streak their face a lot. They may rub their heads more on objects or on the floor trying to relieve the pain. Heavy salivation and gnashing of teeth are also important signs. If you manage to look into your cat's mouth, you may notice reddened gums or tartar and an unpleasant bad breath. Then it says: Off to the vet!