Why Does My Cat Have Black Spots in His Mouth?

As a cat owner, it’s natural to be concerned if you notice any unusual changes or spots in your cat’s mouth. One common concern that many cat owners have is the presence of black spots in their cat’s mouth. While these spots may seem alarming, there can be several reasons behind their appearance. In this article, we will explore some of the possible causes and provide answers to some frequently asked questions regarding this issue.

Possible Causes of Black Spots in a Cat’s Mouth:

1. Pigmentation: Just like humans, cats can have pigmentation in their mouths. Black spots can occur naturally and are often harmless. These spots can be present on the gums, roof of the mouth, or any other area within the oral cavity.

2. Melanoma: Although rare, cats can develop melanoma, a type of skin cancer, in their mouths. Melanoma can appear as black spots or patches and may require veterinary attention for diagnosis and treatment.

3. Gingivitis: Black spots can also be a sign of gingivitis or inflammation of the gums. This condition can cause the gums to appear dark or black in color, especially around the base of the teeth.

4. Tartar and Plaque: Excessive tartar and plaque buildup on the teeth can lead to discoloration of the gums, causing them to appear black. Regular dental care and professional cleanings can help prevent this issue.

5. Oral Ulcers: Ulcers or sores in the mouth can sometimes appear as black spots. These ulcers can be caused by various factors, including viral infections, trauma, or autoimmune diseases.

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6. Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex: This condition can cause the formation of raised, black lesions or ulcers in the mouth. It is often associated with allergies or immune system disorders.

7. Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions (FORLs): FORLs are a common dental condition in cats that can cause the destruction of tooth structure. They can appear as dark spots or lesions on the teeth or gums.

8. Cat Acne: Just like humans, cats can develop acne. It can manifest as blackheads or black spots on the chin or around the mouth. Good hygiene and proper cleaning can help manage this condition.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Are black spots in my cat’s mouth dangerous?
Most black spots are harmless, but it is essential to have them evaluated by a veterinarian to rule out any serious conditions.

2. Can I remove the black spots myself?
It is not advisable to try and remove the spots yourself. Consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

3. How can I prevent black spots in my cat’s mouth?
Regular dental care, including brushing your cat’s teeth and providing appropriate chew toys, can help prevent dental issues that lead to black spots.

4. Can black spots in the mouth cause bad breath?
Yes, black spots associated with dental conditions or gingivitis can contribute to bad breath in cats.

5. Are black spots in the mouth contagious?
Black spots themselves are not contagious, but some underlying causes may be infectious. Consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis.

6. Can black spots be a sign of oral cancer in cats?
While black spots can be associated with oral cancer, they are more commonly caused by benign conditions. A veterinarian can provide a definitive diagnosis.

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7. How are black spots in the mouth diagnosed?
A veterinarian will conduct a thorough oral examination, possibly including dental X-rays or a biopsy if necessary, to diagnose the cause of black spots.

8. Can black spots in the mouth be treated?
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause. Some conditions may require dental cleanings, medications, dietary changes, or even surgery.

9. Are black spots in the mouth painful for cats?
Depending on the cause, black spots can cause discomfort or pain. Cats may exhibit signs such as reluctance to eat, drooling, or pawing at the mouth.

10. Can black spots in the mouth be prevented with a specific diet?
While a healthy diet can contribute to overall oral health, specific diets alone cannot prevent black spots. Regular dental care is crucial.

11. How often should I have my cat’s teeth examined?
Cats should have their teeth examined by a veterinarian at least once a year. Regular dental cleanings may be recommended based on their oral health.


The presence of black spots in your cat’s mouth can be concerning, but it’s important to remember that many of these spots are harmless and can be managed with appropriate veterinary care. Regular dental care, including professional cleanings and good oral hygiene practices at home, can help prevent the development of black spots and associated dental issues. If you notice any changes in your cat’s oral health, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.