Malocclusion in Cats: Causes, Signs, and Treatment How to Identify Malocclusion in Cats and How to Treat It

Malocclusion in Cats: Causes, Signs, and Treatment Photo by Duong Nhรขn:

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Malocclusion, often known as tooth misalignment, is a typical dental problem in your cat. We discuss the condition more in this article.

Malocclusion, also known as a misalignment of the teeth, is a common dental issue seen in cats. Aside from making it difficult to eat, this illness can also lead to pain and infections. We will go over the causes, signs, and potential treatments for malocclusion in cats in this article.

Causes of Feline Malocclusion

The reasons for feline malocclusion can range from inheritance to trauma to disease.

Genetics is one of the most frequent causes of malocclusion in cats.

Some breeds of cats, such as the Siamese and the Himalayan, have a predisposition to dental issues, including malocclusion. This indicates that your cat may be more prone to developing this illness if it belongs to one of these breeds.

Injury is another common cause of malocclusion in cats. Trauma to the jaw or face can cause the teeth to become misaligned, leading to malocclusion. This can happen as a result of an accident or fight with another animal.

Diseases can also cause malocclusion in cats. For example, feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORLs) are a common dental issue in cats that can lead to malocclusion. This is a condition where the body starts to resorb the tooth, leaving a small, sharp stub that can cause pain and injury to the tongue and gums.

Other causes include dental malformations, abnormal growth of teeth, malocclusion from abscess or infection, and malocclusion from malpositioning of teeth or jaw.

However, malocclusion in cats can also be caused by a combination of factors, such as a genetic predisposition to dental issues and injury.

You should consult with a veterinarian to identify the cause of malocclusion and recommend the best treatment options.


Feline malocclusion can have a variety of signs and symptoms, some of which may be subtle and others more obvious. The following are a few of the most typical symptoms of malocclusion in cats:

  • Difficulty eating or swallowing: Cats with malocclusion may have trouble biting and chewing their food and may also struggle to swallow.

  • Drooling: Some cats with malocclusion may drool excessively as a result of difficulty swallowing.

  • Bad breath: Malocclusion can lead to periodontal disease, which can cause bad breath.

  • Facial swelling: Cats with malocclusion may have to swell around their face or jaw as a result of the misaligned teeth.

  • Loss of appetite: Cats with malocclusion may lose their appetite due to pain or difficulty eating.

  • Pawing at the mouth: Cats with malocclusion may paw at their mouths due to pain or discomfort.

  • Discoloration or abnormal shape of teeth: Malocclusion can cause teeth to be discolored or shaped abnormally.

  • behavioral changes: cats may become more aggressive or less sociable.

However, not all cats with malocclusion will show these signs, and some cats may have malocclusion without showing any signs at all. It is crucial to have regular dental check-ups with a veterinarian to detect malocclusion early and prevent further complications.

Treatment of Malocclusion in Cats

The origin and severity of malocclusion in cats will determine the course of treatment. Typical forms of treatment include:

  • Dental cleaning and extractions: A veterinarian may recommend a thorough dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar and to extract any damaged or diseased teeth.

  • Orthodontic treatment: The alignment of the teeth may be improved by orthodontic treatment, such as braces. Typically, modest occurrences of malocclusion are treated with this method.

  • Surgery: Surgery could be required in extreme malocclusion situations to realign the jaw or to remove any cysts or tumors.

  • Medications: Antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to treat infections and control inflammation. Moreso, pain medications for cats can be prescribed to relieve pain.

  • Dental and balanced diet: a veterinarian may recommend a diet specifically formulated for dental health. Also, vitamins and supplements should be given to cats to aid the healing process. 

How to Prevent Feline Malocclusion

There are several things you can do to help prevent feline malocclusion:

  • Brush your cat's teeth regularly: Regular tooth brushing for cats can assist in getting rid of plaque and tartar and stop periodontal disease. In order to get your cat acclimated to the activity, it is recommended to begin cleaning its teeth at a young age.

  • Provide dental toys and chews: Dental toys and chews can help to keep your cat's teeth clean and healthy by promoting chewing and gnawing.

  • Feed a dental-health diet: There are some cat foods specifically formulated to promote dental health. Feeding your cat a diet that is designed to promote dental health can help to reduce the buildup of plaque and tartar.

  • Regular dental check-ups: Regular dental check-ups with a veterinarian can help to detect dental problems in your cat early on, prior to them becoming serious.

  • Keep an eye on your cat's teeth: You should regularly check your cat's teeth for any signs of discoloration, abnormal shape, or other problems. Contact your veterinarian if you see anything out of the ordinary.

  • Avoid feeding soft food or wet food only: Cats that eat only soft foods or wet foods have a higher risk of developing malocclusion. 

  • Avoid giving table scraps or human food: Table scraps or human food can be high in sugar and can contribute to dental problems.

Malocclusion can develop for a variety of reasons, including genetics, trauma, and disease. Therefore, your cat could still acquire malocclusion even if you perform all the preventative steps.

Overall, it is critical to recognize malocclusion and take precautions to avoid it. By taking good care of your cat's teeth and gums, you can help to ensure their overall health and well-being.

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