Cats can grind their teeth just like humans, and there are multiple explanations for this behavior.

When you know some of the reasons for this, it will be a lot easier to diagnose the issue.

This is not a good thing for any cat to do, but it might be a symptom of a larger problem.

1. Dental Disease

Cats that have serious problems with their teeth and/or gums may grind their teeth as well. This could be due to some discomfort that they feel. Your cat could have a broken tooth or some other issue that is causing them to do this. 

Drooling is another symptom of this that you will want to look out for. Your veterinarian will be able to properly diagnose your pet. You might also notice that your cat has very bad breath.

FORLS or Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions is one specific condition that can cause a cat to grind its teeth. This condition causes lesions to form in the enamel of the animal’s teeth. It can also be quite painful for them.

If your cat has an abnormal tooth alignment, they could start grinding. This is a real problem that could be an issue for your pet. A TMJ issue is also a possible cause. This is the joint in your cat’s jaw where the mandible bones come together.

Mouth ulcers are also fairly common among these animals, but they can cause quite a bit of physical distress. Even a small ulcer can quickly become a bigger problem if it is not treated soon.

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Your cat could have chipped or fractured a tooth somehow, which might explain why they are grinding their teeth. The pain they experience in their mouth could be a result of any of these things, and they all have the potential to do a lot of damage.

2. Dehydration

It is also possible that your cat is grinding their teeth because they are dehydrated. While it might seem a bit odd, your cat might be doing this to produce saliva. This is actually something that even humans have been known to do when they are not properly hydrated. It can also cause issues with acid reflux, which can be very harmful to your kitty if it is not kept under control.

cat doctor teeth

3. Food Issues

If your cat is having problems with their food, they might start grinding their teeth. This is a fairly common issue that these animals can develop when the food they are eating is not well-suited to them in one way or another.

Sometimes it can take a little bit of experimentation to find the right food for your cat. These animals can be picky eaters to say the least. It is important that you are feeding your cat a food that is appropriate according to its age.

4. Nausea

If your cat is feeling very nauseous for whatever reason, they may start grinding their teeth. While it might seem a little strange, it is a behavior that can manifest in cats. These animals are prone to all sorts of stomach issues, so this should not necessarily come as a surprise.

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Some other symptoms of nausea in your kitty include lack of appetite and vomiting. If your cat is throwing up, the nausea is probably quite severe. They could be grinding their teeth as a way of coping with the abdominal pain.

Inflammatory bowel disease is a pretty common stomach problem among cats that can cause severe nausea to become an issue. There is also intestinal lymphoma, which is usually only seen in older cats. It is very important that your cat begin receiving treatment right away if they have this condition. The longer it is ignored, the more potential it has to harm your pet in a big way.

Gastritis is a pretty common reason for cats to experience nausea, and the discomfort can be fairly intense. There are medications that your veterinarian can prescribe to ease your pet’s pain considerably.

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5. Brain Problems

A neurological issue of some kind could also be causing your cat to grind their teeth. There are many of these issues that cats can develop as they get older. A brain tumor can lead to all sorts of strange behaviors, including teeth grinding. These issues are often associated with partial or general seizures.

While neurological issues are usually associated with older cats, even younger ones can develop them. Even dementia is a possible explanation for teeth grinding in kitties.

6. Stress

Cats that are really stressed out or anxious might also develop a habit of grinding their teeth. This could be due to a sudden change in their routine that they find very upsetting. Even a small change in a cat’s daily routine can cause all sorts of problems for them and their owner.

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The fact is that some cats are more prone to stress than others. Your cat could even have separation anxiety, which causes them to grind their teeth while you are gone. It might also be due to the presence of another pet in the house that they do not particularly get along with.


  • Dental disease is one of the most common causes for cats to grind their teeth.
  • Your cat could be grinding its teeth because they have a chipped or fractured tooth.
  • Periodontal disease/gum inflammation can definitely cause cats to grind their teeth, and it can cause a lot of discomfort.
  • If the food that you are giving your cat is not well suited to them in some way, this could explain why they are grinding their teeth.
  • Nausea can cause a cat lot of discomfort, which in turn may lead to teeth grinding.
  • Even stress can lead to teeth grinding with these animals, especially if it s severe enough.
  • If your cat has neurological problems from a brain tumor or dementia, they might start doing this.
  • It is important that you take your cat to the vet so they can determine why your cat is doing this.
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Hi! I'm Anna and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Expert, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel "Salvador Dali" and breedless friend called Fenya. "I can't imagine my life without dogs and I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop".