Prevalence and risk factors for gingivitis in a cohort of UK companion cats aged up to 6 years

Jessica Williams*, Claire Roberts, Ross Harley, Timothy J Gruffydd-Jones, Jane K Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Prospectively collected data were used to estimate the prevalence of gingivitis in a cohort of companion cats aged up to six years and to investigate factors affecting the risk of gingivitis in cats aged three to four years.

Data were obtained from a longitudinal study of domestic cats (the Bristol Cats Study), using owner-completed questionnaires and veterinary surgeon-completed oral health scores. Prevalence estimates of veterinary-reported gingivitis for cats aged up to six years old (n=1534) were calculated for different age groups. Cat signalment, diet and dental care were assessed for association with gingivitis in cats aged three to four years (n=317) using univariable and multiple logistic regression.

The prevalence of gingivitis increased with age and ranged from 24.5% (< 12 months old), to 56.3% (five to six years old). Odds of gingivitis in cats aged three to four years were higher in cats fed a wet only or mixed wet/dry diet compared to dry only (OR: 2.7; 95% CI: 1.4-5.1), cats not reported to hunt compared to reported hunters (OR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.0-4.2), cats reported to dribble whilst being stroked at age six months compared to reported non-dribblers (OR: 3.2; 95% CI: 1.3-8.4) and cats with orange variants in their coat colour compared to non-orange cats (OR: 2.3; 95% CI: 1.0-5.3).

Clinical significance
These results will help veterinary surgeons identify cats that may be at a greater risk of gingivitis and provide an evidence base to inform dietary and oral healthcare recommendations aimed at promoting gingival health in cats.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Small Animal Practice
Early online date12 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 May 2024

Bibliographical note

Research Funding
Waltham Petcare Science Institute
Cats Protection
BSAVA Petsavers


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  • The Bristol Cats Study

    Murray, J. K., Gruffydd-Jones, T. J. & Casey, R. A.

    1/06/10 → …

    Project: Research

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