Why do orange tabby cats have so many black "freckles" on their gums and lips? Does this signify a health concern?

Asked by Member 725142 on Aug 17th 2011 in Health & Wellness
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Izadore (Izzie)

"This condition is seen in many cats, especially orange tabbies or calico cats. Most often the spots appear in middle-aged to older cats. Owners usually notice the small black spots on the lips or nose first; only to worry as more dots appear and some grow a bit larger.
The most common answer for black spots appearing on your cats lips, nose, or eye margins is that it is a condition called lentigo simplex, and it is not a form of cancer. In fact, it is completely harmless, just like human freckles.

That said, one cannot assume that every black spot on your pet is harmless, this is just the most common scenario for orange-colored cats. Always have your cat checked out by your veterinarian to be sure." --This is from, on the veterinary medicine/advice page.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 8/18/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Can't improve on what Izzie wrote, but Harvey has black freckles on his nose and gums. After learning that they are common in red tabbies and almost invariably harmless (ask your vet at your next wellness check, though), I stopped worrying and started to think of them as the kind of freckles redheaded people get. Quincy, on the other hand, has a few black whiskers, which I take to be inherited from his tortie mother, Chibi.

Harvey answered on 8/18/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


i dont think its anything to worry about. my cat nellie has black spot on the inside of her bottom lip and bottom gum. she dosent have problems with it.

Member 1031691 answered on 8/18/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Just like fair skinned red headed humans that freckle. The older the cat gets the more freckles they get. I had a beautiful green eyed red headed male kitty that lived to a ripe age of 19! Freckles and all Nothing to worry about unless you see an abnormality - just like in human beings.

Member 1048558 answered on 8/24/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer