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Cat Teeth Grinding:

Teeth grinding in cats are a typical symptom of dehydration or acidity. Another possible cause of grinding and gritting the teeth is dental problems. In rare cases, a cat grinds teeth due to a condition known as rubber jaw. Rubber jaw is a symptom of chronic renal failure and can also be caused due to hyperthyroidism.

A cat that has chronic renal failure generally experiences excessive dehydration because of the frequent urination and loss of water. As the functioning of the kidneys fails, the concentration of urine dwindles and finally the cat begins to excrete all the water that it consumes. A lot of cats suffering from renal problems tend to drink more in order to maintain hydration levels in the body.However, in most cases, they find themselves unable to do so.

When a cat is dehydrated it loses both water and electrolytes. The body begins to lose sodium because of which many reactions in the body stop taking place. Unfortunately, chronic renal failure and dehydration are usually never diagnosed before reaching advanced stages. In most cats, the cat doesn’t show any symptoms of chronic renal failure until the kidneys have been damaged to about 75%. The symptoms of dehydration, like grinding of teeth, usually begin to appear by the time the cat has become about 5% dehydrated.

Some of the other signs of dehydration that you should be able to pick are sinking of the cat’s eyes, vomiting, and appearance of cracks in the paw pads. The cat may have a dry nose and may drink too much of water without being able to quench its thirst. The cat may be seen grinding its teeth a lot and licking its lips constantly.

To check the hydration levels of the cat, you can pinch the skin anywhere on the body or scruff the neck of the cat. Normally, the skin should immediately fall back into its original place. However, if the cat is dehydrated, the skin will not come back to its place immediately.

If your cat allows it, try feeling its gums to check if they are slick. If the gums of the cat appear to be sticky instead of slick, there are good chances that your cat may be dehydrated. You can run your finger along the gums to find out the texture.
If you are in the habit of weighing your cat frequently, a sudden drop in its weight can also be an important indication of dehydration. 

 
  Submitted on December 15, 2009  
 
 
 
 
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