Stomatitis is the inflammation and ulceration of your cat's gums, cheeks, and tongue, which can result in severe pain and discomfort. In this post, our Manchester vets discuss the causes, signs, and treatment of stomatitis in cats.

What Is Stomatitis in Cats?

Feline stomatitis is a complex, painful, and frustrating disease that leads to severe inflammation of the entire mouth, including the gingiva and mucous membranes. This condition results in open sores that can cause your kitty quite a bit of pain, typically causing them to avoid eating their food. This frustrating disease affects 10% of domesticated cats.

While some breeds are more susceptible to developing this stomatitis, like Persians and Himalayas, any cat can develop stomatitis. Thankfully, there are ways in which you can help prevent it.

Causes of Stomatitis in Cats

Unfortunately, the exact causes of stomatitis in cats are unknown. Some veterinary professionals have determined that there are viral and bacterial components to your cat developing stomatitis, but the exact source of this type of bacteria has not been identified.

Inflammatory dental disease, such as periodontal, has proven to have a direct tie to the development of feline stomatitis.

It is often advised that you can help your cat avoid stomatitis by brushing their teeth regularly. Some breeds should have their teeth brushed once daily to remove food particles and any bacteria, while other breeds should only have their teeth cleaned once a week or during professional grooming appointments.

Consult your veterinarian for what is the best at-home dental routine for your kitty and how often they should receive professional dental cleanings.  

Stomatitis Symptoms in Cats

The most obvious sign of feline stomatitis is a change in their eating habits. Cats suffering from stomatitis are often in extreme pain and have reduced appetites because of the soreness they encounter. In some cases, food avoidance becomes so intense that cats become malnourished because of the pain eating causes.

Other feline stomatitis symptoms to keep an eye out for include:

  • Red patches/blisters on the mouth
  • Oral bleeding
  • Foul odor of the cat's mouth
  • Excessive salivation/drooling
  • Less grooming than is typical
  • Dropping food/crying out while eating

Treatment for Stomatitis in Cats

When you bring your cat in for irritation or bleeding of the mouth, your vet will first perform a thorough oral examination. If your cat has mild stomatitis, at-home efforts may be enough to reverse the condition. However, more severe cases may require surgical intervention, so it is important to visit your vet at the first sight of a symptom.

If your vet decides that surgery is a necessary procedure, they will likely recommend extracting any affected teeth to restore your cat's oral health.

In addition to treatment, dental checkups will likely be added to your kitty's medical routine, rather than just general routine wellness exams. The frequency of dental checkups will be determined by the degree of periodontal disease your cat has. If your adult cat's teeth are overcrowded, or if they still have their "kitten" teeth, your vet may once again recommend a tooth extraction. 

Aside from medical intervention, ask your vet how you can properly clean your cat's teeth and schedule follow-up appointments so your feline friend's dental health can be monitored.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your cat showing signs of stomatitis or another medical issue? Contact our Manchester vets to have your kitty examined and cared for.