Stomatitis is a serious gum disease in cats that can make them very uncomfortable. Our Hohenwald vets explain the potential causes of stomatitis, how to recognize it in your kitty, and how to get it treated.
What is Stomatitis in Cats?
Feline stomatitis is an excruciating inflammation and ulceration of your cat's gums, cheeks, and tongue. It can create sores in their mouth, making it hard for them to eat. This frustrating disease affects 10% of domesticated cats.
While some breeds are more susceptible to developing this condition, like Persians and Himalayans, any cat can develop stomatitis, but you can help prevent it.
Causes of Feline Stomatitis
The main reasons behind stomatitis in cats are not completely understood. Some experts believe that both viruses and bacteria play a role in causing stomatitis in cats, but we don't know exactly where this bacteria comes from.
Regardless of the cause, most vets recommend brushing your cat's teeth regularly to prevent this painful condition. Some breeds can have their teeth brushed once daily to remove food particles and bacteria, while others 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.
Symptoms of Stomatitis in Cats
The most noticeable sign of stomatitis in cats is, predictably, a change in their eating habits. Cats suffering from stomatitis are often in extreme pain and have reduced appetites. In some cases, food avoidance is so severe that cats become malnourished because it is so painful for them to eat.
Other stomatitis symptoms in cats to watch out for include:
- Red patches/blisters of 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
How Stomatitis in Cats is Treated
Your vet will first perform an oral exam when your cat has a mouth problem like irritation or bleeding. If your cat has mild stomatitis, at-home care might be enough to treat their stomatitis. Severe cases require surgical intervention. Consult your vet to understand better how to treat your kitty best.
If surgery is needed, your vet might suggest removing the affected teeth to help your cat feel better and heal.
In addition to treatment, your cat may need dental check-ups more often, not just regular check-ups. How often depends on how bad their gum disease is. If your adult cat has too many teeth or still has baby teeth, your vet might recommend removing some teeth.
Aside from medical intervention, your vet should show you how to properly clean your cat's teeth and schedule follow-up appointments to review your feline's dental health.
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.