Stomatitis in Cats
Pet Care

Stomatitis in Cats: A Complete Guide to Diagnosing and Treating Feline Oral Inflammation

Stomatitis in cats is a painful inflammation of the mouth and gums. It can cause difficulty in eating and is often characterized by redness and ulceration in the oral cavity.

Stomatitis can be caused by immune system disorders, viral infections, environmental factors, or poor oral hygiene. Treatment usually involves a combination of medication, dental care, and potential extractions of affected teeth. Early detection and management are crucial in minimizing discomfort for the cat and preventing further complications.

Monitoring oral health, providing regular dental cleanings, and seeking veterinary care at the first sign of symptoms can help ensure the well-being of our feline companions.

What Is Stomatitis In Cats

Stomatitis in cats is a painful and potentially debilitating oral condition that affects many feline companions. It is characterized by severe inflammation of the mouth and gums, often leading to sores and ulcers. Cats with stomatitis may experience difficulty eating, drooling, bad breath, and extreme discomfort. In this blog post, we will delve into the various aspects of stomatitis in cats, starting with its definition and then exploring the causes behind this condition.


Stomatitis, also known as feline stomatitis or chronic gingivo-stomatitis, is an inflammatory disease that affects a cat’s oral cavity, particularly the back of the mouth, including the tonsils and throat. It is a painful condition that can significantly impact a cat’s overall wellbeing and quality of life.


The exact cause of stomatitis in cats is still not fully understood. However, it is believed to be a multifactorial disease, meaning that several factors may contribute to its development. Here are some of the commonly recognized causes:

  • Poor oral hygiene: A lack of regular dental care, such as brushing or professional cleanings, can lead to a buildup of plaque and tartar, which can trigger an inflammatory response in the mouth.
  • Periodontal disease: Advanced gum disease, including bacterial infections, can damage the tissues around the teeth and contribute to the development of stomatitis.
  • Genetic predisposition: Certain cat breeds, such as Persians and Siamese, are more prone to developing stomatitis.
  • Immune system dysfunction: Cats with a weakened immune system, either due to viral infections like feline leukemia virus (FeLV) or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), or other underlying health conditions, may be more susceptible to stomatitis.
  • Allergies: Some cats may develop stomatitis as a result of an allergic reaction to certain foods or environmental factors.

It’s important to note that while these factors play a role in the development of stomatitis, individual cases may vary, and not all cats with these risk factors will develop the condition. Identifying the underlying cause of stomatitis in each cat can be challenging, and it often requires thorough examination and diagnostic testing by a veterinarian.

Symptoms Of Stomatitis

Stomatitis in cats can cause several symptoms including ulcers, bad breath, drooling, and difficulty eating. These signs should be addressed promptly by a veterinarian.

Oral Signs

Cats with stomatitis can experience a range of oral signs that indicate the presence of this painful condition. These signs, when observed, should prompt immediate veterinary attention. One of the most common oral signs of stomatitis is severe inflammation of the gums, also known as gingivitis. In addition to inflamed gums, cats with stomatitis may have ulcers, redness, and swelling of the oral tissues. These manifestations can cause significant discomfort and difficulty eating or drinking. It is important to pay close attention to any changes in your cat’s mouth to ensure early detection of stomatitis.

Behavioral Changes

Stomatitis in cats can also lead to a variety of behavioral changes that reflect the discomfort they experience. One common behavioral change associated with stomatitis is a decrease in appetite. Cats may become reluctant to eat due to the pain and discomfort they feel when chewing. They may also exhibit changes in their grooming habits, which can include excessive grooming or neglecting their usual grooming routine. Additionally, cats with stomatitis may become more irritable or aggressive, as the pain in their mouth can make them more sensitive to touch or other interactions. If you notice any of these behavioral changes in your cat, it is important to consult a veterinarian to determine whether stomatitis is the underlying cause.

Diagnosing Stomatitis

Stomatitis in cats can be diagnosed through a thorough examination of the mouth, including a physical exam and dental X-rays. Symptoms such as bad breath, drooling, and difficulty eating can help veterinarians determine the presence and severity of stomatitis in cats.

Physical Examination

When a cat is suspected to have stomatitis, a thorough physical examination is the first step in the diagnostic process. The veterinarian will carefully examine the cat’s mouth, looking for any signs of inflammation, redness, or ulcers. They may also assess the cat’s overall oral health, including the condition of the teeth and gums. During this examination, the vet will observe the cat’s behavior and take note of any signs of pain or discomfort.

Dental X-rays

In addition to a physical examination, dental x-rays play a crucial role in diagnosing stomatitis in cats. These x-rays help the veterinarian evaluate the underlying structures of the mouth, including the bones and roots of the teeth. The x-rays can reveal any abnormalities or issues that may not be visible during a visual examination alone.

In some cases, dental x-rays may show signs of tooth resorption, a condition where the body starts breaking down and reabsorbing the tooth structure. Tooth resorption is often associated with stomatitis and can contribute to the severity of the condition. By identifying tooth resorption, the veterinarian can make more informed decisions regarding treatment options.

Treatment Options

Stomatitis in cats can be treated with several options, including antibiotics, pain management medication, immune system boosters, and even surgical removal of affected teeth. Veterinarians will assess the severity of the condition and provide the most appropriate course of treatment for each individual cat.


One of the main treatment options for stomatitis in cats is the use of medications. These medications aim to reduce inflammation, control pain, and manage the immune response that causes the condition. Here are some commonly used medications for stomatitis:

  • Corticosteroids: These anti-inflammatory medications are often prescribed to alleviate pain and reduce swelling in the affected areas.
  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): These drugs can also help decrease inflammation and provide pain relief, but they should be used cautiously and under veterinary supervision due to potential side effects.
  • Immunosuppressants: Drugs such as cyclosporine or azathioprine can help suppress the immune system’s response, which can reduce inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of stomatitis.
  • Antibiotics: In cases where secondary infections are present, antibiotics may be prescribed to eliminate the infection and prevent further complications.
  • Antiviral Medications: Antiviral drugs such as famciclovir may be used if a viral infection, such as feline herpesvirus, is believed to be contributing to the stomatitis.

Dental Surgery

In some severe cases of stomatitis, medications alone may not be enough to provide long-term relief. Dental surgery can be considered as a treatment option to remove the source of inflammation and alleviate the symptoms. The two most common dental surgeries for stomatitis in cats are:

  1. Tooth Extraction: Extracting the affected teeth is often recommended as a permanent solution for cats with severe or recurrent stomatitis. Removing the teeth stops the immune system’s response to the bacteria and plaque buildup around the teeth, providing significant relief.
  2. Gingivectomy: In a gingivectomy, the inflamed gum tissues are surgically removed to reduce inflammation and promote healing. This procedure may be performed in conjunction with tooth extraction or as a standalone treatment option.

It is important to note that dental surgery is generally performed under general anesthesia, and post-operative care must be followed diligently to ensure proper healing of the surgical site.

Prevention And Management

Stomatitis in cats can be prevented and managed through proper dental hygiene practices and regular veterinary care. Maintaining a healthy diet, regular teeth brushing, and scheduling routine dental cleanings are essential for preventing and managing stomatitis in cats. Veterinary professionals can provide guidance on treatment options such as medications and dental surgeries if needed.

Oral Hygiene

In order to prevent and manage stomatitis in cats, maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial. Regular dental care can significantly reduce the risk of developing this painful condition.

Brushing their teeth: Regularly brushing your cat’s teeth can remove plaque and tartar buildup, preventing inflammation and infection in the mouth. Use a cat-specific toothbrush and toothpaste to gently brush their teeth at least once a week.

Professional dental cleanings: Regular visits to a veterinarian for professional dental cleanings are essential for preventing stomatitis. During these cleanings, your cat’s teeth and gums are thoroughly examined and cleaned, removing any buildup that may contribute to the development of stomatitis.

Inspection of their mouth: Frequently examine your cat’s mouth for any signs of inflammation, swelling, or oral discomfort. If you notice anything unusual, such as redness or bleeding, consult with your veterinarian immediately.

Dietary Modifications

Your cat’s diet can also play a vital role in preventing and managing stomatitis. Certain dietary adjustments can help reduce the risk of developing this condition and alleviate its symptoms.

Moist, soft foods: Feeding your cat a moist or soft diet can be beneficial as it puts less stress on their teeth and gums, reducing the chance of irritation. Avoid dry kibble or hard treats that may exacerbate inflammation in the mouth.

High-quality, appropriate diet: Ensure your cat’s diet is nutritionally balanced and tailored to their specific needs. A diet rich in essential nutrients can support their immune system and overall oral health.

Supplements and additives: Certain supplements and additives, such as omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, can help reduce inflammation and promote oral health in cats. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if these additions are suitable for your cat.

Hydration: Make sure your cat has access to fresh water at all times. Adequate hydration is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth and preventing dehydration, which can exacerbate stomatitis symptoms.

By implementing these preventive measures and making necessary modifications to your cat’s oral hygiene and diet, you can effectively manage and reduce the risk of stomatitis, ensuring your feline friend’s oral health remains in tip-top shape.

Stomatitis in Cats

Frequently Asked Questions On Stomatitis In Cats

What Are The Signs Of Stomatitis In Cats?

Stomatitis in cats can cause redness and swelling of the gums, drooling, bad breath, and difficulty eating.

How Is Stomatitis In Cats Treated?

Treatment for stomatitis in cats may involve antibiotics, corticosteroids, pain medication, and in severe cases, full mouth extractions.

Can Stomatitis In Cats Be Prevented?

While the exact cause is unknown, good oral hygiene, regular dental cleanings, and a nutritious diet can help prevent stomatitis in cats.


To keep your feline friend healthy and happy, it is important to be aware of stomatitis in cats. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options outlined in this blog post, you can be proactive in maintaining your cat’s oral health.

Regular dental care and veterinary check-ups are crucial in preventing and managing stomatitis. Remember, a little prevention and care can go a long way in ensuring your cat’s overall well-being. You can read more article from here.


What's your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

More in:Pet Care

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *