How to Treat Stomatitis in Cats: Causes, Symptoms & Solutions

Have you ever noticed your cat pawing at their face or struggling to eat? It could be a sign of feline stomatitis, a painful inflammation that affects many cats. This severe condition can cause infection and inflammation in the mouth, affecting oral tissues and making it difficult for cats to eat and drink. Feline stomatitis is often caused by gingivitis and requires immediate attention from a vet.

Caudal stomatitis is a more severe stage of feline chronic gingivostomatitis, which can further exacerbate the issue of gingivitis and oral inflammation. Cats with weakened immune systems due to feline immunodeficiency virus or feline leukemia virus are also at an increased risk of developing stomatitis, which causes gingival and oral inflammation.

If you suspect that your cat may have feline stomatitis, a severe inflammation also known as gingivitis, it’s essential to contact an experienced veterinarian who has dealt with this disease process in cats. They will be able to diagnose and treat the case effectively, addressing the oral inflammation and possible bacterial infection.

So let’s dive into this disease process and learn how we can help our furry friends suffering from caudal stomatitis. As a vet, it is important to understand the best therapy options for this condition.

Symptoms and Clinical Signs of Stomatitis in Cats

Stomatitis is a painful inflammation of the mouth that can cause a range of symptoms in cats. It is a common disease process that affects many felines, particularly those with weakened immune systems. Understanding the clinical signs and symptoms associated with stomatitis can help you identify the condition early on and seek treatment promptly from a vet. Therapy for stomatitis, such as fcgs, is essential for managing the condition effectively.

Clinical Signs of Stomatitis in Cats

The clinical signs of stomatitis in cats may vary depending on the severity of the condition. However, some common signs to look out for include vet examination, FCDS diagnosis, and therapy options.

  • Drooling: Excessive drooling is often one of the first signs that your cat may have stomatitis.
  • Bad breath: If your cat has bad breath or halitosis, it could be a sign of stomatitis.
  • Difficulty eating: Cats with stomatitis may experience pain when eating or drinking, which can make them reluctant to eat altogether.
  • Pawing at the mouth: If your cat is pawing at its mouth frequently, it could be due to discomfort caused by stomatitis.

Other symptoms associated with stomatitis in cats include:

  • Redness or swelling of gums: Inflammation and redness around the gums are common symptoms associated with this condition.
  • Ulcers or sores in the mouth: Your cat may develop ulcers or sores inside its mouth due to inflammation caused by stomatitis.
  • Reluctance to eat or drink: As mentioned earlier, cats with this condition may become reluctant to eat or drink due to pain and discomfort.

It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be indicative of other oral health problems such as gingivitis or FCDS. Therefore, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior.

What are Common Symptoms of Stomatitis?

Apart from clinical signs like drooling, bad breath, difficulty eating, and pawing at the mouth, other common symptoms of stomatitis in cats include fcgs.

  • Weight loss: Cats with stomatitis may experience weight loss due to a reluctance to eat.
  • Depression or lethargy: Chronic pain and discomfort can cause your cat to become depressed or lethargic.
  • Fever: In severe cases, your cat may develop a fever as its body tries to fight off the inflammation.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care immediately. Early intervention can help prevent the condition from worsening and causing further damage to your feline’s oral health.

Understanding the Causes of Stomatitis in Cats

What is stomatitis in cats?

Stomatitis is a painful inflammation of the mouth and gums that affects cats. It can cause severe discomfort, difficulty eating, and even lead to weight loss. While it is not entirely clear why some cats develop stomatitis, it is believed to be caused by a combination of factors.

What causes stomatitis in cats?

The exact cause of feline stomatitis remains unknown, but several factors are believed to contribute to its development. One possible cause is an overactive immune system that mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in the mouth, leading to inflammation.

Bacteria and viruses may also play a role in causing stomatitis. Infections from bacteria such as Bartonella or viruses like feline herpesvirus have been associated with the condition.

Certain breeds of cats may be more prone to developing stomatitis due to genetic factors. For example, Siamese and Persian cats appear to have a higher risk for developing this condition than other breeds.

Other potential contributing factors include poor dental hygiene, diet, stress, and environmental toxins.

Specific Cause

While there isn’t one specific cause for feline stomatitis, it’s important for cat owners to understand the various factors that could contribute to their pet’s condition. Identifying these underlying causes can help veterinarians determine the best course of treatment for each individual cat.

For example, if an infection from bacteria or virus is identified as a contributing factor for a cat’s stomatitis, antibiotics or antiviral medications may be prescribed. If poor dental hygiene or diet appears to be playing a role in the development of the condition, changes may need to be made in these areas as well.

Ultimately, treating feline stomatitis requires a multi-faceted approach that takes into account all potential contributing factors.

Diagnosis of Feline Stomatitis by Vets

Veterinarians play a crucial role in identifying the underlying cause of this painful condition.

Physical Examination of the Cat’s Mouth

The first step in diagnosing feline stomatitis is through a physical examination of the cat’s mouth. Vets look for signs of inflammation, redness, and ulcers on the gums, tongue, and roof of the mouth. They also check for any signs of plaque buildup or dental disease that may be contributing to the condition.

During this examination, vets may use special tools such as a periodontal probe or dental mirror to get a closer look at any lesions or sores present in the cat’s mouth. This examination helps vets determine whether stomatitis is present and how severe it is.

Conducting Tests

Once veterinarians have conducted a physical examination and identified symptoms consistent with stomatitis, they will likely conduct additional tests to determine what is causing the condition. These tests can include:

  1. Full Blood Count (FBC): A full blood count test measures different components within your cat’s blood and can help identify if there are any underlying infections or diseases.
  2. Oral Swab: An oral swab test allows vets to collect samples from your cat’s mouth that can then be sent off for testing to identify bacterial infections.
  3. Biopsy: In some cases, vets may need to take a biopsy from affected areas within your cat’s mouth so that they can examine tissue samples under a microscope.

By conducting these diagnostic tests, veterinarians can identify whether bacterial infection or viruses are causing stomatitis or if other dental diseases such as plaque buildup are contributing factors.

Treatment Options

Once veterinarians have diagnosed feline stomatitis, they will develop a treatment plan based on the underlying cause of the condition. In mild cases, antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and pain.

However, in severe cases where lesions are present, surgery may be necessary to remove infected tissue from your cat’s mouth. This procedure is known as a full-mouth extraction (FME) and involves removing all of your cat’s teeth.

While this may sound extreme, studies have shown that FME can be an effective treatment option for cats with severe stomatitis. Removing the teeth eliminates the source of inflammation and reduces pain levels significantly.

Treatment Options for Feline Stomatitis

Antibiotics: A Commonly Used Medical Therapy

One of the most common treatment options for feline stomatitis is the use of antibiotics. These medications work to reduce inflammation in your cat’s mouth and help prevent secondary infections from developing. Antibiotics can be administered orally or injected, depending on the severity of your cat’s condition.

Your veterinarian may prescribe a broad-spectrum antibiotic to help combat any bacterial infections that may be present in your cat’s mouth. This type of medication is effective against a wide range of bacteria, making it an ideal choice for treating stomatitis. Some commonly prescribed antibiotics for feline stomatitis include amoxicillin, clindamycin, and metronidazole.

It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions when administering antibiotics to your cat. Make sure you give the medication at the correct dosage and frequency as directed. If you notice any adverse side effects, such as vomiting or diarrhea, contact your vet immediately.

Medications: Including Corticosteroids in a Treatment Plan

In addition to antibiotics, medications such as corticosteroids can also be included in a treatment plan for stomatitis. Corticosteroids work by reducing inflammation in the body and can be helpful in managing pain associated with stomatitis.

Your veterinarian may recommend using a corticosteroid cream or ointment directly on your cat’s gums to help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Alternatively, oral corticosteroids may be prescribed if your cat has severe inflammation or pain.

While corticosteroids can be effective in managing symptoms of feline stomatitis, they do come with some potential risks. Long-term use of these medications can lead to side effects such as weight gain, increased thirst and urination, and even diabetes. It’s important to discuss these risks with your veterinarian before starting any new medication regimen.

Dental Extractions: An Option for Severe Cases

In some cases, treatment options for feline stomatitis may include both medical therapies and dental extractions. Dental extractions involve removing all or part of your cat’s teeth to help alleviate the pain and inflammation associated with stomatitis.

While it may seem extreme, dental extractions can be a highly effective treatment option for severe cases of feline stomatitis. By removing the source of the inflammation (the teeth), your cat can experience significant relief from symptoms such as pain, swelling, and difficulty eating.

If your veterinarian recommends dental extractions as a treatment option for your cat’s stomatitis, it’s important to follow their instructions carefully. Make sure you understand the risks and benefits of the procedure before making any decisions.

Managing and Preventing Stomatitis in Cats

What is Stomatitis in Cats?

Stomatitis is a severe oral inflammation that affects many cats, leading to bad breath and painful gums. The condition occurs when the cat’s immune system overreacts to dental plaque, bacteria, or viruses present in the mouth. As a result, the gingiva (gums) become inflamed, and ulcers form on the lining of the oral cavity.

How to Prevent Stomatitis in Cats?

Dental care and dental cleaning can help prevent stomatitis in cats by reducing the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Regular brushing of your cat’s teeth with a toothbrush designed for pets can help remove plaque buildup. Feeding your cat a diet that promotes dental health can also help prevent stomatitis.

It is essential to take your cat for regular check-ups with their vet. During these visits, your vet will examine your cat’s teeth and gums to detect any signs of dental disease or inflammation early on. Early detection means that treatment can begin before stomatitis becomes severe.

How to Manage Stomatitis in Cats?

If left untreated, stomatitis can lead to tooth loss and difficulty eating for affected cats. In severe cases, oral surgery or tooth extractions may be necessary to manage stomatitis in cats and alleviate their discomfort.

Oral surgery involves removing inflamed tissue from the gingival area around the teeth. This procedure aims at reducing inflammation within the oral cavity while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.

Tooth extractions are another option used when other treatments have failed or when there is extensive damage caused by periodontal disease or other issues affecting one or more teeth. Tooth extraction may seem extreme; however, it is often necessary to alleviate pain and discomfort associated with stomatitis fully.

In some cases where traditional treatments like medication fail, alternative therapies like acupuncture may be helpful in reducing inflammation and pain.

How Will My Cat Eat Without Their Teeth?

Cats are resilient creatures, and they can adapt to eating without teeth. After tooth extractions or oral surgery, your cat may require a soft food diet for a few days or weeks as their mouth heals. Soft foods like wet canned food or cooked chicken can help make the transition easier for your cat.

If your cat is struggling to eat after tooth extraction or oral surgery, you can consult with your vet about alternative feeding methods like syringe-feeding until they recover fully.

Prognosis for Cats with Stomatitis

The Severity of the Condition Can Affect Prognosis

Stomatitis is a painful and debilitating condition that can significantly impact a cat’s quality of life. The prognosis for cats with stomatitis can vary depending on the severity of the disease. In mild cases, cats may experience occasional flare-ups that are easily managed with medication and routine dental care. However, in severe cases, stomatitis can be extremely difficult to manage and may require aggressive treatment.

Without Treatment, Cats May Experience Significant Pain and Weight Loss

If left untreated, stomatitis can cause significant pain and discomfort for affected cats. This can lead to a loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss. Untreated stomatitis can increase the risk of secondary infections or other health complications. It is essential to seek veterinary care if you suspect your cat may have stomatitis.

Proper Treatment Can Improve Quality of Life

Fortunately, with proper treatment, many cats with stomatitis can experience a significant improvement in their quality of life. Treatment typically involves a combination of medication, regular dental cleanings, and sometimes surgery. Your veterinarian will work closely with you to develop an individualized treatment plan based on your cat’s specific needs.

Extraction May Be Necessary in Severe Cases

In some severe cases of stomatitis, extraction of most or all teeth may be necessary to manage the condition effectively. While this may seem extreme, it is often the best course of action for improving a cat’s overall health and quality of life. Your veterinarian will carefully evaluate your cat’s condition before recommending any surgical procedures.

Effective Ways to Treat and Prevent Stomatitis in Cats

Stomatitis is a painful condition that affects many cats. It can cause inflammation and ulceration of the gums, tongue, and other soft tissues in the mouth. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems.

Stomatitis is a complex disease that requires a multi-faceted approach to treatment. There are several effective ways to treat stomatitis in cats depending on the severity of the disease. Some of the treatment options include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), immunosuppressive drugs such as cyclosporine or azathioprine, pain management medications such as buprenorphine or gabapentin, dental cleaning under anesthesia with extractions if necessary.

Preventing stomatitis is always better than treating it. Good oral hygiene is key to preventing stomatitis in cats. Regular brushing of teeth using toothpaste specifically designed for cats can help prevent plaque buildup that leads to gum inflammation. Feeding your cat a high-quality diet can also help maintain good oral health by reducing tartar buildup.

In conclusion, stomatitis in cats is a painful condition that requires immediate attention from veterinarians and pet owners alike. By following the steps outlined above for diagnosis and treatment of feline stomatitis along with good preventative measures like regular brushing of teeth and feeding high-quality diets will keep your cat’s mouth healthy.


Q1: Can stomatitis be cured completely?

A1: Unfortunately no cure exists for feline stomatitis at this time; however proper management can help reduce symptoms.

Q2: How long does it take for a cat with stomatitis to recover?

A2: The recovery time for a cat with stomatitis varies depending on the severity of the disease and the treatment given. It may take several weeks to several months for a cat to fully recover.

Q3: Can I treat my cat’s stomatitis at home?

A3: While there are some home remedies that can help manage symptoms of stomatitis, it is important to consult with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Q4: Can diet affect stomatitis in cats?

A4: Yes, feeding your cat a high-quality diet can help maintain good oral health by reducing tartar buildup which can lead to gum inflammation.

Q5: Is stomatitis contagious between cats?

A5: Stomatitis is not contagious between cats; however, underlying viral diseases like feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) or feline leukemia virus (FeLV) can make cats more susceptible to developing stomatitis.