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Stomatitis in cats: what is feline stomatitis and could your cat be at risk?

Cat stomatitis (also called feline stomatitis or chronic gingivostomatitis) is a nasty condition that can affect your cat’s mouth and gums, and can even lead to the loss of your pet’s teeth.

What are the causes of stomatitis in cats?

Feline stomatitis is believed to be an autoimmune disease. Often found in cats with other autoimmune diseases – such as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) or feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) – stomatitis in cats is caused when the cat’s immune system overreacts to plaque on the teeth. Yet another reason why it’s so important to keep your cat’s teeth clean (see our article on how to clean a cat’s teeth).

Some experts believe the oral disease is genetic, and that there’s little that can be done to prevent it.

Signs and symptoms of cat stomatitis

If your pet displays any of the signs and symptoms of stomatitis in cats, make an appointment with your local vet.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Sores in the gums, tongue, lips, roof of the mouth and around the teeth
  • Bloody discharge from the mouth
  • Inflammation of the gums, or the roof of the mouth
  • Mouth pain

Treating stomatitis in cats

In mild cases, feline stomatitis can be managed with proper dental care. In the worst cases, oral surgery may be needed to remove the cat’s teeth and resolve the issues caused by the disease.

Your vet will advise on the best and most appropriate treatment for your cat, which may include anti-inflammatory drugs, pain relief or antibiotics, depending on your cat’s symptoms and general health.

“The signs and symptoms of stomatitis in cats include loss of appetite, bad breath, swollen gums and pain in the mouth.”

Need advice on stomatitis in cats

For expert advice on feline stomatitis get in touch with your local vet. 

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.

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