14 October 2008

Feline Stomatitis

This article provides only very general information of Feline Stomatitis and for a more comprehensive explanation please follow the links at the end of the page.


Stomatitis is an inflammation of the mucous lining any soft-tissue structures in the mouth. It often includes ulcerated tissue in the back of the mouth, inside the cheek-pouches, and even the back of the throat. It also manifests itself as severe inflammation where the teeth and gums meet.1


Feline Stomatitis is largely seen in adult domestic cats; however, purebred cats and those living in multi-cat households tend to develop stomatitis at a younger age.There can be a number of factors that can cause stomatitis and they range from exposure to viral infections such as calcivirus, bacterial infections such as Bartonella henselae, or an autoimmune condition where the cat's body attacks what it thinks to be a foreign substance, such as the enamel in its teeth.2 There are also some who feel that it could also be caused by a food allergy (To rule-out a food allergy, try putting your cat on a limited-ingredient grain-free, poultry or rabbit diet3).


Cats who have stomatitis often have a history of halitosis (bad breath), pawing at the face, drooling, pain when eating, refusing to eat, running away from the food bowl, not wanting their face touched, being less active, and weight loss.4


Treatment of a cat with stomatitis can be very challenging to both the veterinarian and the cat's owner. The veterinarian will have to try a variety of treatments in order to find one that will actually be effective.

  • The first thing that should be done, will be to have your cat tested for feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), or both.

  • An oral examination to determine the extent of the illness. It may be necessary to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums, usually done under general anesthesia.

  • It is also generally advocated to conduct a systematic administration of antibiotics such as amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, clindamycin, metronidazole, and doxycycline.5

  • Along with the antibiotic treatment, your vet may teach you how to daily brush your cat's teeth and then irrigate his mouth with a 0.2% solution of chlorhexidine6. Unfortunately, it may not be possible to brush your cat's teeth, due to the pain.

  • Repeated CO2 laser treatment of inflamed oral tissues has been reported to result in dramatic improvement and reduce the pain7.

  • Lastly, "Removing healthy teeth is an option for cats with stomatitis that do not respond to medication or when side effects of drug therapy are not acceptable. Tooth extraction removes the surfaces that retain plaque, thus decreasing accumulation of bacteria and the associated inflammatory response"8.

Although this is a radical step, in most cases this will provide long-term success.9

Ulceration of a cat's pharynx due to feline stomatitis
Ulceration of a cat's pharynx
due to feline stomatitis
Resolution of ulcers two weeks after extraction of cheek teeth
Resolution of ulcers
two weeks after
extraction of cheek teeth

For Additional Information...
1,2,3feline outreach.org

4,5,8veterinary news.dvm



  1. Thank you for doing all this research for me - this is going beyond the call of duty, or something like that. You're the best!

    Thankfully, I don't have the sores inside the mouth - the vet checked very carefully yesterday. I do have red inflammation between the teeth and the gums, especially on two of the tiny teeth behind my fang teeth.

    My teeth were cleaned sometime this past year - the vet didn't seem to think it would help to do it again at this point.

    I so hope my teeth won't have to be removed. :(

    P.S. I don't paw at my face or drool either.

  2. Lux: It is my pleasure. I wanted to include as much as I could and I am so glad that you don't have the sores or drool. I did read, but didn't get a chance to include it, that the premolar and molar areas are usually affected more than the canines and incisors. The tooth extraction is usually a last resort, so I hope you won't have to have that done either. Take care and get well soon:)

  3. these pictures just give me the creeps, especially since I habe a dentist appointment tomorrow!

  4. This is a very interesting article for us cat owners. I saw where Lux is suffering from it but did not know exactly what it was.

    Thanks for explaining.

  5. That was a really interesting article, and very timely for my pal Luxor!

  6. NewsVids: I know, they are creepy. Good luck at the dentist. I have white-coat phobia, so I haven't been for a while, which is not a good thing.

    Shinade: Thank you, I wrote this for Lux.

    Lea: Thank you, it was put together at the last minute and I hope it is helpful to cat owners. Thank you very much for the award:)

    Daisy: Thank you, I wrote it in response to what Lux is going through. I hope it will help in some way.

  7. Good information for kitty owners especially now that we are all aware that Lux has this. Thank you for putting this together.

  8. I'm *trying to get well soon. I've been taking all my medicine even though it tastes yukky! Thank you ...

  9. BeadedTail: You're welcome, I hope it was informative:)

    Lux: Great news, I know it doesn't taste too good, but it will help you feel better. Get well soon :-)

  10. Good article. Despite your editing concerns, its good reading and I can tell you put a lot into research. This will be helpful to all cat owners.

    I enjoy your site and have given you the Uber Amazing Blog Award.

    (Repaired bad link...comment originally posted on: October 15, 2008 8:36 AM)


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