Symptoms of Stomatitis

How can you tell if your cat is suffering from feline stomatitis? Below are some of the observable symptoms that you might see in your cat if she are suffering from stomatitis.

The information in purple italics is my explanation of my cat Lily’s experience with each symptom.

Bad Breath

Rather than the simple, everyday bad breath that you might notice in felines when they are not suffering from a medical condition, stomatitis will cause your cat’s breath to be noticeably terrible. It is a distinctive odor, one that is difficult to describe, but equally difficult to miss. Also, you can smell the bad breath from at least a foot or two away after the stomatitis has flourished in your cat’s mouth.

Lily’s breath was horrendous! It wasn’t just bad. It was like the smell of rot and death. It was her breath that finally alerted me to her disease, and I could smell it when she was on my lap, when my nose was a good 16″ – 18″ from her mouth.

Bleeding Gums

Stomatitis causes extreme trauma to the gums. This trauma causes the gums to bleed. The drool from a cat with stomatitis is often tinged with blood because of this trauma. You may also notice a metallic smell coming from your cat, which is the smell of iron from the blood.

Lily often had blood in her drool before we got her stomatitis under control. It was common to see dried pools of blood in her favorite sleeping areas, such as on my bed. The metallic smell was quite disgusting to me, and very strong when there was a lot of blood.

Lily drooling from stomatitis with blood in the drool

You can see that the drool on Lily’s lower lip is red with blood.

Drool stain on a pillow that has blood in it

Lily was drooling while sleeping on my pillow and the drool stain has blood in it.

Crying Out in Pain While Eating

When cats with stomatitis do eat, it will be with noticeable and apparent difficulty. These cats will often make painful mewling noises or yelp in pain as they force the food past their inflamed throats.

Lily did this often after her stomatitis got bad and before we got it under control. She still cries out at times, but it is a rare event these days.

Crying Out in Pain While Playing

When cats play they often grab toys or other items with their mouths. Cats with stomatitis, though, may cry out or scream in pain during play after they forgetfully grab something with their mouths.

Lily did this for at least a month before I realized she had stomatitis, but I had no idea what was causing her cries of pain. I feel terrible for not figuring this out sooner, but I had never heard of stomatitis at that time and had no idea about mouth diseases, especially not in a cat less than a year old.

The video below shows an example of what the cry may sound like.  In this video Lily’s cry was a very quick little yelp that I did not understand when I heard it, as this video shows. However, there were other times when her cries were extremely loud.


Just like their reluctance to take in food beyond the bare minimum required to survive because of the painfulness of their mouth, cats suffering from stomatitis also limit themselves to drinking the minimum amount of water that they need to survive. The reason for this is because it hurts when they lap up the water. Dehydration in cats suffering from this condition is noticeable.

I am unaware of Lily experiencing this symptom.


Cats that are suffering with this condition are known to have excessive drool. This is because swallowing is painful, so they would rather let their saliva drip out of their mouths rather than swallow it. It is common to see drool drip down the fronts of their bodies, sometimes even soaking their entire chest areas. Cats that sleep with their tails tucked under their faces may end up with matted fur where the drool collects on their tails, especially if the cats have medium to long haired tails.

Lily drooled a lot before her stomatitis was under control, and her fur matted so badly that we frequently had our vet shave her fur to remove the mats. She is not cured and still drools occasionally. When she does, I give her a pain medicine called Buprenex to ease her pain.

04/28/2015 Edit – Lily has not drooled or needed Buprenex in over two years.

Lily drooling from stomatitis

You can see drool on Lily’s lower lip. This isn’t bad. There were times when drool covered her entire bottom lip and chin.

Drool from stomatitis matts the fur on Lily's tail

Lily sleeps all curled up with her tail under her face. When she drools, the drool matts the fur on her tail right where you see it touching her face and we have to shave it in that one spot.

Lack of Grooming

Cats groom themselves by washing up with their tongues. But cats with stomatitis avoid using their tongues whenever possible in an attempt to minimize their pain. Cats with stomatitis will stop grooming themselves. You can see this lack of grooming because their fur will look unkempt, messy, matted, or dirty, if not all of these options.

Lily stopped grooming and her fur definitely looked all of the above. She began grooming again after we started giving her PlaqueOff, and I was thrilled the first time she hacked up a hairball because it meant she felt well enough to groom again.

Pawing Incessantly at Their Mouths

You might observe your cat touching her mouth with her paws as a way of trying to rub the pain away, or ease it by physical contact.  This behavior may be accompanied by mewing noises or other verbal expressions of pain.

Lily did not do this. She avoided any type of contact with her mouth, including from herself.

Red, Swollen Gums and/or Throat

The gums in the mouth become red and swollen, and the tissue in the throat is also often affected in the same way. You can attempt to gently look in your cat’s mouth but do not force the issue if your cat refuses to let you open her mouth. Instead, let your vet look.

I never looked in Lily’s mouth, though I did try once. She was clearly in pain when I tried so I immediately stopped.Stomatitis in the mouth of a cat after her teeth were pulled

Reluctance to be Touched On or Near The Mouth or Face

Cats with stomatitis will not want their mouths and/or faces to be touched because of the extreme pain they feel all the time with stomatitis. They may shy away when hands come near these areas because they will not know if they are going to be hurt, or they may even cry out in pain when touched.

Lily’s stomatitis is now under control, meaning she rarely bleeds or drools these days, but she is not cured. She still lives with constant pain and we never intentionally touch her on or near the mouth. If we accidentally touch her mouth she cries in pain and runs away to hide.

04/28/2015 Edit – Lily’s no longer bleeds or drools and stomatitis has not caused her pain in over two years. We can now touch her mouth and she no longer cries out in pain when we do.

Weight Loss

Because of the extremely painful state of their mouths, cats who are suffering from this condition tends to only eat the bare minimum amount of food that they need to survive. If your cat had a robust appetite before beginning to suffer from stomatitis, the weight loss that you will see can be significant, possibly even life-threatening. If you run your hand down your cat’s body and you either suspect that she has lost weight or you can feel the bones clearly along her spine and hips, then she probably has lost weight.

Lily was already a small cat, weighing slightly less than seven pounds before stomatitis, but she dropped to an even six pounds after getting this disease. When I ran my hand down her back I could clearly feel her ribs and hip bones.

Weight loss in a cat due to stomatitis

It is difficult to tell how skinny Lily is in this picture because she has a lot of fur, but she weighed just six pounds here. She is the size and weight of an older kitten, not the two year old adult cat that she really was here.

If you observe your cat engaging in any of these behaviors, there may be a good chance that she is suffering from feline stomatitis. This disease is extremely painful to cats. Don’t let her continue to suffer. Call your vet to make an appointment as soon as you suspect your cat might have stomatitis.


Symptoms of Stomatitis — 122 Comments

  1. My cat started out drooling a lot and eventually turned into blood he stopped eating and drinking, he’s loosing a lot of weight, he cry’s a lot and hides out, I don’t know what to do, other than go to the vet he’s 12 years old

  2. I am so glad for it to be almost Friday morning! Zoey did eat a tiny bit, as it is quite evident she holds out til she is quite hungry. I have printed out the info to be taken to vet with her, and will make a note for the vet to call me as my husband is taking her due to my work schedule. Hate taht but most important is getting her there! I will post what our results are as soon as I know. Your Lily looks alot like my Zoey ………..

  3. Ardith,

    Please let us know what the vet says and what treatment(s) offer relief to Zoey.


  4. I have added a forum to this site in an effort to make it easier for people to find and/or share information. I would like to invite you to take a look around and share what has worked for you (or what hasn’t), even if you’ve already shared it here. The forum will be a place where it is much easier to search for and find helpful information.

    You can visit the forum here.

    I will be posting this comment on all the pages of my site to make sure everyone who is subscribed to comments sees this, so I apologize if you get multiple copies of this message.

  5. My Zoey cat has been suffering with “teeth and gum” problems for about 4 months now that has entailed a vet. She had some teeth removed, given predisone shots monthly, which would last 4 weeks tops. Then she would need an antibiotic. That’s what basically it had been called , and this past week she has refused to eat, losing more weight, drooling, and still the ongoing bad breath. She hides now, and has turned away from her favorite food. I called the vet two days ago and said pull the rest as we only seem to be going up and down with the predisone, and gaining no ground . I also suggested that maybe there is another underlying cause of all this. So Friday she goes in to have her teeth pulled but also to be checked over again. My dear friend who has worked with Humane Soc and Shelters told me tonight to ask them to look into stomatitis, that her cat had it. So I looked it up, and found this page and it HAS to be what she has. It all fits……….all of it!! I’m writing it down and my husband is giving them the name of it when he takes her in that morning! She is only 10…….she was a rescue from Hurricane Katrina and I love her, she is my best friend. I’ve been so worried, but knowing this could be it has given me some relief. Knowing is half the battle!

  6. Bryna,

    Having Lily’s teeth removed was a difficult decision and it came as a last resort after trying various treatment options (at least, the ones that I knew of at the time – I have learned a LOT since then). If I knew then what I know now I would have immediately started Lily on Lysine and PlaqueOff. Would it have saved her teeth? I’ll never know but will always wonder.

    I am working on adding a forum to the site and will include a section where people can go into detail about what treatments worked for their cats. I’ll post on each comment thread when the forum is up and running to let people know about it. Perhaps someone else’s treatment will be helpful to you and Max.


  7. Tracey,

    I am so sorry! I’ve been in your shoes before and it is never easy.

    Right now I am trying to add a forum to this site but am running into problems. Hopefully I will figure out what I’m doing wrong and get it installed soon. When I do, I want to add a section where we can remember the pets we’ve lost and invite you to share if you would like to.


  8. Kati,

    It’s really hard to know if your cat has stomatitis or not but based on what you’ve said, it sounds like that is a possibility. However, I am unaware of stomatitis causing a runny nose so it is also possible that something else is affecting your cat or he might have stomatitis and something else.

    How is he doing? Have you been able to give him anything that is helping?

    My prayers go out to you and your cat.


  9. My kitty is 11 years old this month and he has had this for about 5-6 years. I have only recently (in the last year or two) been totally aware of what it is. My kitty is truly like my child and when he hurts, I hurt. I have taken him to the vet several times and have asked about different solutions but the only one I can truly afford is the monthly steroid shot and the occasional antibiotic. I’m a nurse and I’m worried about the medication regimen being that of which both can cause more difficulties in the long run such as possible Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or even Feline Diabetes. I am relieved to have stumbled onto your site and want to thank you for bringing more awareness to this painful disease. Please, keep my information and Email me with any further information or treatments. Dental removal is so very expensive and until I can afford it, I will have to continue to give him the shots and antibiotics.

    Max’s mom

  10. Hi Rochelle

    I keep getting an error when I attempt to reply to you but thank you for responding. When I took him back to the vet it seems his low-grade kidney disease had escalated massively. It wasn’t stomatitis. He was feeling quite sick, you’re right. The prognosis was bad, and my dream of having him for another couple of years was over.

    My poor sweet boy. There was nothing I could do for him and the next day after having him observed and pain-treated, I let him go 🙁

  11. Ok, I stumbled upon this cause I was researching what might be wrong with my cat. He’s always had a little runny nose, not much at all so I never paid much mind to it. But this week it got really cold out side (note my cats stays outside and we live in the country) so I noticed his runny nose got a lot worse so I thought it was just the weather so I fixed a litter box and kept him inside out of the weather for a few days. But I’ve noticed there is blood in his snot. And this last day or two he’s started to drool so much its dripping on his chest. This drool smells like something dead. So I was wondering, do you think he might have stomatitis? I’m getting really worried, not only about my cat but I don’t want it to be something really bad that my other animals could catch.

  12. Tracey,

    It sounds like your cat has been through a lot and it is clear that you love your cat and want what is best for him.

    I don’t know if lip smacking is a symptom of stomatitis. In my experience it is caused by nausea. What did your vet have to say about all of this?

    You’ve probably seen that I use and highly recommend PlaqueOff, but this isn’t something you should give your cat. PlaqueOff should never be given to cats that have hyperthyroidism.


  13. I’m so glad I found this site! My poor boy is suffering a lot and this may be the answer. Reading this has given me some hope, as I’ve had a few cries lately thinking all was lost. He is almost 19 and in recent times has been diagnosed with high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism and early-stage kidney disease.

    Last year he had permanent treatment for the thyroid issue, which seems to have worked but taking a while to fully apply itself. His BP has come down. About a year ago he had his first ever tooth extraction.

    He’s been drinking a fair bit of water for a while, which I attributed to his kidney problem but now I’m thinking it’s to soothe his throat. He went to the vet not long ago and he looked in his mouth and said it looked good, and that the bad breath he had was probably because of his kidneys. It certainly seemed that he had a sore mouth though, he was smacking his lips a lot. Then he started to show signs of difficulty swallowing. In the last few days he’s barely eaten but this morning I got him to eat a bit of mince. He’s still drinking a lot. Also in the last week I’ve noticed some darkness on the side of his mouth and the paw he rests his head on, which I now believe to be saliva.

    His meows definitely sound to me like he’s in pain and I feel helpless. I really hope when I can get him in to the vet again (hopefully tomorrow) that they can do something for him to ease his pain and treat his throat because otherwise he’s still doing well for an arthritic, ailing-kidneys old fellow and I love him deeply. I hate to see him in pain. I’m only concerned that his other issues may prevent him having some of the treatment he might need.

  14. Shelby – I so admire your love and dedication to Sparta. Please let us know if you start a GoFundMe site for him. I would like to help. Stomatitis is a very expensive disease from the extractions to on-going treatments.

  15. Shelby,

    I’m so sorry that you and your cat are struggling, both emotionally and financially, with this disease.

    I don’t know what medications you have tried, but if you are able to, have you considered using the supplements that I use on my cat? Every day I give Lysine and PlaqueOff to Lily. It takes up to eight weeks for the PlaqueOff to work and I found that it was almost exactly eight weeks before I noticed any difference with Lily, but it truly was a lifesaver for her.

    You are not alone in struggling financially in treating stomatitis. At least one person I know of started a campaign at GoFundMe to raise money for treating stomatitis. I’ve never done this myself so have no advice to offer, but that might be a really good way to help raise some money for you and Sparta.

    I truly admire your dedication to Sparta. It shows that you are a loving kitty mom. 🙂

    My prayers go out to you and Sparta.


  16. My Sparta is only a year old and he has stomatitis.
    My vet wants to try every for of medication before removing his teeth and it’s draining my bank account I had the money saved up for the surgery but I had to use it all to pay for the different medications.
    I’m only 23 working in a deli so obviously I don’t have very much money.
    Sparta isn’t just a cat he is my baby I love him more than anything in the world and it breaks my heart that I can’t help him.
    People are telling me I need to surrender him but I can’t I lovery him way to much and I know he loves me just the same he shows it with his kisses and cuddles.

    I know what some of you are going threw and how hard it is on your poor cats I just hope maybe someone can give me some advise on what to do. I can not and will not surrender my baby.

  17. Kate,

    It sounds like Wayne has been through a lot. I’ve never heard of a cat grinding his teeth and hope you are able to finally find the cause of it and a treatment. Please let us know what you find out and how Wayne does.


  18. Finally! Maybe an answer to my poor Wayne’s problem. Where have been all his life!! Wayne is 11 years old and started “grinding” his teeth 2 years ago – a week before a life threatening urinary blockage resulting In a PU surgery. Mentioned the grinding of the teeth subsequent to the surgery and told probably a “tick” that developed due to inability to groom himself. 6 months later, no change. Then told he needed a teeth cleaning. Check. 1 tooth pulled and told an auto-immune disorder causing body to “eat away” enamel. Should be fine. No joy. 6 months later, still grinding. Told to see a cardiologist – who refused to see Wayne until internal medicine cleared him. Meanwhile, thyroid blood test revealed tumor. So, treated with I-131. Told that what was causing grinding. Wrong. 6 months later, still grinding – even more. Started a little drooling, too. NOW I find out vet who cleaned the teeth never took x-Rays. Poor Wayne. Why is this so hard? None of the 1/2 dozen or so vets I’ve seen ever even mentioned this problem until today (which is how I found your website – “thank you”). I’m disheartened to hear the stories and prognosis – and cost, saddened that he’s suffered so long, feeling all along he MUST be in some distress to be doing it in the first place, and maybe a little relieved to finally have an answer. If this is so prevalent as the many websites seem to indicate, this really should not be as difficult as it has been to get diagnosed. Maybe someone should put a suggestion in the suggestion box at the vet schools to educate more students of this problem.

  19. Thank you for a timely answer Rochelle. I am also thinking it’s the elusive “something else.” I thought maybe the URI was the cause. When she grooms herself she just stinks so badly because the mouth smell is all over her body then. She is the sweetest cat ever too.
    I will let you know what vet says.

  20. I give my cat a fourth of my PB8 once a day. It’s a probiotic… Her eyes used to weep. She’s 18 now and has been taking probiotics for the last 5 years. I give a whole one to my dog too, once a day… He’s a boxer and never has any issue with yeast/ear problems… I open capsule and mix in their food. You may have to be a little more aggressive with the amount and frequency to overcome the infection. Hope this helps

  21. Swapnil,

    I’m so sorry that you and your cat are going through this.

    Unfortunately, I’m not a vet and am not qualified to diagnose your cat. From what you’ve described it doesn’t sound like stomatitis.

    Are there any cat rescue groups where you live? If there are then you can ask them if they know of any low-cost vets. You might even call vets and ask them about low-cost doctors. Some cities have vets that are dedicated to helping animals and don’t charge very much.

    My prayers are with you and your cat.


  22. Mimi,

    I’m sorry to hear that your kitty is suffering from something. It could be stomatitis, but there are a lot of other illnesses that could be the cause of her bad breath. I have no idea if it is stomatitis but one thing that makes me a bit skeptical is the fact that your cat is okay being touched on the mouth. My only experience with this disease is from my cat Lily, but she hated being touched on her cheeks or mouth because it caused her a great deal of pain. We didn’t touch her face for close to a year.

    Please keep us informed about how your kitty is and what the vet says.

    My prayers are with you and your cat.


  23. Hello, I have cat which is suffering from excessive grooming n small amount of blood coming out from her nose
    Please suggest me the medicine on this
    I m not financial able to do a doctor for her there for suggest me the medicine

  24. My kitty is a year old. Healthy when I got her then she got a URI which caused her to just lie around and not play at all. Now she gets a runny nose sometimes. The main thing is her breath is just foul. She does eat and drink and seems to be normal sized. No drooling or blood and she does groom herself a normal amount. After grooming her fur stinks and feels funky. I’ve tried looking in her mouth just now but she was having none of that. She rubs her cheeks on me like all cats and doesn’t act as if she has mouth or facial pain. She doesn’t like it if I pet her body too hard or pick her up. She is missing a front lower tooth. I’m sure the smell originates in her mouth, not her lungs. Wondering about early stomatitis but she’ was really still a kitten when it started. Then it seemed like it got a lot better but last few days bad again. Can’t take her to vet till 2nd week of February but wondered what you think. I’m stumped.

  25. Trang,

    I’m so sorry to hear that your cat is suffering!

    If she has stomatitis on the back of her throat then eating wet food will cause her pain because it takes more effort for a cat to eat wet food than dry, so it makes sense that your doctor said to stop giving her wet food. If the food is salty then the salt would also be painful, just like when we get salt in an open wound.

    I don’t know if this will help your cat but I give Lysine and PlaqueOff to Lily. I have no idea if these supplements are available in China. I know there is an Amazon store for China so you might look there to see if either of these products are sold there.

    I wish you luck in finding what works best for your cat.


  26. Hi Rochelle !
    I just read your post about Lily, my cat before 4 days she had the same problem as Lily : drooling from mouth and smell bad. I try to check on her mouth and I saw red spot on her tongue.
    I’m in china so I bring her to doctor, they gave her some injection and they say need give her at least 2 times per day, keep give her 3-5days and see how is going.
    She already had 2 shots from 2 days now. Sometime the water stop come out from her mouth but after one night again the water come out. She still eating and yesterday she playing a lot.
    I’m worry that I just bought new wet food and I gave her too much, it happen after 2 days I gave her that food mix with chicken. So I’m stop giving her wet food now, just boil chicken meat and dry food. I can see she really angry with me 🙁
    I don’t understand much about the doctor say about her sick, so I don’t know it’s because of the food I gave her too salty or because of her stomach problem.
    I don’t know beside of the injection so I need to give her any medicine ?

  27. Hi Rochelle, just a note to let you know Frankie had his monthly checkup and his mouth looked so good, a bit pink in the back, but not the bloody mess from a year ago. He’s feeling good, playing, stalking, snuggling, doing all the normal things a cat does. My husband says its a miracle and the vet congratulated me on a job well done, but you are the one that should be applauded—-if it weren’t for you and your website Frankie may not have made it! He’s 8 years old and acts like a kitten. Loves to tease our one year old Russian Blue that arrived a few months after Frankie showed up. (We have seven now) They are all precious and I want you to know how grateful we are for your help.

  28. Hi Rochelle. I took my cat to vets and luckily enough it was only an infection
    He gave him 2 injections to help the pain and within an hour of being back home he was back to his normal self. I will keep an eye on him just in case but he does seem to fine now. Thanks.

  29. Rochelle, thank you so much for your quick reply.

    Frankie and I are going to see how it goes without the azithromycin.
    Will keep in touch!
    You are a blessing!

  30. Kath,

    What did your vet say about your cat’s mouth? If it is stomatitis, what treatment options did your vet recommend?


  31. I have a tom cat who is 5yrs. The other day i noticed he wasnt his usual self, not eating &sleeping more. When i tried to give him a treat he would eat the first few then hiss & leave the others. I tried to look in his mouth and noticed the bad smell. He is also smacking his lips & dribbles but no blood found. I found this site and have read what you are all saying, I will be taking him to vets tomorrow and just hope it is nothing to serious. Im so glad i found this page. Thank you.

  32. Hi, Rochelle:

    Thank you so much for your very helpful answer and for encouraging me to contact my vet. The vomiting has stopped now; I made an adjustment to her feeding schedule so that she is getting smaller more frequent meals instead of the two big ones.

    I’ve also been trying to look in her mouth as you suggest; I did notice that the front part of her lip, where it divides in a vertical line beneath her nose, does seem reddened and possibly slightly swollen. I’ve managed to peek into her mouth when she’s yawning and don’t see much in there, but she does continue to smack her lips and work her mouth quite a bit.

    I’ll be keeping a close eye on her and writing to the vet about her. I’m glad I know what to look for, thanks to your very thorough and super helpful website.

    I hope your Lily is doing better. (By the way, my cat’s name is Lili!)

    Best, CatMommy

  33. The vomiting is concerning. To the best of my knowledge that is not a symptom of stomatitis, though the bad breath and clawing at the mouth can be. These two symptoms could also be caused by bad teeth or severe tartar. You might want to take a careful look in your cat’s mouth to peek at the gums and throat. Are they red and/or swollen? How do the teeth look? White and clean or brown? How does the back of her throat look? Of course, if this causes your cat pain then don’t do it.

    I don’t know anything about bovine lactoferrin, so have no idea if that might help with the possibility of stomatitis. Even if you can’t visit your vet you can make a call and ask a question or two regarding all of this. I’ve done that many times.

    As for the vomit, I don’t know what that means, but I do know that if you mention it to your vet that you will want to include the fact that it is bile. The quality of cat vomit helps a vet narrow down the cause. By quality, I mean what it looks like. In this case it looks like bile. It could also look like fully digested food, or not yet digested food. Each of those types of vomit can have a different cause, especially if your cat consistently has the same quality of vomit.

    Prayers are being sent your way, and I truly hope that you can find out what is going on with your cat.


  34. I’ve read elsewhere on the internet that bovine Lactoferrin can help in the treatment of stomatitis. I thought I would mention this in case it is helpful to your readers. My cat had pyometra surgery this spring and this caused a bad flare in her feline herpesvirus. The vet put her on L-lysine (1000 mg/daily) and I’ve been advised to add bovine lactoferrin. Since this happened, she has been smacking her lips and working her mouth and has bad breath, so I’ve been worrying about stomatitis. No drool but every now and then she will claw at her mouth. She also sometimes vomits small amounts of bile. Does this sound like the beginnings of stomatitis? I can’t afford to visit the vet right now (I’m still paing off her surgery!)

  35. Katherine,

    I’m sorry to hear that your cat needed a full mouth extraction, but it sounds promising that he is eating again and much improved.

    I do not know of a long-term daily pain medication, but I do know what Lily was on. I would give her Buprenex when her pain got to be too much for her, or if I saw blood in her saliva. This was something that I was able to give her twice a day (I think – it’s been well over a year since she needed any). I don’t know if this is something you can give long-term, so you might want to ask your vet about it.

    If you do give Buprenex to your cat, make sure you give it properly. The liquid needs to go in the cat’s cheek where it can be absorbed through the skin. It isn’t a liquid that is meant to be swallowed. Swallowing Buprenex will not bring pain relief and will be a waste of the medication.

    As for his not playing, I suspect you are right that he now associates play with pain. None of my cats have ever done this so I have no idea how you would go about disassociating play from pain. I searched on Jackson Galaxy’s site (he’s a brilliant cat whisperer) but didn’t see anything specific to this. However, you might take a look to see if there is anything helpful. The problem section will probably be your best bet.

    The only thing that I can think of that might help your cat is to find his favorite kitty treat, attempt to play with him, and reward him with a treat when he does. This might work because he will start to associate play with yummy treats. Good luck with this.

    Please let us know if your cat does play again, and what you did.


  36. My 6 yr old Siamese has stomatitis. He has had a full mouth extraction and has started a course of imberferon injections. He is much improved, now has a good appetite. However, he does still cry out in pain randomly. This happens when he is sat or stood, not eating, and no one has touched him or his mouth. I hate to hear the very distinctive sound of his pain.
    I have two questions please, is there a daily medication he should have as pain relief?
    My second question is, will he ever play again? He used to love to play before this illness, but now associates it with pain as he would cry out and run away before I realised what was wrong.
    He is only 6, its so sad to think he wont play

  37. Debbie,

    What did your vet say when you took your cat in for a visit?


  38. Taking my cat to vet tomorrow. Has been drooling and very bad breath. This is the second visit. I may need to switch vets.


  39. Rita,

    Sadly, stomatitis is a very expensive illness, especially if your cat needs to have her teeth pulled.

    I recommend that you discuss this very issue with your vet. If you have a good vet, he/she won’t be offended by you asking about a natural way to treat stomatitis. If he/she is offended, it might be time to get a second opinion, since most vets want what is best for the animals they see, but also understand the financial situations of owners.

    Also, I suggest that you discuss the potential problems of long term antibiotic use. Cats (and humans) will become immune to antibiotics when they take them for extended periods of time. It isn’t a permanent solution for stomatitis.

    The two things that I do for Lily that I consider natural are to give her Lysine and PlaqueOff (made from seaweed). Some owners have had success with a raw diet, though I don’t do this and know nothing about how to proceed with a raw diet. No doubt there is good information about raw diets for stomatitis if you do an online search.

    The only other thing I can think to suggest to you is to contact the cat rescue groups in your area and discuss this with them. I guarantee that they have experience with stomatitis, and they may be able to provide you with advice that neither I nor your vet has thought of.

    Please let us know what you find and decide to do, as well as how Abigail responded to it.


  40. My cat Abigail has been fighting this for months now, she just turned 9 years old. I have been to the vet every month for Prednisone and antibio. I love my cat a lot but I do not have the money to keep this up. Is there not a natural way to combat this illness. Please any advise is greatly needed.

  41. Sandy,

    I fear my comment frightened you, and that wasn’t my intention at all. My apologies to you for doing so.

    Some cats with stomatitis respond completely to treatment, others respond partly (my Lily falls into this category), and still others do not respond at all to treatment (this is the minority of cats). If your cat has stomatitis, there is no way to know how he will respond until you and your vet start to treat it. All I meant is that I hope the mouth problem is something that can definitely be treated, with a pretty much guaranteed positive outcome, since no one can guarantee the outcome with stomatitis.

    As for if his body is shutting down, or how he got stomatitis, I regret that there is no way for me to know. It is most common for cats to develop stomatitis when they are older, but as to why they get it, that part is usually unknown.

    If Moe does have stomatitis, there are treatment options. And hopefully, if it is this, the stomatitis isn’t too bad and can be dealt with fairly quickly.

    You mention that Moe is on thyroid medicine. I don’t know if he has a hyper or hypo thyroid problem. If it is hyperthyroidism, please do NOT give him PlaqueOff. This is a great product, but it should never be given to cats with hyperthyroidism because of the iodine content (I think that’s the reason).

    This is probably a very scary time for you and Moe, but it sounds like you are doing all the right things. The fact that you made an appointment with your vet as soon as you recognized that there is a problem is the best thing you could have done.

    Please keep us posted.


  42. Rochelle-what do you mean hopefully something else is going on in his mouth? Isn’t this stomatitis treatable? As it is my Moe takes heart and thyroid meds twice a day and really too much more will be terrible. Is his body shutting down? How did he get this? He is totally blind too so he’s not outside at all.

  43. I am so very happy I read this site!! I have noticed for a few days my 18 year old cat was starting to drool a lot. Then this morning as I was giving him his heart and thyroid medicine by mouth he hissed at me. He also is not drinking water and eating like he does. Vet appointment will be made first thing in the morning!! Thank you for your info!!

  44. Thank you so much for taking the time to help educate your readers. This is such a dreadful disease and it’s so heartbreaking to watch our cats suffer. I appreciate the information and have learned a great deal from your posts.

    Linda Pringle

  45. It makes me so angry to hear stories like this! I myself have a cat who had the same thing happen. At the time, I had no idea that x-rays should be taken of a cat’s mouth after tooth extraction surgery, so didn’t know to ask to make sure it happened. It wasn’t until I switched to our current vet that I learned of this, and that is when we found out that Sasha also has root fragments in her gums. In her case, it doesn’t seem to be affecting her, but I was told that she could develop an infection in the future.

    I’m so glad to hear that your cat is healthy now. Lily will also be on a low dose steroid, but if it keeps her healthy, which it does, I am okay with that.

  46. My cat, Grey, was diagnosed with Stomatitus approximately a year ago. He had all the classic symptoms. I took him to several vets and all tried different drugs, treatments, etc. Not until I did some reading, did I find my way to a vet who had specific dental training. Grey had xrays where the doctor saw that although his teeth had all been removed, the previous vets never bothered to check and see that they hadn’t removed all the roots. Grey had the dental surgery, 5 roots removed as well as infected gum tissue. He was on several drugs for several weeks. He will be on a low dose of Prednisone for the rest of his life. Today Grey is a healthy 16 1/2 lbs., beautiful grey coat, gums are pink; there still is some light redness on either side of his mouth which is the only sign of the illness. He has a healthy appetite and does not have a problem with his weight, coat or touching his face. The drooling has completely stopped. He sees a special vet for dentistry at least once a year. One last thing, Grey is FIV positive which makes this disease that much harder to treat.

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