The First Time I Realized Something Was Wrong

I no longer remember exactly how long it was from the time we adopted Lily to the time I knew something was wrong with her, but I’m in the ballpark when I say it was about five months later. There had actually been several signs from Lily that I saw but didn’t understand, so I didn’t seek help as soon as I could have.

Would it have made a difference if I had caught her stomatitis sooner than I did? I honestly don’t know, but I do feel terrible that I didn’t seek help sooner. In fairness to me, though, I wasn’t ignoring the signs. I simply didn’t understand them. The day I knew something was wrong I made an appointment with our vet. But, I still feel awful that Lily suffered because of my ignorance.

When we first brought Lily home she overwhelmed us with her energy. Lily was the most active cat I’ve ever had! She just never seemed to run out of energy and she frustrated our other cats because she wanted to play all the time.

We used to joke that she was our ADD kitty. Lily was a very sweet and loving cat, but she wouldn’t stop long enough to give us more than maybe 30 seconds of love. Lily would literally jump up on my lap, snuggle down and purr, then 30 seconds later something would capture her attention and she would be off pursuing it.

About five months later, when she was approximately one year old, she snuggled into my lap for my 30 seconds of attention. By then, she might actually extend her snuggle time to about two minutes. During this time I noticed that she had horrible bad breath. Cats are known for having bad breath, but this was something else. It was like she was rotting from the inside out and what I smelled was death.

I knew immediately that there was a problem because she was a good two feet from my nose when I noticed the horrible smell. Typical bad cat breath would never be noticeable from two feet away. Right then and there I called our vet and scheduled an appointment for Lily.

As you know, Lily has stomatitis, and it was at this visit to the vet that I learned about this disease for the first time. As soon as my vet explained stomatitis to me, several things clicked in my mind and I realized that Lily had shown me symptoms, prior to the bad breath, that I completely missed. I will write about the missed symptoms in my next post.


The First Time I Realized Something Was Wrong — 8 Comments

  1. Thank you for this site! Yesterday, our ten year old cat, Marshall, was diagnosed with stomatitis and we need help figuring out how to help him. We’ll sign up for your forum, too! Thank you! Thank you!

  2. 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.

  3. Laureen,

    I’m so sorry to hear that one of your kitties can’t recover from this horrid disease.

    One of the best things you can do is get your kittens accustomed to you looking in their mouths at their gums and the back of their throats. Then, check every so often to make sure all is well. By doing this you have a much greater chance of catching the stomatitis and start treating it before it becomes too painful for your cat.

    My prayers are with you and your cats.


  4. Rochelle, thank you so much for posting the information about Stomatitis. The articles were very informative. I have had cats all my life but did not hear about this condition until recently. Unfortunately for me, it is too late for one of my precious cats, but now that I am aware, I will be treating 2 others and will follow up with the new kitten I just adopted. Thank you again for all the information & recommendations you made.

  5. Sherri,

    Please accept my apologies for not responding to your post sooner. How is Smokey doing now?

    I totally understand when you say you felt like a horrible mother. That’s exactly how I felt when I finally realized there was something wrong with Lily. Ironically, your guilt proves that you aren’t a horrible mother because I’m sure you would have done something sooner if you had realized the problem. Cats are so darn good at hiding their pain and problems!

    As for looking in a cat’s mouth, that is something that never occurred to me prior to our getting Lily. My guess is that most cat owners rarely, if ever, look at their cats teeth.

    On a related note, I recently found out about a product that is supposed to be really good for IBD in cats –

    The product is called FortiFlora and it is a probiotic. If you read through the reviews you will see that a lot of people have had success with this for their cats that have IBS or IBD.

    I’m actually giving this to one of my cats, but she doesn’t have IBD. She has horrible congestion and constantly sneezes large quantities of snot. The woman who runs the cat rescue in my area (I adopted Lily from her) said that she read an article about research on FortiFlora and cats with bad congestion, which is why I bought it. I don’t yet know if it is making a difference in Sasha’s congestion, but I can say that she LOVES eating it. I mix it with a very small amount of wet food and a bit of water.

    I hope that Smokey is able to find relief from his mouth pain.


  6. I’m so glad I found your website! Our 11 yr. old Smokey was just diagnosed yesterday. She was previously diagnosed years ago w/Inflammatory Bowel Disease (digestion begins in your mouth!), and the vet said that was why she drooled, had bad breath, etc. Also, 4 years ago, she had her teeth cleaned, and they found a non-cancerous mass in her throat that they removed. She also had been taking depomedrol injections occasionally for the IBD. Now, she has been drooling for a long time, and I hadn’t gotten taken her in for an injection because she is such a poor traveler. So at her vaccination appt. yesterday, the vet looked at her teeth and they were almost rotten, and he said FORLS or stomatitis. Now she needs her teeth pulled. I feel like a terrible mother! I can’t stand to see her in pain, so we will of course do it and pay the exhorbitant fee. I hate the fact that I never looked in her mouth, but again, I was under the impression it was just IBD. Looking back, this may have started years ago with the “mass”. I’m glad you posted your journey with this – it makes the decision easier. Blessings to you and Lily!

  7. I am so glad that my site is helpful to you.

    It will take several weeks before the PlaqueOff starts to take effect, so just know that as you start, and hopefully it won’t be long before Waffles starts to feel better. Lily had a very rough start to her life (she lost her eye to glaucoma at around five months old, then suffered with stomatitis around one year). Fast forward to today and she races around our house, plays with toys like a kitten, and thoroughly annoys our older cats! In fact, I took Lily to our vet for a checkup last week, and, although she still has stomatitis in the back of her throat, our vet said it was the best Lily had ever looked.

    Please keep us posted on Waffle’s progress.


  8. I have a cat named waffles that my grandbabies found august 2012 there were 2 of them about 5-6 weeks old. About 4 months ago Waffles (my granddaughters kitty) started screaming and running and hiding as he was eating, I noticed one time he was sleeping and he did the same thing?? Dumbfounded by this I took him to the vet there was a little lump on his neck they removed thinking that was causing his pain!! Feeing confident we he was cured, about 4-5 weeks later he started the same thing, I took back to the vet left him there so they could put him under to check his mouth out and low and behold they said it was stomatitis (incurable) my heart sank I feel so sorry for this little guy that relies on me to help him that I feel helpless =(The reason he was ok for a few weeks after is because everything wore off..He is now on a depo shot once a month. He is experiencing an out break right now and has been for the past few days, he has lost weight and tries to eat but can’t. I have been searching for answers on sites that are recent not 2002 or 2010?? yours is the FIRST and ONLY one that I have found that is 2013 THANK YOU. I just ordered the l-lysine and plaque off dental care. Can’t wait to get it and start waffles on it so he can be a teenager and play wit my other 4 cats.. Your site has given me hope for waffles…

    Thank you so much
    Annette and Waffles

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