3 older cats with stomatitis


Ask A Vet | Jo Lewis BSc BVMS (Hons) MRCVS

 Elderly Cats With Stomatitis

I have 3 cats around 15 years old. They all have stomatitis and have to get steroid and antibiotic shots every month or they stop eating. Any suggestions. Wondering why all 3 have it.

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Hi, Having one cat with a sore mouth is hard enough but three must be very challenging indeed! Stomatitis essentially means inflammation within the oral cavity and so there are many possible causes. For all three cats to have the same symptoms, the cat flu viruses are certainly a feasible explanation as they are very infectious - mouth swabs may be taken to see if they are carrying these. Many household items such as cleaning products and plants can be irritant if chewed although unless all the cats were inclined to lick/chew these then it would be strange to see all 3 cats with lesions at the same time. Cats with advanced kidney disease can get mouth lesions but again, for all three cats to have these concurrently would be unusual.

You mentioned all three cats are the same age so if they happen to be blood relatives, then this may make them prone to the same immune-system defects that we think are responsible for some forms of stomatitis, particularly ones that also affect the gums around the teeth. Talk to your vet about other treatments but the mainstays are addressing the pain and inflammation (there are additional things that can be used if the steroid treatment is not effective) and also any infection if it develops (as you are). Also look at softer foods - wet food is easier for cats with sore mouths to manage and it is also good for older cats at keeping their hydration up. Try warming it up to tempt them to eat. Older cats tend to want to eat little and often anyway but even more so when eating is more uncomfy. There is also a product that contains an amino acid that can help some cats with viral causes but your vet should be able to advise on whether this is appropriate for your cats.

Best wishes

Jo Lewis BSc BVMS (Hons) MRCVS - The Cat Vet

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