Stomatitis in Cats

Symptoms, Causes & Natural Remedies

Stomatitis in cats is painful condition that affects the oral cavity, including the gums, tongue, and throat. It is characterized by chronic inflammation and ulceration of the oral tissues, leading to discomfort, difficulty eating, and weight loss. Stomatitis is not contagious, but it can be a chronic condition that requires ongoing management. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, and natural treatments for stomatitis in cats.


Stomatitis can be a painful condition, and cats suffering from it may show a variety of symptoms. The most common symptoms of stomatitis in cats include:

  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Drooling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Reluctance to groom
  • Oral pain


The exact cause of stomatitis in cats is unknown, but it is believed to be an immune-mediated disorder or a bone disease. The immune system of cats with stomatitis may overreact to the presence of bacteria in the mouth, leading to chronic inflammation and ulceration of the oral tissues. Other factors that may contribute to the development of stomatitis in cats include:

  • Dental disease, such as periodontitis or tooth resorption
  • Viral infections, such as feline calicivirus or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
  • Systemic diseases, such as kidney disease or diabetes
  • Allergies, particularly to food or dental products
  • Genetic predisposition

Natural Treatments

Stomatitis in cats can be a challenging condition to manage, and conventional treatments such as antibiotics or corticosteroids may have limited efficacy. However, there are several natural treatments that may help alleviate the symptoms of stomatitis in cats, including:

  1. Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help improve gut health and boost the immune system. They may also help reduce inflammation in the oral cavity and improve the overall health of cats with stomatitis.
  2. Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, can help reduce inflammation throughout the body, including in the oral cavity. They may also help improve the coat and skin health of cats with stomatitis.
  3. Aloe vera: Pure aloe vera gel can be applied topically to the gums and oral tissues to help reduce inflammation and promote healing. It may also help reduce pain and discomfort in cats with stomatitis.
  4. Herbal remedies: Several herbs, such as calendula, chamomile, and echinacea, have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties that may help alleviate the symptoms of stomatitis in cats.
  5. Diet: A balanced, species-appropriate diet can help improve the overall health of cats with stomatitis. Avoiding foods that are high in carbohydrates and preservatives and feeding a diet rich in protein and moisture may help reduce inflammation and improve immune function.

Dr. Karen Becker’s Early Onset Stomatitis Protocol: (click to read)

I’ve had some success treating mild to moderate feline stomatitis using a multimodal approach.” ~Dr. Karen Becker, DVM

  1. I stop feeding anything with seafood or poultry in it, because they are the two most common food allergens for cats. I also discontinue all foods that are biologically unnecessary for felines. That means no potato, rice, wheat or corn.
  2. The next step is to begin an at-home oral disinfecting protocol. If a cat has a significant amount of plaque and tartar buildup, then we need to have a deep cleaning (performed under anesthesia) to remove all the infection along and under the gum line.
  3. Third, I prescribe natural anti-inflammatories and an esterified fatty acid complex for periodontal health.
  4. The fourth step is to use a variety of nutraceuticals to improve gum health. 
  5. Lastly, I recommend the cat’s owner focus on removing environmental sources of toxins that can negatively impact the immune system. 


Stomatitis in cats is a painful and chronic condition that requires ongoing management. While conventional treatments may be effective for some cats, natural treatments and a species-appropriate diet may also be beneficial. If your cat is showing signs of stomatitis, it is important to consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. With proper management, cats with stomatitis can lead happy, healthy lives.

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