Cat with Swollen Lip, What is the Cause?

cat with swollen lip

Have you noticed a subtle swelling on your cat’s lip?

Or maybe your cat does not want you to rub her chin like you used to.

Strange right?

A lot of cat owners call the vet clinic explaining the same problem with their cat.

If you notice your cat has a problem, it could be one of two things;

  • A harmless swelling that will go on its own
  • An underlying condition that requires immediate medical action

Here are some reasons why your cat has a swollen lip.


1. A Bump

Your furry friend could have bumped his head while playing and ended up with a swollen lip.

A mildly bruised lip normally clear within hours or days.

But if the swelling is still present after several days, it could mean something else.


2. Insect bite

Flea or mosquito bites could cause your cat’s lip to swell.

The body releases histamine to combat any pathogens released by the insects into the cat’s body.

While this prevents the body from picking up an infection, it also results in swelling of the affected area.

Like the bump, this too will clear on its own.


3. Dental problems

A dental abscess is a more serious problem in a cat.

It is caused by bacteria accumulating in the mouth and causes an infection around the teeth and gums.

This infection will cause inflammation and swelling which can spread to the outer lip.

A mouth ulcer could also cause a dental abscess and inflame the lip.


If you suspect your cat with swollen lip has a dental abscess, check for these symptoms as well.

Does the cat have an unusual smell coming from the mouth area?

Does your cat act irritated when you rub or scratch him below the chin?

Pus in the abscess causes a foul smell and touching the area could be painful for your cat.


Other symptoms to watch out for include drooling, head shaking, or your cat refusing to touch its food.

Your cat may appear like he has a cat blep. He is trying to soothe the swollen area.


4. Eosinophilic Granuloma

Eosinophilic granuloma is caused by an immune reaction in the cat’s body.

Eosinophils are white blood cells that help fight infections in the body.

They patrol the body looking watching out for pathogens that cause allergies in the body.


They also help contain allergic symptoms and restore the body to its normal health.

These cells are the good guys.

Yet, sometimes eosinophils fight normal cells that pose no threat to the body.

This results in a granuloma, which is grouping together of inflamed cells in the affected area.

This causes swelling of the cat’s lip which will feel lumpy when you touch it.


5. Eosinophilic Plaque

An eosinophilic plaque is an infection that results from eosinophils fighting another infection in the body.

It is a reaction similar to when the body produces histamine to combat a sting.

In the case of the plaque, your cat will be itching a lot.

Eosinophilic plaque swelling may also happen in soft tissue areas like the underbelly, throat, inner thigh, or the anal region.

A vet will confirm the presence of eosinophils by swabbing the affected area and viewing the sample under a microscope.


6. Feline Leukemia Virus

Feline Leukemia Virus is a highly infectious disease that is hard to treat.

Symptoms of this condition include;

  • Swollen lip
  • Loss of appetite
  • Recurring fever
  • Dull rough coat
  • Pale gums
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Eye infections


What can I do about a cat with swollen lip?

cat lip swollen

If you notice your cat has a swollen lip, check for other symptoms the feline might have.

Open your cat’s mouth and check his gums and tongue.

Any swelling with a whitish discharge on the gums or upper lip is a sign of cat ulcers.

An ulcer could also make the tongue swell.


If your cat has a foul breath, it may be a sign of a dental abscess.

If there is pain experienced, your cat will try and fight you from touching or scratching that area.

Also, check all other areas of soft skin in the feline’s body.

This includes the belly, inner thigh, or the anal area.


Watch out for other symptoms like lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, or pale gums.

See if your cat has infections in other parts of the body.

Do not fail to rush your cat to a vet to get a property diagnosis.

Most of the conditions mentioned above are treatable.

Ensure your cat is vaccinated against feline leukemia virus.

If he is diagnosed with the disease, there is an available medication to contain the infection and improve his quality of life.


Final Thoughts

A cat with swollen lip could be something mild or serious.

The only way to be sure is to have a trained vet check up on your cat.

If the problem is diagnosed early, treatment starts right away and your cat gets out of harm’s way.


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A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.