Share Crafts

My Cat is Clawing at Her Mouth


I'm wondering if anybody could help. My kitten who is 6 weeks old has recently started clawing at her mouth causing it to bleed. This happens usually after taking a bite of food but yesterday she was doing it even when not eating, she would claw at her mouth with both paws every 20 seconds or so. I took her to the vet who seemed to be at a loss as the cause of this, stating "she's never seen anything like it before". She was kept at the vets overnight for observation, and now although not all the time she is still clawing at her mouth when eating. The vet has prescribed Antepsin but I can't see how this will help as this is for stomach and intestinal ulcers.

Jason from UK



Recent AnswersAnswer this Question

By Donna (Guest Post) 06/30/2006 Flag

this is purely a guess but since it happens mostly after eating, could she be alergic to her food? If so it could cause itching, hence the scratching/clawing at her mouth. Again, this is just a guess.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Catherine (Guest Post) 06/30/2006 Flag

It sounds like she has a tooth problem. Did the vet check her teeth and gums?

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By SusannL 33 139 06/30/2006 Flag

Yes, she could be allergic to her food. Food allergies in cats are common and show up around the mouth. Check her underlip and see if it is swollen. That's what happens with our cat. Try changing to another food. It would be a good idea to get a vet to check her out as well.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By BigMaya 3 10 07/01/2006 Flag

Hi Jason, I too would guess it might be some kind of allergy to her food, i feed my cats Hills Science Plan and have Thank G-D - so far never encountered a problem. You should either change the vet or try the vets at your nearest animal shelter as they should have a lot more experience in treating all kinds of feline problems and last but not least, they should be a lot cheaper too - Good Luck!

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By susan 8 1,368 07/01/2006 Flag

What an adorable kitten! I really have no idea of what is causing her to do this. Do you think that at 6 weeks, she might just be too young/immature and the sensation of it bothers her? Usually at this age, their mothers still lick them to help clean them up.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By darcey (Guest Post) 07/01/2006 Flag

i am in no way a vet but the vet might think that her stomach is upset or bowels and that is why she has perscribed that med. it make me think that maybe she has something lodged in her mouth like between her teeth or in her gums. i saw a cat that had a similar problem and it was a sewing needle that got lodged in her gum line and they could not see it at the vets. hoped this helps

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Maggie Arsenault (Guest Post) 07/01/2006 Flag

Wow thats sad as a lot of people have said it sounds like a food allergy maybe the food is hurting her mouth and that is her way of telling you did she do this when she was at the vets office over night? Try changing her food and see what happens I have never heard of it either let us know how she is doing thanks

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Jason 1 1 07/01/2006 Flag

Hi thanks for all the suggestions, since my initial post she has at last stopped the scratching, still not exactly sure what caused it but thank goodness she's stopped, it was quite distressing for both me and the kitten (her name is Abbie). My guess is that is was caused by some kind of mite around her mouth because the scratching stopped after being treated with Stronghold. Now she's back to her old self, pouncing and biting on everything in sight (my fingers included).

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Mary 12 195 07/02/2006 Flag

She is absolutely precious!

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Katy from St. Louis (Guest Post) 07/04/2006 Flag

I googled this and it came up with a site that talks about a cat mouth disorder. Just google "Cat clawing at mouth"

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By cheap cindy (Guest Post) 07/07/2006 Flag

Perhaps your kitten is allergic to something in its food. Some have dyes and preservatives. i would try a natural cat food or cook it some chicken and see if the same behavior continues, and then perhaps you could determine if something the cat is eating is irritating its mouth.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By SunshineRose (Guest Post) 05/16/2008 Flag

I would get a vet to check for dental problems. I would say a vet should have a pretty good idea, since this one doesn't I would change vets. My cat had this problem when he needed dental work but he was older.
Good Luck. I love your cat. Glad to hear it is better.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By jhol3368 (Guest Post) 05/17/2008 Flag

Well, it's been a year and a half or so since my initial post about Abbie. After a year or so, the vet found the problem was being caused by a tooth problem, she had corrective surgery and has since piled on the pounds!

She still pounces on everything in site and still likes to chew my fingers. She is a a mother now too.

Heres a picture of Abbie just before she became a mother with her boyfriend (and father of her kittens) Josh.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Eric V. T. (Guest Post) 01/11/2009 Flag

It could be a whole host of things but the #1 thing is usually a infected tooth or some kind of tooth or gum problem or infection. You should take the cat to the vet asap to have her mouth checked out.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Lane 1 06/22/2009 Flag

My 13 year old cat, Ashley, started pawing at her mouth after eating 2 weeks ago. Last week it got so bad I rushed her to emergency midnight Tuesday. They kept her for 2 days. The xray showed an abnormal mass near her larnyx & adams apple.. Blood & urine tests were fine.. Then did a scope down her throat and found nothing. Re-ran xrays and nothing showed up this time. They can't explain it.. unless the tech who rubbed her down with alcohol knotted the hair under her neck. She didn't eat that day, so the slight coughs and gagging ceased. I retrieved her Thursday morning and all was fine until an hour ago just after she ate, she started pawing again. First with one paw, then 2. Kept losing her balance. It's so sad. She extended her tongue out so far and made a choke noise. I read your posts. Will take her in to have her teeth checked & see if allergies might be the cause. Thank you very much. My vets are stumped.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By carl stevens 1 10/02/2009 Flag

Hi All, I found this site last week I was really concerned about my cat Barney. He is a Burmese and was off his food and water, gagging and clawing at his mouth. The first vets did tests etc and couldn't come up with a thing. So we took Barney to an older vet, I described his actions and he had seen it before.

He said that just below the gum line cats can get bad decay and it is not so visible.The gagging and clawing were results of the sharp nerve pain we all have had from our teeth. Any way Barney had four teeth out and is much happier now. I hope this helps anyone who is searching for a similar reason..what would we do without Google?

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Duncan Gilmour 1 06/14/2010 Flag

Hi There,

Our little cat Beau who is a Blue Bermese has recently started doing the same thing and after many visits to the vet and many hours on the internet he has been diagnosed with "Feline Orofacial Pain Syndrome" - here is a link to a web site that has been really helpful hope it helps.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By kkkaaayyyy 1 03/10/2012 Flag

I am having this same issue. My cat lily had 2 teeth pulled this past Tuesday due to having oral lesions and everything has been fine until today (Sat). She is pulling at her mouth after she eats and gagging and sticking her tongue out really far. I can't call the doctor till tomorrow morning, so I'm going to try to not feed her tonight and find out what is going on. =(

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By mbisme 1 10/26/2014 Flag

My cat had this problem and it was an abscessed tooth. If it's a kitten, maybe he/she is teething? The behavior stems from mouth/tooth pain.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

Answer This Question