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My Cat is Clawing at Her Mouth?

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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".

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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

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By Donna (Guest Post)
June 30, 20060 found this helpful

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.

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By Catherine (Guest Post)
June 30, 20060 found this helpful

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

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June 30, 20060 found this helpful

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.

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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.

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July 1, 20060 found this helpful

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!

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 472 Feedbacks
July 1, 20060 found this helpful

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?

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Usually at this age, their mothers still lick them to help clean them up.

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By darcey (Guest Post)
July 1, 20060 found this helpful

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

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By Maggie Arsenault (Guest Post)
July 1, 20060 found this helpful

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

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July 1, 20060 found this helpful

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).

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February 1, 20170 found this helpful

My cat was also doing this over the past weekend, I held her paws and opened her mouth to see what was going on. She had a tooth that was almost out and I grabbed it and it came right out, since then no more problem

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July 2, 20060 found this helpful

She is absolutely precious!

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By Katy from St. Louis (Guest Post)
July 4, 20060 found this helpful

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

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By cheap cindy (Guest Post)
July 7, 20060 found this helpful

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.

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By SunshineRose (Guest Post)
May 16, 20080 found this helpful

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.

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Good Luck. I love your cat. Glad to hear it is better.

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By jhol3368 (Guest Post)
May 17, 20080 found this helpful

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.

 
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By Eric V. T. (Guest Post)
January 11, 20090 found this helpful

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.

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June 22, 20090 found this helpful

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.

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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.

 
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October 2, 20090 found this helpful

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.

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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?

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June 14, 20100 found this helpful

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 www.felineorofacialpain.com/ hope it helps.

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March 10, 20120 found this helpful

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. =(

 
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October 26, 20140 found this helpful

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.

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Anonymous
April 29, 20170 found this helpful

It's a tooth. I've seen this problem many times and it is always something going on with the teeth. This problem usually happens when they start on dry kitten food. Any unstable teeth will move, get very sore and some may even come out. Infection is the worry here.
It's not just a cat behavior.

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March 27, 20190 found this helpful

I now have 2 cats that have done that. This is caused from bad teeth. I had to have both my cats have their teeth removed and at the moment letting the 2nd one heal from it. His needed more work and had to have some drilled out. They can still eat hard food i give mine Iams that way they swallow it easily but start with soft. Good luck.

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November 11, 20190 found this helpful

I care for feral and stray cats I have lost 2 cats to pawling at there mouths and now a 3rd one has the same .Took to the vet and because the cat was in so much pain had it put to sleep the vet could find nothing in his mouth.

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March 24, 20210 found this helpful

If there are no underlying conditions, this sounds as if it could be Feline Orofacial Pain Syndrome (FOPS) which is thought to be similar to trigeminal neuralgia in humans. I grind & clench my teeth at night (bite guard only works sometimes) which causes the nerves UNDER the teeth to become irritated causing intense pain. Sometimes the vibration from talking hurts. IDK if cats can grind their teeth, but if their bite is misaligned resulting in 1 or 2 teeth being under constant pressure it could eventually irritate the underlying nerves. In my case, at 1 time, a major nerve of the face was effected sending intense stabbing pain from my mouth to my eye and, yeah, I grabbed at my face and screamed every time it happened o.0

I had a 17 yr old w squamous cell oral cancer claw at her face while eating. Fairly certain the pain was due to loose teeth - tumor was on her jaw - and or the tumor itself. My 20 yr old w kidney dysfunction who stopped eating during a cold & developed anemia from frequent UTIs has started clawing at her face. Now I wonder if malnutrition OR too much of 1 type of vitamin (we're giving her supplements & pet-tinnic) could also cause cats oral pain. Of course she might also be allergic to something we're feeding her

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