An ulcer can be defined as an open sore in the tissue of the body. Ulcers can occur in the mouth (gums), or on the lining of the stomach or digestive tract. As with any open sore in the body, an ulcer can quickly become irritated, inflamed and painful if left unchecked. Ulcers can begin for a variety of reasons from allergies, to contact dermatitis, to infection by a parasite or bacterium.

Ulcers in the mouth may be hard to detect as most people don’t look inside their cat’s mouths everyday. However if you notice any change in the behavior of your cat, especially changes in eating or drinking, you may want to have a look inside the mouth.

Ulcers in the digestive tract may be impossible to see, however, if your cat has an ulcer of the stomach or digestive tract his eating patterns will change. If you suspect an ulcer consult your vet immediately. Ulcers left unchecked will become further irritated and if the ulcer is of viral or bacterial origin it can spread to other areas of the body.

Symptoms to look for:

  • Changes in eating or drinking behavior
  • Lethargy
  • Obvious pain
  • Irritability


Most ulcers can be treated by changing the cat’s diet and putting him on a course of antibiotics or other drugs. In very rare cases surgery to remove and treat the ulcer may be needed.

Precautionary measures:

Keep your cat in a clean, parasite-free environment. Make sure he eats a balanced, proper diet and that his food and water bowls are clean. Also if your cat has allergies keep him away from any potential allergens.