Why Is Cat’s Lip Swollen?

Cats have sensitive, vulnerable mouths.

If their lips are swollen, they may look uncomfortable. This is most likely due to an allergic reaction.

You can monitor your cat’s lips year-round to ensure that they’re healthy. So, why is cat’s lip swollen?

Cat’s lip swelling can be the result of allergies or bacteria. Cat allergies are caused by the proteins in saliva, food, and various cat danders.

When a cat grooms itself, the hair and saliva combine to form danders. These danders can trigger an allergic reaction in cats with sensitive immune systems.

Unfortunately, some cats are more prone to allergies than others. Swollen lips are a common allergy symptom in cats because saliva and hair can build up around the mouth and cause irritation.

Why Is Cat’s Lip Swollen?


This is an uncommon cause, but it can have a life-threatening effect on a cat.

When a cat has cancer, a tumor develops and grows in various parts of the body.

This is the tumor in the lip area that caused a cat’s lip swelling.

In certain circumstances, the tumor is severe and can cause the gums to swell and the lips to swell as well.

Depending on the tumor, further complications such as breathing problems can develop an be fatal to a cat.

The vet’s priority will be to try and find the cause of the tumors and remove them if they are malignant.

Chin Acne

This skin condition is known as follicular keratinization, and it occurs mainly in cats with oily skin.

Plastic dishes may promote chin acne because they trap the oily secretions which can then clog the hair follicles and form crusts around the chin area.

Another source of chin acne is poor grooming habits, thus causing fur to become compacted on the chin and face area.

When acne damages hair follicles around the chin area, it can result in swollen lips.

This illness, however, has nothing to do with an allergy or an allergy can be a symptom of chin acne in cats.

Chin acne is diagnosed clinically, although an x-ray is occasionally used without finding anything abnormal.

Dental Problems

This might indicate that the cat is suffering from periodontal disease (Dental Problems).

When a cat gets a dental abscess, it can be very painful for the cat and can create infection in the gums and other areas of the body.

It is not a long-term problem, but it can develop during other illnesses such as diabetes and renal disease, because these problems cause frequent vomiting and diarrhea in cats.

The cat will not know the difference between an abscess and a regular toothache and so will lick and chew at the affected tooth or teeth causing further pain.

The agony will be tough to endure for the cat, so a trip to the veterinarian is required as soon as possible for your cat’s health and well being.

In this case, getting antibiotics and pain medications along with pain killers is important if you have the time to offer your cat these supplements.

This will aid in the reduction of pain for the cat and in the recovery process as well.

Some veterinarians may also recommend that you put an Elizabethan collar on the cat to prevent further problems from occurring from the cat’s mouth.

Environmental Factors

This category is fairly broad since environmental factors can extend from exposure to fleas and ticks to exposure to other pets in the household and to pollution or toxins in the environment.

Outdoor cats are obliged to frequent many locations, and there they are exposed to many different elements that can adversely affect a cat’s health.

Because cats are naturally inquisitive and adventurous, it doesn’t take much for them to come into contact with these toxins and pollutants.

It’s hard to limit a cat, particularly an indoor cat that doesn’t go outside, from being exposed to harmful elements.

Swollen lips produced by these sad circumstances are indications of poor immunity or poor nutrition in cats.

Bowls for Food

Cats, like people, might suffer with allergies to some things.

Of course, one of the objects they lick and chew on the most is food.

If germs stay on these bowls, they may easily transfer to the cat’s mouth and aggravate your cat’s illness.

In fact, plastic bowls are often the cause of lip swelling in cats.

They are not just harmful for cats; they are also harmful to humans as well.

This is due to the fact that plastic bowls are not easily cleaned once they have been used by a cat.

If you’ve been using a plastic dish for your cat, then you might want to consider getting a new one with a better design.

Bug Bites

Your cat may have been bitten or scratched by bugs or insects while out in the garden or somewhere else outside your home.

Most cats are fascinated or intrigued by different insects or bugs that they see around their home or garden areas.

They often chase after these bugs and while doing so, they can be bitten or scratched by the insects or bugs that they see in their travels.

Your cat’s face would swell up afterwards and it would become painful for your feline friend.

This form of edema may last for a few days to a week.

If you believe your cat has been bitten by an insect or bug then you will need to get it treated immediately so that it will not get worse or spread any further.

For cats, the normal healing process may take some time and they may exhibit some unusual symptoms for up to a few weeks.

This equates to 12–14 days where you will see signs of swelling in your cat’s face or lip area.

Food Allergy

This is an uncommon cause of facial swelling in cats, but it can happen.

If the cat is allergic to anything, whether it’s food or another substance, then your cat’s face would become swollen and inflamed.

This might result in the cat licking the area profusely or it could open it’s mouth a lot, just to keep on licking and removing the saliva from the area.

When this happens, the cat would keep on producing more and more saliva in the area and this would contribute to the facial swelling that you may see in your cat.

This will result in a painful condition for your feline friend.

Food allergies are the most frequent cause of allergy in cats, and the symptoms would be like skin rashes and itching, sneezing and watery eyes in cats.

To get to the bottom of things, you will need to visit a vet so that the cat can get a proper diagnosis of its condition and the allergy that is causing facial swelling in your cat.


If your cat is prone to getting into fights with other cats, then this could be one of the causes of facial swelling in cats.

While most cats fall fairly smoothly on their face if they do get hit in the face or mouth area, some cats may react differently to getting hit in the face.

This might cause their lip to bleed, or even if they don’t get hit in the face but their mouths get hit, they might lose a tooth and expose an upper gum.

What Should You Do If Your Cat’s Lip Is Swollen?

A cat with a swollen lip is not in any danger, but still it is important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

When the swelling is caused by their diet, food and water bowls, or dental problems feeding them extra soft food can help them.

It’s fairly unusual for cats to suffer from allergies, but if they do they will exhibit the same symptoms as dogs with allergies.

Outdoor cats often come into touch with dirt, pollen, moss, and plants that can cause allergic reactions.

Indoor cats are also susceptible to acquiring swollen lips, headaches and pain in their teeth due to cat allergies.

The best course of action is to contact a veterinarian immediately; they will be able to examine your cat and provide the right medication for your feline friend.

A cat with a swollen lip will usually be well in a few days, but if they show signs of a bacterial infection or are older in age then the vet might prescribe antibiotics.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Lick Their Lips When Angry?


If your cat’s lips are swollen, they may be suffering from an allergy or an infection.

You can monitor your cat’s lips year-round to ensure that they are healthy.

If your cat’s lip swelling lasts more than a few days or gets worse, see your veterinarian right away.

The earlier you treat cat’s lip swelling, the better for your cat’s health.