Black stuff around cat's mouth

IMPORTANT: If your cat is in any distress or discomfort, please consult your own vet as your first priority.
Pipsqueak
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 10:59 am

Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by Pipsqueak » Sun May 11, 2014 11:23 am

Hello,
I have noticed some black stuff around the mouth of both of my cats, I have done an internet search but drawn a blank. It is definitely not cat acne.

It is dry, black crusty stuff which forms along the lower lip and it is REALLY difficult to remove. If I use a damp tissue I can get it off after a bit of work, usually breaks off in chunks. I thought it might be dried blood as sometimes the tissue looks a bit brown? I'm not sure that it is though, think it would come off easier if it was blood.

I wipe it off and then a few days later it is back. It started with just one cat and now both seem to be affected. I've read that plastic bowls can sometimes cause a problem because they can harbour bacteria etc., but they have metal or ceramic feeding/water dishes. I have changed their diet thinking that might be the cause, doesn't seem to have had any effect. They only have dry food and they are indoor cats.

I have also started putting gel (which contains bactericides) around their mouths just in case it is a dental problem. That also does not seem to be having any effect. Apart from that, the cats are fit and healthy. I've looked in their mouths but can't see anything untoward.

I am probably going to take them to the vets, but just wondering if anyone on here has seen anyting similar. We have had many cats over the years and have never seen anything like this. I am a little reluctant to go to the vets because sometimes you go and they don't know what it is either. You spend money on test after test often with no result.

So if anyone has any pointers, that would be fantastic. I would post a photo, but unfortunately I am away from home at the moment and not able to do that.
Thank you.

Pinkglitter1
Experienced Cat Chatter
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:09 pm
No. of cats in household: 4
Location: London

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by Pinkglitter1 » Sun May 11, 2014 9:16 pm

Hi,

I know you say this isn't feline acne, but it could be blackheads. My Maude has this very black stuff you describe and it is blackheads without spots with pus. Sorry, this is a grim description! I try and wipe around Maude's mouth regularly. I have also stopped using plastic feeding bowls, which reproduce bacteria more readily. If your cats have pink mouths, you may see some blackheads on the inner lips too.

User avatar
meriad
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1313
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:14 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Surrey

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by meriad » Mon May 12, 2014 8:18 am

How old are your cats?

A few years back my Abbie had small black spots around her mouth and was diagnosed with Feline Acne. Personally I'd get your cats to the vet for a quick check up.

With Abbie a gentle wash with diluted Hibiscrub twice a day soon helped and she's never had a problem since

Pipsqueak
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 10:59 am

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by Pipsqueak » Mon May 12, 2014 9:56 am

Thanks for the replies. I ruled out acne because I have seen pictures online. It is definitely not spots, best way I can describe it is that it looks like the cat has eaten tar and the tar has dried. There is nothing on the skin, it's all stuck to the hair.

Cats are 9 and 7 years old. It's very odd, doesn't seem to have much of a smell - just in case that is relevant and cats don't seem to be able (or willing) to wash it off themselves, and one is fastidious about cleaning.

I will take to them to the vets as soon as I get home in a couple of weeks.

User avatar
greenkitty
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 787
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:30 pm
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: Hampshire, UK

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by greenkitty » Mon May 12, 2014 10:44 am

Cats have facial scent glands which they use to mark their territory. They secrete a black, waxy substance which you can sometimes find on door frames, table legs etc where they've been rubbing their face. Could be something to do with that, although you don't normally see on them, just on what they've been rubbing against. Might be worth having a chat with your vet about it.

User avatar
meriad
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1313
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:14 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Surrey

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by meriad » Mon May 12, 2014 9:18 pm

greenkitty wrote:Cats have facial scent glands which they use to mark their territory. They secrete a black, waxy substance which you can sometimes find on door frames, table legs etc where they've been rubbing their face. Could be something to do with that, although you don't normally see on them, just on what they've been rubbing against. Might be worth having a chat with your vet about it.
oooh, we learn something new every day; I didn't know that - how interesting

User avatar
greenkitty
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 787
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:30 pm
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: Hampshire, UK

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by greenkitty » Tue May 13, 2014 8:22 am

Hector is an avid face rubber, I have to clean black marks off my door frames and cupboard edges on a regular basis :)

Seryozha
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:14 am

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by Seryozha » Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:20 am

Hi, I know this is an old topic, but I was just wondering if you ever did find out what was wrong with your cats? My cat has exactly what you describe down to a T, and just like you I have looked at pictures of cat acne, and it doesn't seem like that at all. If you found out anything that would be useful for me to know I would appreciate it. Thanks :)

Seryozha
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:14 am

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by Seryozha » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:11 am

Just to let you all know, we took our cat Lucy (aka Grandma) to the vet this morning with these symptoms, and it turns out she has an infection in her lip. The vet reckons this could have been caused by her scratching it and creating a small tear. We have to bath it with warm water daily, and she has a course of antibiotics to take. Just sharing in case anyone else has the same symptoms and is sure it is not the cat acne like we were.

User avatar
Crewella
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3627
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:59 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by Crewella » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:37 pm

I'm glad you were able to find out what it was and treat it. Thank for updating.

User avatar
Crewella
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3627
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:59 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by Crewella » Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:59 am

Then I think you should book a vet visit - it might be a similar infection? Good luck. :)

Tom_Lia
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by Tom_Lia » Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:30 pm

Right now we are kinda short on money with all the bills we are getting and I'm just wondering if we can wait to go to vet? Does this hurt the cat? Will it get worse? Can our other cat get the infection too? We are pretty sure its an infection also. :evil: We can go if we have to but over all I'm just wondering if it can wait couple weeks or needs to get treated as soon as possible? I really want to get my cat healthy again so I will go soon if I have to.

User avatar
Crewella
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3627
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:59 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by Crewella » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:34 am

To be honest I think any infection is better sorted out sooner rather than later, but any wound should be helped by bathing in boiled (still warm but not hot) salted water. If any of my gang come home with war wounds they get the salt water treatment.

mbroadway
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:11 am

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by mbroadway » Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:14 am

I know this is an old post, but I noticed the same thing on our Persian cat a week or so ago. He is 13 years old, and I have no idea where this black stain originated. It's only on the left side and it's not the skin. It's like another person defined it, almost like a black tar. Did anyone ever find out what it was? Thank you.

loubn4
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:44 pm
No. of cats in household: 1

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by loubn4 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:05 pm

Hi guys,
I'm Loubna, and I'm new to the world of cats, I have a kitten her name is Phoebe, and she has these same symptoms, she's 3 months old and very sweet and loves to be close to me, I noticed the black stuff (like dried blood) a 10 days ago, and then I left for 5 days and she was alone with my husband, now that I'm back I noticed the black stuff is around both sides of her lower lip.
also her lip color is turning black :( and I don't know if that's normal or not.

User avatar
Kay
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1606
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:50 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: West Wales

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by Kay » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:58 pm

What colour is she? Ginger and Tortie cats often have black staining on mouth and gums, which is quite harmless

User avatar
Burmeselinda
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:46 am

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by Burmeselinda » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:51 am

I have come in late too, but have the same thing with my 17 year old cat. I know feline acne, having had another cat with it, but this isn't acne. The only thing I can go off is that my cat has some sort of throat issue, that she is being treated for with a steroid to help to reduce the inflammation in the throat. It isn't getting rid of it, which may, or my not be something cancerous, but having said that, I first noticed the throat issue 18 months ago, and it hasn't killed her yet, so unlikely cancer. I keep thinking that it is muck from her throat oozing out of her mouth when she's asleep. Not sure what it actually is though, but food for thought. I've included a pic as my avatar. Is this what you guys have got?

catly254
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:48 pm

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by catly254 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:04 pm

I wouldn't rule out feline acne i had almost the same issue with my cat about a year ago and the vet diagnosed my cat with feline acne. The best way to find out is to have your cat checked by the vet.

Momster
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:26 am

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by Momster » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:36 am

March 2017 - I have a cat who has had this exact issue and I found the discussion very helpful ... Took him to the vet this afternoon and he has an abscess in his mouth with an infected tooth. They are keeping him overnight, giving him antibiotics and tomorrow they will sedate him and remove the tooth. One thing no one mentioned was something my cat had - a strong odor coming from his mouth area. I think this is what made me decide to go ahead and take him to the vet. ... Hoping everyone's fur babies are doing well and that this additional information will help someone else in the future! (Unable to add a photo, but his mouth looked like he had been eating licorice or tar or wearing black lipstick and it was sticky and smelled bad)

3catscolin
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:33 am

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by 3catscolin » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:00 pm

All my cats had small black bits around their mouth not much bigger than grains of rock salt; sounds just like what your describing. It was a bacterial infection caught commonly from rabbits I'm told. The simplest cure which I used was to buy some 'Hibiscrub' from your local chemist (human). Apply a very dilute solution to them 3 times a day as directed on the bottle. It works a treat for my cats, within a few weeks (try to wipe off the black bits). It is simply an antimicrobial skin cleanser. Good luck if you've still got it.

branson_mom
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:14 am

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by branson_mom » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:24 am

My Bear-Bear is about 6 yrs old and for as long as I can remember, years, he has had a black tar-like discharge coming out of one side (right) of his mouth. It starts out a bit liquidified but quickly becomes stiff and sometimes brittle, but usually rock solid.

I have for years tried to figure it out, he doesn't seem to be in pain except when I am screwing around with trying to remove it, but as he ages I start to worry its something I should have attended to before (any time I am at the vet I never think of it to mention it).

He is a white himilayan with gold tones on his ears, feet, face and tail (he's gorgeous) and his gums appear to be pink with some black on them (as best I can tell since trying to check is a serious wrestling match in which he acts like I am trying to torture him).

I do believe the theory about facial scent glands makes sense to me, but then isn't that what any fur-mom would hope is the least potentially threatening scenario.

I will find out what my vet says and come back and post the answer she gave.

Thanks for everyone's posts, it has helped me a lot

Gayle

User avatar
mr_frisky
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:32 am
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: Surrey

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by mr_frisky » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:01 pm

Sounds like it's quite common.

Theocraty
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:21 pm

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by Theocraty » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:34 pm

Theo, our 10 year old orange tabby, has the dreaded black crusty stuff on lower gums. It doesn't seem to bother him and he is is healthy otherwise. I am going to try the hibiscrub and warm mouth baths. I've read all posts on this topic and they have been very helpful. Thanks

krazykatlady
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:31 pm

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by krazykatlady » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:47 pm

Sometimes depending what the actual problem is, coconut oil will heal sores. Apply 2-3 times perday. If anything else, it brings relief from being sore. This I know for fact as Boo Boo jr. Will not let you give him any kind of treatment unless it is making him feel better..stubborn **** he is..lol. I am slowly sneaking it on his teeth while treating his lips and cormer of his mouth.

astrojr1
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:30 am

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by astrojr1 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:37 am

Hello all, like the rest, sorry for necroposting, but this has been a very helpful thread. Our old (12yo) tabby has the black stuff on her lower mouth. Our options to help are limited as she has always avoided human touch. We guess she got it from eating from the floor recently. Our cats almost always in in cleaned metal bowls and one plastic bowl which from reading this thread we might want to get rid of. Any suggestions on helping her without direct contact?

jaredk
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:28 am

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by jaredk » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:39 am

This is probably not the case with most people who are posting here but I wanted to reach out and share my experience with this.

My cat, Bunny (that's her name), is allergic to fleas. If we don't stay on top of her flea meds and slip up ever so slightly she breaks out really badly with scabs and bites all over her. My parents began going through a divorce and I was tasked with caring for our 3 cats. I ended up getting the timing wrong on her flea meds and she broke out. Knowing that the flea meds are a toxin and can hurt them more than help, if placed on an open wound, I didn't apply her flea meds and instead looked for other options.

After doing some very misinformed research online I decided the best idea would be to put a few drops of essential oils on a rolled up handkerchief and tie it around her neck. Note: NEVER EVER use essential oils on / in / around your pets. They can be extremely fatal to cats, birds and dogs. I am only sadly learning this now and my cat is very sick and on the brink of dying.

I have learned that a cats liver is very very poor at filtering out toxins in a cats body. Thus leads me to believe that a cats body will try to remove toxins via other methods. I only very recently noticed this black / brown tar like substance around her mouth after she has been drooling for a day or two. It is my belief that this is a cats natural way to expel toxins from their bodies and it is something that should be looked into.

I have also read online to not even use aromatherapy devices in the same room(s) that you have pets in. The oils are vaporized into the air and can coat your pets fur and later are ingested when they bathe themselves.

Jemo_94
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:31 pm

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by Jemo_94 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:05 pm

hello everyone
I Know this is an old topic but I was doing some researches about the same problem that is described here and wanted to know if any of you (whose cats had the same symptoms) experienced any progress with a certain treatment or found out what exactly the cause is?
because my dear Jemo (3Y.O. female persian cat) has the same thing ... I just noticed it 2 weeks ago and tried scratching it or wiping it with wet tissue but got no result ,,, just caused her a lot of pain :(
so please if you have so good treatment method or plan kindly tell me
P.S. I really can't go to the vet any sooner that's why I need to search ask online
please help

M2kids
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:10 am

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by M2kids » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:32 am

Hello
I have just joined as I'm trying to work out what this black stuff is around MY cat's mouth as well. Either Aslan smells or the black stuff does! To start with, I thought it was just food dried on his fur as he's not cleaning himself so well now... he'll be 19 in April and our 20 year old cat used to wash his head for him, until the darling boy had to be put down last July :cry: Anyway, we have ended up trimming the fur very carefully (I'm sure that WAS clumps of food!) and now notice the black stuff as well. We've been dabbing at it with a wet wipe, but he's not too pleased. Could be sore or just unimpressed at having his mouth wiped! He does drool a bit, so this could be caused by that. All the other posts have been very helpful with ideas, but I'm now considering an abscess, wound infection, staining as he's ginger, acne or bacteria from his plastic food bowl... which is extremely old :shock:
I think I'll continue with the wet wipes, but it looks like I might have to see a vet after all. At least I can now ask questions with some ideas, so this has been very helpful. I hope everyone's cats are now OK :)

User avatar
Lilith
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3608
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:00 pm
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: West Yorks

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by Lilith » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:49 am

Hi M2kids and welcome - yes, I would see the vet, but many gingers do have black pigmentation on their gums/lips; ginger fur is actually a dilute version of black and often you can see black hairs in their coats.

I have an elderly ginger who has that black pigmentation - and she's had foul breath too, and just seen the vet for a thorough checkup and bloods ... been told her teeth may have to be cleaned but not that urgent. She's not yet 17; sounds like your lad's doing well at almost 19, and good luck, all the best and a big fuss to him :)

TheCatsMum
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:26 am

Re: Black stuff around cat's mouth

Post by TheCatsMum » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:07 pm

I came online searching for exactly the same thing as I've just noticed some black crusting on my cats lower mouth. This maybe connected with something ongoing for her - last week I noticed she was forcefully washing her face. She had a routine appointment, mouth and gums look great, no mites in ears and fairly clean and no marks on face, she was bothered by her ears for a while after shaking head and one ear was flat. Vet gave her a steroid to deal help with irritation/inflammation. However, today I've noticed the black crusting, I don't know if it's a separate issue or connected. The steroid injection will wear off at the end of the week, so I'll have to see if whatever is bothering her then.

Post Reply