Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Tumors of the Gums (Epulis) in Cats


Epulis in Cats


Tumors or tumor-like masses on an animal's gums are referred to as epulides. They appear early on as masses sprouting from the gum, which seem to hang from a stalk, and often displace tooth structures as they expand. Most epulides stick to the bone, do not have a capsule, and have a smooth to slightly nodular surface. They do not spread but may deform the face.


Epulides are rare in cats, but occur most often in brachycephalic breeds.


Symptoms and Types


There are three categories of epulides: fibromatous, ossifying, and acanthomatous. Acanthomatous epuli, in particular, are highly invasive to the bone and are usually located on the front part of the lower jaw. On occasion your cat will display no visible outward signs. It is therefore important you look inside your cat's mouth if you suspect a problem. Symptoms associated with epulides include:


  • Excessive salivation
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Trouble eating
  • Blood from the mouth
  • Weight loss
  • Enlargement of the lymph nodes in the neck
  • Asymmetric upper or lower jaw




None identified.




After you give a complete medical history for the animal to the veterinarian, he or she will conduct a thorough oral examination, which should reveal an epulide. If present, X-rays will be taken to classify the type of epulis and check the health of the teeth around the epulis. A section of the epulis must also be cut out, down to the bone, to be sent to the laboratory for analysis. This is best done while your cat is anesthetized.





Related Articles

Inflammation of the Soft Tissues in a Cat's Mouth

Stomatitis is the condition where the soft tissues in an animal's mouth become irritated and inflamed. In a cat's mouth, these tissues include...

Mouth Ulcers in Cats

Gingivostomatitis and caudal stomatitis are painful inflammatory conditions seen in the gums and mouth of cats. Gingivostomatitis refers to swelling...

Cancerous and Non-Cancerous Growths in a Cat's Mouth

An oral mass refers to a growth in a cat's mouth or surrounding head region. While not all growths (masses) are cancerous, oral tumors can become...

Mouth Cancer (Melanocytic) in Cats

Oral tumors can be extremely debilitating and painful disease for cats, often resulting in death. Melanocytic tumors, which are the third most...