Stomatitis and the Dumped Kitty - Nic graduates 2/10

Some of you know that I care for a cat colony that was unknowingly present when we bought our house in a pretty ‘transitional’ urban neighborhood. Its been a big learning curve which involved TnRing 14 adults and getting 12 kittens / juveniles adopted over the course of the 1.5 years we have had the house.

The colony is pretty much in maintenance mode with the exception of 2 black cats who are so darn hard to trap, but I’m still working on them - I have a voucher for January for a feral fix, so I’m going to do my darndest to get one of them then.

Anyway, this colony is a mix of true ferals and dumped pets. All have varying degrees of friendliness/dependance on human intervention. One cat who is undoubtedly a dumped pet is Nicodemus.

I named him after the owl from the Rats of NIMH due to his scraggly face fur and wise demeanor. Here he is w/ his bestie “Mouse”

Nic is one of the sweetest boys ever. However, his health has been deteriorating. I’ve had to take him to the vet twice - one for a bad URI and the other for what I feared was mange but fortunately was just BAD flea dermatitis. I can just pick him up and put him in my carrier. he never fusses or yeowls. He makes biscuits while waiting on my lap in the exam room. He’s honestly better behaved than my spoiled indoor kitties at the vet.

So I’m pretty invested in him (I know, I know, its foolish to get emotionally invested in a street cat). He and Mouse are our front stoop kitties and they have adopted our walkway as theirs. At the last vet visit, the vet said he’s probably only 4 or 5, but has a pretty bad case of stomatitis, which is why he isnt grooming himself anymore. He drools,mouth smells and lip smacks alot. The vet said the only way to treat this super painful condition is to remove his teeth which is a minimum of $1,000.

I’ve been feeding him and mouse canned food AM and PM so he can eat something soft. Since he can’t groom himself I do brush him, but his coat is in such poor condition that chunks fall out - so I put an animal heating pad, covered with a folded towel on our welcome mat each night to keep him and mouse more comfortable at overnight (no Mr. Batcoach does not know shhhhhh). I live in So Cal, so our nights are pretty mild.

He’s starting to take longer to eat, and drool more. I don’t know what to do. As much as I want to, I’m held to a 4 cat maximum in the house, so I can’t make him my kitty. But it really sucks to look at him and know his mouth is in pain. I don’t want to pay $$$$ for a surgery just to have him live on the street again. Do I watch him deteriorate until eating is too painful and I bring him in for euthanasia? Do I put him down now?

I’m not sure what the answer is. He loves getting pets and scritches and being brushed, so I’m pretty sure I could pill him if I needed to. Are there any treatments for Stomatitis? Or is tooth removal the only thing that works?


Is there anyone who might take a chance on him as a pet and invest into his wellbeing or is he too feral to be a house cat? I would take him on but I live on the opposite end of the country.

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He is really tame. Would waltz right into my entryway if I let him. My guess is that he has lived inside before, but who knows? He’s been living outside for at least 1.5 years if not longer, so he’s had to develop some street cat survival skills and wariness. He would need someone who could help him re-acclimate to house cat life. He has not been tested for FLEV or any other viruses so that’s another layer going against him.

We did get him fixed at Fix Nation ( thus the stylish ear-tip)

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I don’t know the treatments for stomatitis, but my mom adopted a cat with one tooth and he does just fine. Just saying this in case the opportunity does arise to get his teeth removed. He probably would do fine as a gummer :-). Poor little fella, he’s lucky you are looking out for him.


I’m also on the wrong coast to take him, but if you found someone to give him a home, I’d contribute a bit to his dental surgery.

Surely we COTH kitty people can make this happen!


Count me in as another that would send a dribble for Nicodemus’ teeth extraction. I have known several to go on and live wonderful lives after stomatitis diagnosis. It is scary and a lot at first, but there are a lot more options today for food and maintenance than there were even ten years ago. The extraction is best, though costly. Once their teeth are extracted they tend to do much better.

Can you budge at all on the 4 cat maximum? I get it. I’m sitting here from the vantage of having a “Three cat” maximum in our house get steamrolled into EIGHT. We’re down to six now. It’s not that bad but it wasn’t what I had planned initially!

Sending some jingles Nicodemus’ way, hope he feels better. Thank you for looking out for those kitties.


I’m in for a dribble for surgery. My niece adopted a cat that had that and had all her teeth removed. She’s fine now and back to eating dry food.


He does need to have ALL of his teeth removed. I say that because we had one former feral cat that we were able to tame down. Her mouth was a hot mess. The vet removed the worst of the teeth and it was very hard on her to recover. THEN stomatitis went after the rest of the teeth. Looking back we should have made them remove ALL of them. Once they were all out she did just fine. He will have to be inside while he recovers though. If that is not an option then I would think about euthanize now. Better a day too soon than a second too late :frowning:


I can be counted upon to send a bit to help this kitty. My own feral colony are seen only in the game cams at night. Let me know how to help.


I had a cat with stomatitis and, yes, if he is to have any quality of life then all the teeth need to be extracted. It sounds like he would make a fine house pet. If you can find someone to take him I will contribute to the costs for the surgery as well. They do just fine as indoor pets without their teeth.


Many, many (30+) years ago I adopted an older cat from a no-kill shelter.
His coat was like cardboard, he had a cauliflower ear… And when I got him home, a big yawn showed he was toothless :astonished:
I called the shelter, they told me he’d come off the street & his teeth were so bad they had to be removed.
He’d been a street cat (in a big city) so long, none were worth saving.
But, from Day One, he never had a problem eating.
In fact, the shelter was cageless & he’d been caged. I asked how he got along with other cats as I had a younger cat at home.
I was told he’d only been caged to stop him going from bowl to bowl & eating All.Day.Long.
My DH named him Dempsey - for the ear.
We had him almost 10yrs, lost to a stomach tumor.

If a donation can be sent after 1/1/23, count me in.
Would vet consider reducing any of the fee for de-toothing him?
Another thought:
IF he comes in to live, would Mouse be okay w/o his BCFF?


Make a list. I’m in for a dribble. Do you have an estimate?


Perhaps both are friendly enough to rehomed as pets?

OP where are you located?


Count me in for $ too. I wish he was in Florida. I’d take him inside in a heartbeat.
PS. The Rats of Nihm was one of my daughter and my favorite movies. Adore his name.


Yeah, removing all the teeth is the only way to go, sorry! I mean, you can help him in the meantime with steroid shots and long-lasting antibiotics, but you’d need to do that probably every 2-4 weeks and even then, it’s just a stopgap measure, not a cure.

Cats without teeth do fine indoors. But his days of being a street cat would be over, for sure. Is there a local rescue you could work with to try to get him rehomed?

I’m also in for some $ to help cover the bill! Can we PP you the money?


it is possible that if you told your vet you couldn’t afford to remove the teeth, and wanted to schedule euthanasia, that one of their staff would take him if you surrendered him to the vet? That seems to be not unheard of when I talk to my vet/vet tech clients. You could even offer to partially pay?

In our area, there are unfortunately too many cats for the homes - euthanasia is kinder than a slow, and painful death. Unfortunately that decision still isn’t easy for care givers, so while definitely kind for kitty, I hope for your sake, you can find an alternative, but if not, euthanasia is a gift you can give this boy.


You guys are amazing. Trully, I had no idea the amount of support Nic would get here. I have reached out to the vet to get a ballpark quote for full extraction + recovery meds just to see what it is. This vet was the in-house vet at San Diego Humane Society so he is used to street kitties and has seen some hard cases. I appreciate his pragmatic approach - maybe he can cut Nic a deal.

what @CHT said is true, there are way too many cats for homes here. Kitten season does not exist just in the summer -its a year-round deal here so all rescues are full and begging for foster homes. Nic would be a hard sell for adoption since he is older, virus status is currently unknown and I can’t fully vouch for his in-house behaviors - its possible he has some baggage.

I can reach out to a few rescues I know and see if they are willing to back his adoption post-surgery, but I would have to foster him until he did find a home. So I guess fostering is worth plotting and bringing up with my household. Fostering might be an easier sell than flat out “I am bringing this street cat inside and he is mine now.” Of course my secret plan is that everyone in the house falls in love with Nic and we keep him forever but ¯_(ツ)_/¯

I’ll report back when I get the quote from the vet. Thank you guys for the support, its really touching.


When I was younger and deliberating (briefly) whether to bring home another animal, I just remembered this sage advice:

“It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.” :wink:


I have one that will probably eventually need a full mouth extraction as well. Right now I’m still trying to manage it. I’ve heard cats do well once they are removed.

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Put me down for something as well.

Poor thing - I hope he can find his forever home.