Natural Remedies for Rodent Ulcer

Rodent ulcers commonly present as sores in and around the mouth and lips.

Murphy recently had a very unpleasant experience with an inflammatory skin condition that is only prevalent in cats called “rodent ulcer,” which also goes by the scientific name feline eosinophilic granulom – among others.

The layman’s label is misleading, as this is not caused by cats coming into contact with rodents. It’s actually an allergic reaction that is commonly caused by:

  • The chemicals in plastic or rubber food and water bowls
  • An allergy to fleas
  • A food allergy
  • Environmental pollutants, including chemicals in cat litter

Cats with comprised immune systems, such as those with FIV, are also more susceptible to this, and this is more prevalent in female cats than males.

The Symptoms of Rodent Ulcer

Murphy’s symptoms began as a few small, red sores under his chin that later extended to the corners of his mouth. This was also accompanied by acute darkening of his lower gums. In addition, this can affect a cat’s tongue, lips and other parts of the body, such as the pads of the feet.

Although seemingly more common in younger cats, this can occur at any age.

How I Determined that Murphy Had Rodent Ulcer

Admittedly, Murphy – who is now 1 year and 4 months old – has been a hot mess in one form or another since I adopted him from a county animal shelter in August 2013, when he was 17 weeks old.

I was able to figure out what he had with the help of my friend, Dr. Cathy Alinovi – a respected holistic veterinarian who has a practice in Indiana – my extensive professional background in researching and writing about pet health care, and my own considerable experiences with cat ailments.

In this case, Dr. Cathy and I relied on a process of elimination to determine the cause of Murphy’s ailment.

How I Determined and Eliminated the Cause

I have always fed Murphy and his adopted younger sister, Lily, from glass bowls that I wash after each use in a dishwasher; I give them filtered water; and use a natural cat litter, Cedarific. And neither one of my cats, who never go outside, has ever had fleas.

So I narrowed it down to the cat food – I am sorry to say that I switched my kitties to an inexpensive brand after losing my job at the beginning of the summer. I had previously fed them high-quality grain-free canned foods such as Hound & Gatos and Wild Calling. But I switched them to Fancy Feast Classic – because at least this doesn’t contain wheat gluten – due to the lower cost.

Lo and behold – although Lily did not experience an adverse reaction – I realized that Murphy was allergic to this. So I made a compromise and got my cats on Blue Freedom grain-free. Although it’s more expensive than Fancy Feast, it’s less costly than the other brands I previously fed my cats. Thus, this was a reasonable compromise.

Natural Remedies to the Rescue

Murphy is relieved to be back to his handsome self once again!

In addition to changing Murphy’s food, I decided to explore some natural home remedies to help get his condition under control.

The usual procedure is to take a cat to a vet, who will generally administer a corticosteroid shot and/or place a kitty on an oral anti-inflammatory steroid, most commonly prednisoline.

However, as I am a great believer in naturopathy – for my pets, and myself – and I am very leery of steroids, I decided to first take a holistic approach.

Thus, with Dr. Cathy’s approval, I came up with a treatment plan that consisted of the supplements and homeopathic remedies:

Colloidal silver is a highly effective mineral that has powerful anti-biotic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and immune boosting properties. You can find this, which comes in liquid form, in health and natural food stores. (I used the Sovereign Silver brand.)

L-Lysine also helps to boost a cat’s immune system. I gave this to both Murphy and Lily immediately after adopting them, because they each contracted upper respiratory ailments while in their respective shelters. You can find this in health and vitamin stores, or purchase in pet stores as chews made especially for pets.

Epic Pet is a fantastic line of holistic spray and drop products made from minerals in alkaline water with added electrolytes that naturally help to alleviate a variety of ailments and behavioral issues in dogs and cats.

In addition, natural pet care experts recommend adding Omega-3 and -6 oils to a rodent ulcer treatment regimen, as these are safe, natural anti-inflammatories.

How I Administered These Remedies

I gave Murphy the colloidal silver daily, both orally and topically. I placed 1/2 teaspoon in his wet food each day. It’s odorless and tasteless, so pets don’t mind it. I also poured some into a small travel-size spray bottle and would spritz it onto his sores three to five times a day.

I gave him one L-Lysine chew (which equals 250 milligrams) twice a day. As I ran out of these and couldn’t find them in any pet stores in my area, I resorted to sprinkling the powder from the 250 milligram capsule form onto his wet food twice a day.

As for the Epic Pet, I sprayed this into his food, water and directly onto the sores once a day, as per the directions.

*Note: for kittens under 1 year, give them half these doses: 1/4 teaspoon of the colloidal silver once a day, and 125 milligrams of the L-Lysine twice a day. The L-Lysine chews are soft, so you can easily slice them in half with a butter knife. If you can only find the 250 milligram powder capsules of L-Lysine, open the capsules, divide them in half (you might place this in a small bathroom cup and measure out in half doses at a time) and administer twice daily.

A Dramatic Kitty Recovery

Within four to five days, Murphy’s condition began to markedly improve, thanks to the combination of getting him back onto the natural food and the holistic remedies. So he is well on the road back to being his handsome self once again!

The beauty part is, I did not have to resort to placing him on steroids, or an expensive vet trip.

Advice for Parents of Kitties with Rodent Ulcers

Granted, not all pet parents are fortunate enough to have a holistic vet for a friend, or a vast amount of experience researching and writing about pet care. So I would strongly advise that you take your cat to a vet if you suspect that he/she is suffering from this – or any other malady – for a proper diagnosis.

If you are able to take your pet to a holistic vet, he or she may very well recommend the treatments I outlined here before resorting to steroids, or may opt to place your pet on a combination of prescription meds and natural remedies.

Regardless, the natural approach certainly can’t hurt, as will ensuring that your pets’ foods, products and environments are safe and healthy overall.

Photos by Alissa Wolf

38 thoughts on “Natural Remedies for Rodent Ulcer

  1. hello ms. wolf, i tried your remedy minus the silver with wonderful results. does Murphy continue the treatment for life? i’m don’t want to stop the treatment in fear of the ulcer returning. thank you for your info and help.


  2. Hi there
    I would be very grateful for your advice on my kitty with rodent ulcers. She is 8 months old and about 4kgs. She looks too fat (like a barrel ) and suspect prednisone reaction. She was diagnosed with rodent ulcers on her upper lip and roof of her mouth in April. The vet put her on prednisone and antibiotics. She is flea free and to my knowledge always has been:) at his recommendation she is on Hills Science Diet kitten formula, at the recommended rate per day (80gms) only and drinking water and eating her food from China bowls.
    I read your article with interest and would like to try Colloidal silver and lysine but wonder about dosages for her weight.
    The vet wants me to put her on some prescription cat food (Hills – I think). He feels it might be a protein allergy. I want to try her on a mix of raw chicken, beef and offal.
    Currently she is on full dose of prednisone (1 1/2 tablets / day). Hoping to start reducing and ending it asap on his advice. Ulcers are significantly improved.
    However I wonder about adding the colloidal silver and Lysine while she is on prednisone. What do you think ?
    Thanks in advance:)


    • Hi Coralee,

      Thanks for writing. I do not like Hills pet foods. They have too many preservatives, grains and other junk in them, to be quite honest. I would recommend a higher quality grain-free food such as Dave’s, Weruva, Wild Calling, Hound & Gatos or Taste of the Wild. I feed my cats Dave’s, which is a very good food that’s more affordable than most high end cat foods.

      As for the colloidal silver, I would give her 1/4 teaspoon 2-3 times a day, due to her young age and small size. As for the L-Lysine, the dosage is 250 milligrams twice a day for adult cats. So I would give her 125 twice a day. You can either buy 250 milligram gel capsules from a health food store, open the capsules and give her half, sprinkled on her food. Or you can buy these as chew treats from a company called Vermont Naturals. Just cut one in half and give her a half twice daily.

      And, yes, steroids will make kitties fat. I have a couple of close friends who are holistic vets, and they do not approve of this, except in extreme cases. Either way, it’s not good for pets to be on this for the long term because this can affect their liver and other organs, and lower their overall immunity.

      I hope this helps, and please keep my in the loop in regard to your kitty’s progress.

      Best wishes,


      • Hi again
        Thanjscfor your reply. In your opinion are rodent ulcers an auto immune disease?
        Look forward to hearing from you


      • Hi Coralee,
        This is not an autoimmune disease. It appears to be an allergic reaction, to food, flea bites, plastic bowls, etc. However, cats with a compromised immune system may be more susceptible. Hope this helps.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My kitty Kassidy was just diagnosed with this condition. Thank you for the article. I am on the way to trying all the treatments. She already eats a high quality cat food and I use ceramic bowls, reverse osmosis water….so the only thing that’ left are the lysine, colloidal silver and I just bought the Epic spray. Oh yeah, I do need to change the litter I’m using.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra, using a good quality natural litter is also very important. I recommend non-clumping litters that are free of any artificial fragrances, and are made from organic fibers such as pine. Be sure to check out my article “Litter Did Your Know” for more tips. And I hope Kassidy feels better soon!


  4. HI Again
    Thanks for your response. The reason why I asked about the Autoimmune disease is because my original vet told me that the course of treatment you recommended would exacerbate her condition as it was an autoimmune disorder!! So I got another Vet to look at her and she gave ($500 later!) her a biopsy, where we discovered she has sores down her throat and possibly right down inside. At the time she was hardly eating and I was very concerned about her. Even soft food was not working for her. This vet has put her on antibiotics initially as she appeared to have an infection (temperature) and then a hormone tablet called Suppress. She is well now but although her lip ulcers have disappeared, the mouth sores are still apparent but allowing her to eat a variety of food..
    She is on 1/4 tablet of Suppress every second day.
    I am still considering the L-lysine and Colloidal Silver but working through with this vet till this medication is finished.


    • Hi Coralee. What exactly is her autoimmune disorder? Of course, you should do what your vet says. And it would be best to wait until she finishes the prescription meds. But if she does, in fact, also have rodent ulcer, then spraying the silver on her wounds topically probably won’t hurt. Once again, make sure your vet says it’s okay.


  5. Hi there,

    Please help! My cat Zoe is 6years old and weighs 4.5kgs. I have had endless problems with allergies with her for years. She was hand reared by me from 2 weeks old.

    Over the years this has presented as skin irritation, over grooming to the extent that she had patches of hairlessness and sores on her nose that were raw. Through various vets I have tried. Changing food, nutri calm and rescue remedy (I was told her allergies were exacerbated by anxiety – she is highly strung) antibiotic injections and cortisone with every flare up.

    After the last change of food, we went for almost a year without incident until 2 months ago – she now has rodent ulcers. For the last month, I took her to the vet every 3 days for follow up treatment. She generally gets antibiotics and cortisone injections. After today’s visit they have said that it appears to be getting worse. They have given me lenisolone 5mg twice a day.

    In addition, I put colloidal silver in the communal water bowl. What can I do? Zoe is the last in a 4 cat household. They all get a flea and mite treatment monthly (preventative). I have a big garden for them and no other cats can get in. I have a calming collar on her. I am in this for the long haul. I hand reared her when she was found in an abandoned factory and she is my baby. I don’t want to do anything to compromise her quality of life, this latest progression to rodent ulcers is really resistant and she is a very unhappy baby.

    I would just like to help her.


    • Hi,
      I am really sorry that Zoe is going through this. Do you use plastic bowls? If so, you should eliminate them and use glass or stainless steel. You should put colloidal silver directly on the wounds. You can put some in a spray bottle and spritz her liberally three times a day. It is also available in gel form. Place some on a cotton pad and dab it on. You could also try giving her L-lysine. It’s available in chewable treats, which you can give her twice a day. Also, you might try eliminating chicken from her diet. A lot of cats are allergic to this, because it contains hormones and antibiotics. I wish your kitty a speedy recovery, and please keep me in the loop about her progress.


  6. HI could you please tell me what I should do. I took my cat to the vet Thursday because I noticed he had lost a lot of wait and that he had started digging at his mouth. The vet told me he had ulcers in his mouth. They wanted to put him on steroids but I chose not to because of the side effects. I asked if they could pull his blood levels again to check his kidneys and liver and they did. They were still the same since 6 months ago. I had put him on some natural medicine to help his kidneys. They are wanting to pull some of his teeth and I am scared at this point because of his age he is 18 I am afraid he want wake up after surgery. I can’t bear to see my baby in pain. I do not know where there is a hollistic vet is close to where I live. Please if you could give me advice on what I should do. This cat is like my child I love him dearly. Thanks Pat


    • Hi, Pat. I am sorry that your kitty is going through this. I don’t blame you for avoiding steroids and surgery due to his age. Where do you live? I can see if there are any holistic vets near you. Alissa


  7. I adopted an 8 year old female tabby, Molly Bear about two months ago, she had recently undergone dental surgery and is wet food only. After bringing her home, she was fine. Would only eat chicken canned food, I noticed she was scratching constantly.

    I tried flea medicine, noticed she had bumps under her chin and the scratching was becoming worse. I then noticed her lower lip was swollen!!!

    My boyfriend went through the same thing with his boy and has injections every few weeks. I prefer the homeopathic route for myself and my human children so why not my new furry girl?

    Thank you so much for this article! I changed her to a wet seafood she enjoyed, did the colloidal silver for felines, also l-lysine chews that she loves, and coconut oil/colloidal silver chin massages twice daily!!

    Molly Bear is itch free, the bumps are all gone and her lips are back to normal!

    I know this thread is probably dead but I cannot thank you enough! You saved me a ton of money and now our girl can concentrate on her hugs and rubs instead of that annoying itch 🙂


    • Hi MemoryofAlessa,
      I am happy to report that this thread is alive and well! I am also delighted to know that my advice helped Molly Bear! I wish you both many years of happiness together.


  8. Hi,

    I came across your article and I’ll be trying the combo to help my new little kitty with his issues. I was wondering if you have heard of this product: Holistic Blend L-Lysine & Cranberry

    I like the simplicity of it vs the chewables from Pet Naturals. Have you ever came across it or think I could use it in place of the Pet Naturals?

    I see another comment asking about how long to administer the supplements, and you mentioned just till they are healed. Does that go for all the ingredients of your formula? Just when he has flare ups, I should give everything then stop once healed?

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and what you did to help Murphy! My vet wanted to do steroids and I would rather try this first!


    • Hi Angela,
      I have not heard of this product, but it sounds okay. In my experience, it’s best to give the products until they are healed. Then you can stop. I am glad that my article has been of help to you and your kitty!


  9. Hi there…my cat is 15 and is on Felimazole for overactive thyroid & Semintra for kidney issues. His bottom lip is red & swollen and has this condition as well.There are no fleas, he eats & drinks from a stainless steel bowl and uses cat litter. He eats canned Purina senior essentials. Is it safe to try the colloidal silver, L-lysine & Epic Pet while on those meds? I’m wondering if the reaction has anything to do with this food. Can you suggest a food brand that is good for a senior cat with kidney failure? He can’t have dry food.
    Thank you,


    • Hi Cathy,
      Sorry for the delayed response. I just got your comment.
      I do not like Purina. It has too many synthetic chemicals and preservatives. I feed my cats Dave’s canned food. It’s all natural, and is available in a limited ingredient formula. You may want to avoid feeding your kitty chicken, as this often contains hormones and antibiotics that cats can be allergic to. Hope this helps.


  10. Hello Alissa,
    Thank you for the help of trying to figure out this awful condition.,
    my fur girl started out with rodent ulcer on the upper lip, and she would get hot spots on her chest where the fur was pulled out and a rash that got infected. we had her on venison wet food , stainless steel water bowls, with filtered water, we got her allergy tested and it doesnt say she has an allergy to venison, but the lip never healed up, the hot spots have went away though, so now we switched her to chicken wet food from wellness and it doesnt seem to be helping anything, it seems to be the same as when she was on venison. she is a 4 year old and weighs 6 lbs, how would you dose her for the silver and l-lysine, and what wet food from daves would you recommend. i thank you so much for your help and info on this condition


    • Hi Kurt,
      Sorry for the delayed response. I just received notice of your comment. Try avoiding chicken, as this can contain hormones and antibiotics that cats can be allergic to. As for Dave’s recommendations, they have a limited ingredient formula that you could try. I recommend 250 milligrams of L-Lysine twice a day, which you can sprinkle in your kitty’s food. Colloidal silver is available in a spray formula, which you can use directly on the sore two times a day. Hope this helps.


  11. Hi Alissa! I’m hoping you can lend some much needed advice. Scrappie (6 yr-old spayed female, DSH) has a lesion above her eye, below her ear (in that bald spot all cats have) that is itchy and I cannot get healed. I believe she has rodent mouth that might be related. (One of my other cats with IBD was diagnosed with it, and hers looks exactly like his.) She is overweight as well. I’ve been working on transitioning the household to quality wet food/raw diet which is proving difficult. Fat girl loves her kibble and some days just flat out won’t eat enough of the wet food. (I worry about hepatic lipidosis!) The vet just wants to give her ABs and steroids. We’ve done two rounds to no avail. Steroids last 2-3 weeks but slow the healing process down too much. Right now she gets colloidal silver salve applied twice daily, Vitamin E on her paw twice daily, quercetin once daily, and 1/2 a Zyrtec once daily. I have l-lysine (which the other affected cat gets) but it seems to slow the healing process down. Thoughts?


  12. Hello,

    I’m interested in knowing which spray you bought from Epic Pet health? They list many formulas and I want to buy the exact one you used for your kitty.




  13. I was pleased to find your site only to say that this trio didn’t work for our Senior Cat of 12 years old. We initially took her to the vet to make sure that this was a Rodent Ulcer and the doctor gave her a steroid shot. Her lip seemed to had gotten a little better but to help get it well I bought these three products. As soon as we gave Candi the L-Lysine the 250 mg x 2 a day by the next morning she was drinking up to 3 bowls of water. We took her back to the vet only to learn that this is a side effect to the L-Lysine. It is a rare one but it is there. It would have been nice to have known this ahead of time. After stopping the L-Lysine and 12 hours later bless her heart she isn’t drinking near the water she was.


    • Hi,
      In my articles, I always tell my readers to consult with their vets before trying any natural remedy. Pets react differently to certain treatments, and there can be adverse interactions between meds, even natural remedies. I hope your kitty gets better soon.


  14. I purchased all of the recommended items:
    Colloidal silver (10 ppm)
    Epic Pet Health Repair

    and while it did work (for which I was grateful), my male cat developed a urinary blockage and had to under go in hospital treatment. Luckily he didn’t require surgery. I was wondering if it could have been the Colloidal Silver that gave him the blockage. Would anyone have any idea on this? Just curious as I considered restarting the above treatment should he get the rodent virus again but I’m scared to do so. Thank you.


  15. Hi Alyssa. I read your article a couple of months ago and am very grateful for it. My Burman has had these ulcers since she was 6 mos old. She is now 11 yrs old and has been on the prednisilone all this time. After reading your blog, I bought some of the l-lysine at Petsmart and changed her wet food to a better brand, but mainly no fish. I’ve also switched to a gluten and grain free dry food. My vet has been very supportive of these changes and suggested weaning her off of the pills. She has been clear of ulcers for over a month and her chin fur has filled in and thickened. I am going to finish the l-lysine treats, but know what to do if this returns. Thank you for sharing your experience with everyone. My vet will probably recommend this treatment in the future for other affected babies.


    • Hi Teresa:
      That is awesome! I am always happy to hear that my knowledge helps people. I am also happy to know that your vet is on board with alternative treatments, and that your kitty is doing well. Thanks for writing, and give my best to Burman.


      • Thanks for the reply, Alissa. Sorry for the confusion. Burman is the breed of my cat. Her name is Suwai. It is Thai for pretty. I do have one question…How long did you give Murphy the l-lysine? Until he cleared up or are you still giving it to him.?


  16. HI Alissa. We adopted out little Sierra when she was 4 months old from a shelter. She had little contact with her mother as she was found outside alone at approx 2 months old, She developed a bump which indeed got worse and we took her to the vet, We were told it was an allergy and to change her diet which we did, however, the bump got much worse. We did research and found your article on Rodent Ulcer and the natural remedies you suggest to try, we did not want to have her face a future of steroids.We started the l-lysine and the Codall Silver and ordered the Dave’s wet food. It has only been 2 weeks and her ulcer is almost gone. We warm up the L-Lysine in a bit of water for about 12 seconds which makes it soft and she just loves it. We are so happy this has worked for her. Thank you so much for sharing this information.


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