If your cat’s lower lip seems to be drooping to one side lately, do not ignore; it can be caused by cancer or stroke, though there are also benign causes of this kind of symptom.

Have You Looked at Your Cat’s Lips Lately?

If you’ve noticed that the lower lip appears to be drooping, do not take this lightly or shrug it off as just a lopsided mouth – especially if you’ve never noticed this before.

“Many things can be the reason your cat’s lower lip is drooping on one side or another,” says world-renowned integrative veterinarian Carol Osborne, DVM, at Chagrin Falls Pet Clinic, and creator of PAAWS: Pet Anti-Aging Wellness System for dogs and cats.

Stroke As Possible Cause of Cat’s Lip Drooping to One Side

Dr. Osborne explains, “Similar to when a human has a stroke, it is possible your cat may also have suffered a small stroke.”

Don’t exclude this possibility just because your pet is still able to move about without any apparent difficulty or weakness. A stroke doesn’t always affect limb movement.

“Monitoring your cat’s behavior is important when you notice signs of drooping, as a stroke is only one possibility,” continues Dr. Osborne.

And don’t exclude this potential cause just because your cat isn’t “old.”

Cancer Can Cause Drooping of a Cat’s Lower Lip

“Oral cancer could be another reason your cat’s lip is drooping,” says Dr. Osborne. “As the cancer forms in the cat’s mouth it can cause swelling which may result in said drooping.”

A cancer that has formed in an area other than the mouth may also cause a lip to droop by pressing on a nerve that controls muscles in the face.

Other Causes

“Facial nerve paresis or paralysis is the fancy way of saying your cat’s face may not be fully responding to nerve signals,” says Dr. Osborne.

“There are many possible different reasons for these symptoms that are non-cancer related.

“For example, if your cat ran into an object the impact could cause temporary or permanent paralysis similar to a drooping lower lip.”

This symptom is not to be ignored. It’s not something that you should think, “Oh, it’ll go away on its own.”

Though the cause may be benign, you cannot rule out cancer or stroke by hoping that’s not what it is.

To find out more about how a veterinarian will assess a drooping lower lip in a cat, you can contact Dr. Osborne’s clinic at (866)-372-2765.

Dr. Osborne is a world-renowned integrative veterinarian and a pioneer in anti-aging medicine and longevity research for pets. She holds dog and cat scientific patents.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.