Why is my cat dropping food when eating and only eating on one side of his mouth?

Original Question: I took notice that my cat Astro has been eating only on one side of his mouth and not only that, he has also been dropping his food. - Shandell

Why is my cat dropping food when eating and only eating on one side of his mouth? Jan 20, 2019

Hi Shandell,

Thanks for your question.

It would be inappropriate for me to speculate as to what could be the cause of this clinical sign you describe. However, I can give you a list of ‘rule outs’ that could apply here and then I would encourage you to visit your veterinarian so that they can perform a proper physical examination and appropriate diagnostics to confirm the cause.

Causes for dropping food out of the mouth and possibly to one side consistently are:

  • Dental disease is a common cause. The pain of nerve exposure or a resorptive lesion (cavity) can lead a cat to avoid chewing on the affected side.
  • A head tilt is present.
    • A neurological disease causing a head tilt could exist
    • Infection with toxoplasmosis could be present
    • A brain lesion or mass
    • Inner ear infection or damage
  • An oral mass that occupies space on one side of the mouth that is necessitating chewing on the other side
  • A traumatic lesion on one side of the mouth causing pain and avoidance of chewing on that side
  • The previous extraction or loss of teeth leaving an opening for food to drop out

These are possibilities that I would recommend you work with your veterinarian to evaluate.

I hope this helps,

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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Why is my cat dropping food when eating and only eating on side of his mouth?
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Why is my cat dropping food when eating and only eating on side of his mouth?
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I will give you a list of 'rule outs' that could apply here and then I would encourage you to visit your veterinarian so that they can perform a proper physical examination and appropriate diagnostics to confirm the cause.
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Healthcare for Pets
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