Last week, you wrote about the use of the right pain medications for cats. I think my 6½-year-old cat may have a slight pain condition but my vet said I cannot bring the cat in to the hospital yet due to visitation policies with the current pandemic. Apparently, this seems to be the case everywhere.

Even though my cat is still pretty young, her mouth chatters occasionally, especially when she is eating. Everything else seems normal and she loves her crunchy food.

This has been going on for almost a year and last summer the vet didn’t notice that anything was out of sorts. What could be going on? Should I assume that my cat is in any kind of pain? I would feel badly if she were. Lastly, can this wait until the hospital reopens?

While it is true that most veterinary hospitals and clinics are doing curbside visits only, meaning that the owners do not go into the facility with their pets, most are providing full services at this time. A lot can change in one year since your cat was last seen and a lot can change in a short period of time when it comes to any aspect of a given patient’s health.

From your description, I suspect that there is an oral issue that needs to be evaluated by your veterinarian. The list of possibilities includes gingivitis, dental decay or resorptive tooth lesions, a loose or fractured tooth, ulcerative lesions on the tongue, possible growths in the mouth, and more. You did not mention drooling and bleeding which suggests a better likely outcome when the issue is addressed.

Dental radiographs and a dental cleaning may be needed and extractions may be needed as well. Medications may be called for that may be anti-inflammatory, pain relieving or antibiotics to fight infection. Chattering of a cat’s mouth suggests to me the possibility of discomfort that should be addressed. The hospital is open, just not to you. Have the cat seen. I’m sure they can figure out what might be going on and make things better.

Dr. John de Jong owns and operates the Boston Mobile Veterinary Clinic. He can be reached at 781-899-9994.