If you notice conspicuous brown spots on your kitty's mouth area every time you attempt to stroke her head, then she may have a case of lentigo simplex. This skin pigmentation issue is especially prevalent in felines of certain coat colors, including orange tabby, silver, tricolor, cream and calico.
About Lentigo Simplex
Lentigo simplex spots don't look too different than freckles. If your cream-colored cat is sporting brown or black spots on her mouth, the situation likely is totally harmless and benign. For additional peace of mind, however, you may want to take your cat into the veterinarian just to be 100 percent certain. Where your pet's health is concerned, no amount of caution is "too much," so don't hesitate.
No Particular Breed Type
These spots can appear on cats from all types of breeds. No specific breeds are especially vulnerable to lentigo simplex. However, dark spots are especially common in orange cats, and to a lesser degree, cream-colored felines, as well. Another name for the condition is "orange cat lentigo."
The lips aren't the sole possible location for lentigines -- the plural form of lentigo simplex spots -- in cats. Other common locations for the flat, small and smooth spots are the tip of the nose, outer ear, gums and margins of the eyelids. If you notice brown spots on your pet's mouth, examine other parts of her head to see if you spot any more.
Size and Growth
Lentigines are usually relatively small and inconspicuous in appearance. In terms of diameter, the dark spots usually are less than 5 millimeters. If your kitty starts out with one or two of the spots, they may become bigger and she may get more of them, but with time, they eventually settle. The spots can appear solo, and can also appear in clusters of several others. The borders of the spots are usually very apparent.
Cause and Management
No root cause is known for brown and black spots on cats of certain coat colors. The discoloration is just cosmetic -- nothing more and nothing less. Medical management is unnecessary, although surgical removal options may be available to cats.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- Skin Diseases of the Dog and Cat; Tim Nuttall et al.
- Skin Diseases of the Dog and Cat; Thelma Lee Gross et al.
- CatChannel.com: My Orange Cat Has Spots Around His Mouth
- Muller & Kirk's Small Animal Dermatology; George H. Muller et al.