Woman Reveals Real Reason Her Rescue Cat Has a ‘Cleft Lip’

Footage of the moment a cat owner reveals the reason behind her pet’s cleft lip has gone viral.

The adopted feline can be seen with a missing top lip in the clip, shared on November 20 by Julia Bodnar, 23, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who uses the handle @annoying.local.julz. More than 3.3 million people have watched the video.

After a trip to the vet, Julia was told her cat was suffering from “rodent ulcers” – a condition that has nothing to do with mice or rats.

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A file photo of a cat. A cat owner has revealed the real reason behind her cat’s “cleft lip.”
Valery Kudryavtsev/iStock/Getty Images Plus

What Are Rodent Ulcers?

According to The Spruce Pets, the condition causes damaged tissue allowing ulcers to develop on a cat’s lips—most often the upper lip.

These ulcers are one of three types of inflammatory skin problems in cats known as Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex (EGC), according to the vet-reviewed and pet-approved advice website.

There’s a misconception behind the name as some people say the “lesions were caused by the bite of a mouse or rat”.

Causes and Symptoms

The Spruce Pets says the symptoms look much worse than they feel for cats.

  • Sores with well-defined, raised edges and ulcerated depressions
  • Thickened tissue around the ulcers
  • Ulcers can appear on one lip or both (more often the upper lip)
  • Normally they aren’t painful

There are many reasons for why the ulcers appear, but veterinary researchers “have not identified one specific cause” yet, according to the website. It’s unclear how the cat in the video contracted the disease, but it may have been down to one of the following causes:

  • Food allergies
  • Hypersensitive reaction to ectoparasites such as fleas, ticks, or mosquitoes
  • Bacterial or fungal infections
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Feline leukemia

The slide show of images on Julia’s TikTok shows the gap in her cat’s top lip getting smaller and smaller after the trip to the vet.

The woman added the following text: “she started to heal, a little love went a long way.”

While cuddles and kisses most likely helped this cat’s wellbeing, they didn’t cure the disease. The vet most likely prescribed antibiotics or anti-fungal medication as well as a short course of anti-inflammatory steroids, according to The Spruce Pets.

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A file photo of a woman cuddling a cat. The cat owner stated “a little love went a long way” on the viral video that showed the cat’s lip healing.
Dima Berlin/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Over 2,700 people have commented on the video, and the top comment has received more than 21,000 likes.

It said: “Poor baby just needed some medicine and love.”

Another wrote: “I love her.”

One TikToker raised red flags by stating: “The fact that a rescue didn’t know these were rodent ulcers.”

Another person praised Julie, she said: “Saved that lil girl’s life. What a sweet baby.”

Newsweek reached out to @annoying.julia.julz for comment. We couldn’t verify the details of the case.

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? Send them to life@newsweek.com with some details about your best friend and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.

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