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Cats do not get cold sores in the sense that we do. However, they can get lip lesions. The most common are eosinophilic granuloma plaques (here are some pictures: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=656) which are often related to allergy to food bowl, fleas or perhaps viral (herpes virus). They are quite painful and really need to be seen by his veterinarian for therapy. They respond quickly to steroids.
In the meantime, consider using a different type of food bowl (if using plastic switch to glass or porcelain), and clean the bowls regularly of all food. Make sure he does not have fleas especially if he goes outdoors, and if seen then he needs effective monthly flea control.
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