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Why Does My Cat's Breath Smell Bad?

Some cats enjoy getting up close and personal with their favorite people, but it can be off-putting when your cat gets in your face with bad breath. In this article, our Lisle vets will share reasons for your cat's unpleasant breath.

Why Does My Cat Breath Smell?

Although we don't typically associate bad breath with cats, they can still experience this issue. If your cat's breath is unpleasant, it may stem from various issues, including consuming odorous food or having dental problems and other potentially serious conditions.

Therefore, scheduling a dental health check-up for your feline companion with their veterinarian is crucial to uncover the root cause of this malodorous condition.

Oral Hygiene & Dental Disease in Cats

We always aim to provide the best care possible for our feline friends, but sometimes, we overlook the crucial aspect of their oral hygiene. Regrettably, we often fall short in this area, leading to the majority of cats experiencing some form of dental disease by the age of 3.

Every time your cat eats, food particles and bacteria accumulate, posing a risk of various dental issues. Daily removal of this bacteria is essential, as it can solidify into tartar if neglected. While tartar presents a significant problem, the bacteria on the teeth and mouth can also spread throughout the body, contributing to heart and kidney disease. Additionally, tartar is a leading cause of gum recession and can result in your cat losing teeth. These issues not only cause pain but also contribute to unpleasant breath.

Some common symptoms of these conditions may include: 

  • Inability to eat or lack of appetite
  • Behavioral changes
  • Redness of the mouth and gums
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums

Your vet can accurately diagnose dental conditions through an oral exam. The necessary treatment for your cat depends on the specific condition they are experiencing, with potential options including dental cleanings, tooth extractions, antibiotics, and possible dietary accommodations.

Other Conditions That Can Cause Cats Bad Breath

Dental conditions play a primary role in causing bad breath in cats, but additional factors contribute to this issue. Other, more serious conditions within your cat's body might also be responsible for this condition.

Regular examinations are crucial to identify and address these potential concerns, as the symptoms associated with these other conditions closely resemble those of oral problems. Make sure to bring your feline friend in for regular check-ups to ensure their overall health.

Some of the conditions that could lead to bad breath in your cat include:

  • Diet 
  • Teething
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Ulcers and sores
  • Infections
  • Abscess

Due to the wide range of conditions that can cause bad breath, it is always recommended to bring your cat in for a check-up if they are experiencing bad breath, especially if it is persistent.

How can we get rid of a Cat Bad Breath?

When your cat experiences bad breath, prioritize treating the root cause or obtaining a diagnosis for an underlying condition.

Initiate a regular teeth-brushing routine for your cat, commencing from an early age, to prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Make use of specially designed toothbrushes and toothpaste for a more convenient brushing experience. If initial attempts prove ineffective, employ your fingers for brushing until your cat becomes accustomed. Ensure brushing occurs multiple times a week, making the process smoother with increased frequency.

Additionally, schedule an annual dental check-up for your cat to address hard-to-reach plaque and tartar and identify potential dental concerns early on.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your cat has smelly breath, contact our Lisle vets today to book an examination.

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Green Trails Animal Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Lisle companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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