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What Is Causing Your Cat's Bad Breath & What To Do

What Is Causing Your Cat's Bad Breath & What To Do

Cats love to nuzzle and cuddle with their people, but if your feline friend has stinky cat breath it can begin to drive a wedge between you and your kitty! Today, our Santa Clarita vets discuss the causes of bad breath in cats and what to do.

Why does my cat's breath smell?

Although stinky breath is most commonly associated with dogs, our vets are often asked 'why does my cat's breath smell?" by concerned cat parents who can't seem to resolve the issue. If your cat has bad breath it could be due to reasons ranging from just plain old bad breath from eating smelly cat food to dental concerns and other more serious conditions. 

This makes it all the more important to bring your feline friend in for a dental health checkup with their veterinarian to get to the bottom of this smelly condition.

Oral Hygiene & Dental Disease in Cats

While most pet parents do all they can to provide their feline family members with the very best care, some aspects of feline care are sometimes forgotten such as the need for regular dental care. Neglected oral healthcare means that the majority of cats experience some form of dental disease by the time they are 3 years old. 

Each time a cat eats they are exposing their teeth to food particles and bacteria that can cause various dental conditions. This bacteria needs to be cleaned away on a daily basis otherwise it will harden into tartar due to the minerals that are present in the cat's saliva. While this tartar is a big enough issue on its own, the bacteria that are present on the teeth and in the mouth can also travel throughout the body causing heart and kidney disease. This tartar is also the most common cause of gum recession and can result in your cat's teeth falling out. All of these things can result in your cat not only being in pain but also experiencing some very bad breath.

Some common symptoms of these conditions might include: 

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

The only way to accurately diagnose and treat these conditions is by bringing your cat to your veterinarian for an oral examination. The treatment that your cat requires will be dependent on the condition that they are experiencing but some of the possible treatment options may include dental cleanings, tooth extractions, antibiotics, and potential dietary changes.

Other Conditions That Can Lead to Bad Breath in Cats

While bad breath in cats may most frequently be caused by dental conditions, these will not be the cause every time. There is a chance that this condition can be caused by other more serious conditions within your cat's body.

These other conditions will cause symptoms that are very similar to those experienced by oral concerns, which makes it important to ensure that you bring your feline friend in for an examination as soon as possible.

These other conditions that may cause bad breath in your cat include:

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

Due to the wide range of potential conditions that can cause bad breath, it will always be recommended to bring your cat in for a checkup if they are experiencing bad breath, especially if it is ongoing. 

Cat Bad Breath Treatment

Before you can treat your cat's bad breath it is essential to diagnose the underlying cause. Once your vet has pinpointed the cause of your kitty's bad breath they will be able to explain how to get rid of your cat's bad breath, and provide treatment if necessary.

Caring For Your Cat's Oral Health At Home

You should begin with a regular brushing routine from an early age if possible in order to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. This can be done by purchasing a special toothbrush that makes brushing cats' teeth easier and if that doesn't work at first you could try using your finger to brush the teeth until your cat becomes accustomed to the process. At the very least brushing should happen multiple times a week and should become easier the more often you do it.

It is also recommended that your cat get a dental checkup and routine cleaning at least once a year to get all of the hard-to-reach plaque and tartar and to help spot potential dental concerns early.

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.

Does your cat have stinky breath? Our vets are here to help. Contact Valencia Veterinary Center today to book an examination for your feline family member.

Book Online (661) 263-9100