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Why does my cat breath smell bad?

Why does my cat breath smell bad?

Cats like to be close to their owners. This is especially true first thing in the morning, and there's nothing like waking up to smelly cat breath. This condition is often attributed to dental concerns, but that is not always the case. Our Toledo vets discuss some of the reasons your cat may have bad breath and what you can do to help treat this smelly condition.

Reasons Why Your Cat's Breath Smells Bad

While we usually think of bad breath in pets as something that happens to dogs, it can also happen to cats. TA cat's breath may smell bad for many reasons, ranging from just plain old bad breath from eating to dental concerns and other more serious conditions.

This makes it even more important to bring your feline friend in for a dental health checkup with their veterinarian to find out why this smelly condition is happening.

Oral Hygiene & Dental Disease in Cats

We always try to take care of our feline friends, but sometimes we forget to take care of their oral hygiene. Most cats get some type 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, which can cause various dental conditions. It is important that these bacteria is cleaned away daily, or it will harden into tartar due to the minerals in the cat's saliva. While tartar is a significant issue on its own, the bacteria 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, which can result in your cat's teeth falling out. Your cat may experience some very bad breath and be in pain because of all of these things.

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

Only by bringing your cat to your veterinarian for an oral examination, can you accurately diagnose and treat these conditions? The treatment your cat requires will depend 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 May Cause 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 at Home

If your cat has bad breath, your goal will be to treat the cause or have the potential cause diagnosed.

Brushing your teeth regularly is the best way to prevent tooth decay. You could try using a special toothbrush to make brushing cats' teeth easier. If that doesn't work initially, you could try using your finger to brush the teeth until your cat is accustomed to the process. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day 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 rid of all the hard-to-reach plaque and tartar and help spot potential dental problems 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.

Are you concerned that your cat's bad breath may be linked to oral health or systemic conditions? Book an oral examination appointment for your cat today at Shoreland Animal Hospital.

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Shoreland Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our veterinary team is passionate about the health of Toledo pets and is looking forward to meeting you and your furry friend. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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