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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 if your cat gets in your face with bad breath. Our vets in Mahopac share some reasons your cat's breath may smell.

Why Your Cat Has Bad Breath

Although cats are not typically associated with bad breath, they can still experience this issue. If your cat has unbearable breath, it may stem from various factors, including consuming odorous food or facing dental problems and other serious conditions.

Therefore, scheduling a dental health checkup for your feline companion with their veterinarian is crucial to address and identify the root cause of this unpleasant condition.

Oral Hygiene & Dental Disease in Cats

While we always strive to provide the best care possible for our feline friends, we sometimes overlook the crucial aspect of maintaining their oral hygiene. Regrettably, many of us fall short in this regard, and most cats end up facing some form of dental disease by age 3.

Food particles and bacteria accumulate every time your cat eats, posing a risk for various dental issues. These bacteria must be removed daily to prevent them from solidifying into tartar. If neglected, this tartar becomes a significant problem on its own. Additionally, the bacteria in the teeth and mouth can travel throughout the body, potentially causing heart and kidney disease. Tartar is also the primary culprit behind gum recession and the potential loss of your cat's teeth. Beyond the physical consequences, these issues can result in your cat not only experiencing pain but also suffering from persistent bad breath.

Recognizing the signs of these conditions is crucial. Common symptoms 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 by performing an oral exam. The necessary treatment for your cat depends on the specific condition they are experiencing. Possible treatment options include dental cleanings, tooth extractions, antibiotics, and potential dietary accommodations.

Other Conditions That Can Cause Cats Bad Breath

Dental conditions mainly contribute to bad breath in cats, but there are other causes. 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 very similar to those experienced by oral concerns, which makes it important to ensure that you bring your feline friend in for an examination regularly.

These other conditions that may cause 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 checkup if they are experiencing bad breath, especially if it is persistent.

How do you get rid of cat bad breath?

When your cat has bad breath, your primary objective is to address the cause or obtain a diagnosis for an underlying condition.

Initiate regular brushing of your cat's teeth, starting from an early age, to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. Utilize special toothbrushes and toothpaste designed for ease of use in brushing your cat's teeth. If initial attempts prove unsuccessful, employ your fingers for brushing until your cat becomes accustomed to the process. Ensure brushing occurs multiple times a week, and the task should become more manageable with increased frequency.

Additionally, it is advisable to schedule a dental checkup for your cat at least once a year to eliminate 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 Mahopac vets today to book an examination.

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