If you have a cat then you know that they love to get up close and personal in order to show their affection, unfortunately when your cat suffers from stinky breath then this may make for an unpleasant experience. Our Westfield vets discuss bad breath in cats and what conditions can commonly cause it as well as treatment options to get your kitty's mouth smelling great again.
The Causes of Your Cat's Bad Breath
When we think of smelly breath in pets we may immediately think of dogs and their 'puppy breath' but did you know it is possible for cats to also be affected by this condition? There are many reasons why a cat's breath may smell bad ranging from just plain old bad breath from eating 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 we always try to provide the best care possible for our feline friends we can sometimes forget that this includes taking care of their oral hygiene. Unfortunately, this isn't always something we do well enough and 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 May Cause Bad Breath in Cats
Dental conditions may be the most probable cause of bad breath in your cat but it doesn't mean that it is the only potential cause. There is a chance that this condition can be caused by other more severe 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
- Liver disease
Because there are so many potential causes of this and other dental health conditions it is important to have them examined at the first sign of any of these symptoms.
How To Treat Your Cat's Bad Breath at Home
If your cat suffers from symptoms such as bad breath then it is imperative to have them examined in order to determine the underlying cause and have it treated as soon as possible.
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.
Our Westfield vets recommend routine preventive care involving annual oral examinations in order to clean their teeth and to determine any signs of oral concerns before they result in uncomfortable and smelly symptoms.
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.