Why Does My Cat Breath Smell?

Just as you hit the snooze button and roll over, something seems amiss. What is that smell? And, as you open your eyes, there stands your feline friend, yawning out that bad cat breath of which jolts you from your slumber.

As plaque and tartar build, the immune system kicks in and produces cellular changes to combat what eventually leads to inflammation or infection. Treatment typically involves dental cleanings, tooth extraction (when needed), antibiotics, and changes to diet and/or the addition of supplements.

While oral/dental disease is the most prevalent reason for bad breath, other illnesses or conditions can produce similar symptoms. Ulcers and sores Kidney disease Abscess or infection Poor oral hygiene (resulting in plaque and tartar) Teething in kittens and young cats Diabetes Liver disease Diet (some soft foods can result in lingering bad breath) Infections Cancer One of the best ways to mitigate the more likely causes of bad breath in felines is to provide consistent dental care for your cat companion.

This includes daily or regular tooth brushing using a toothbrush and paste formulated for cats and annual wellness examinations to determine dental/oral health. By maintaining these examinations each year, we can better catch any ensuing changes to oral health and make recommendations for treatment. Thankfully, safe, monitored teeth cleanings performed under anesthesia are effective in combating oral diseases.

How do I get rid of my cats bad breath?

To prevent most cases of bad breath, brush your cat’s teeth – ideally, every day – using tooth gel for felines. “Link the brushing to a treat, such as drinking water from a dripping faucet or a favorite canned food,” advises Dr. Davis.

How can I get rid of my cats bad breath naturally?

Start with tooth gel on your finger or on a finger toothbrush..If your cat tolerates this, then use a cat toothbrush and cat-safe toothpaste to brush more thoroughly..Choose a time when your cat is happy and calm.

Bad breath is a common complaint among cat owners. Many attribute their cats breath to their diet, blaming stinky food for their stinky breath. Yet, though diet can be a reason behind your cats bad breath, its actually more complex than that.

As the bacteria continue to reproduce, your cats breath will get worseand worse, and theywill also suffer from inflammation and pain, a condition called stomatitis. Periodontal disease can also lead to other health problems in pets , so you need to address the issue as soon as possible.

Similarly, problems in the gut, liver, or kidneys can make your cats breath smell bad, and thats why getting a complete dental checkup is so important. When ketones build up in the blood due to diabetes, it makes the animals breath smell sweet. If you notice this smell, pay attention to whether or not your cat is urinating more frequently, which is another sign of this condition.

A poor diet filled with additives and difficult-to-digest foods will make your cats breath stink. If your cat is suffering from bad breath, the first step is to schedule a complete physical exam with your vet to rule out any other problems. Choose something that is easy to digest, like human grade food with no added sugars or unnecessary fillers.

Give your cat variety to avoid weight loss due to boredom with the food. Cat chews have rough, ribbed edges to scrape tartar off of the teeth in between tooth brushing. If your cats bad breath is particularly rancid, consider scheduling professional teeth cleaning to get ahead of the game.

And since its one of the causes of bad breath that you have control over, consider trying our human grade cat foods that are packed with protein, moisture-rich and free of fillers..

Bad breath it happens to the best of us, including our beloved feline companions. Although many cases of our morning breath can be solved with a morning brush routine, cat bad breath often indicates a more serious medical problem, with both oral causes or systemic ones.

If you are starting with a kitten with a healthy mouth, implementing a plan of good oral hygiene will be fairly simple, provided you are consistent and committed. If your cat has periodontal, or gum disease, your first goal is to treat the oral cause of the bad breath.

Special additives and uniquely shaped kibble have been shown to greatly reduce plaque formation and tartar buildup, helping to maintain fresh breath. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association reported that dental and oral diseases are by far the most common problem facing our pets today.

The most common cause of halitosis in cats is periodontal disease caused from plaque and tartar build-up. Plaque-containing bacteria attaches over the freshly cleaned and polished tooth as soon as the cat starts to salivate. Within days, the plaque becomes mineralized, producing rough tartar which accumulates more plaque and causes inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). As plaque ages and gingivitis progresses into periodontitis (loss to tooth support), the bacterial flora changes from good bacteria to destructive bacteria.

Contrary to common belief, neither normal lung air nor stomach aroma contribute to halitosis. While this is occurring, the periodontal ligament (connective tissues that attach the teeth to the jaw bone) becomes infected causing destruction of tooth support.

Volatile sulfur compounds may also play a role in periodontal disease affecting the integrity of the tissue barrier, allowing endotoxins (a part of bacteria) to produce periodontal destruction, endotoxemia (endotoxins in the blood), and bacteremia (bacteria in the blood). Often those teeth affected by advanced periodontal disease or tooth resorption need to be extracted. The Veterinary Oral Health Council only accepts dental products that are safe and proven to reduce the accumulation of plaque and tartar based on scientific studies; accepted products are listed at VOHC.org, or ask your veterinarian for recommendations.

Wiping the outside of the teeth and gums with a Q-tip twice daily is one of the most effective ways to remove and slow the accumulation of plaque.

What Should My Cat’s Breath Smell Like?

A healthy cat’s breath should have minimal smell. The Ontario SCPA Humane Society indicates your cat’s breath should smell fairly neutral, and any sort of bad smell is a sign of oral hygiene problems or other health issues. A fishy smell, which is common with cats, is almost always a sign of a problem.

Reasons Your Cat’s Breath May Stink

If you are noticing your cat’s breath smells bad, what could be the cause? Several problems can lead to a smell from the mouth, including these:

1. Halitosis

Halitosis is the official term for bad breath in cats. It can have several causes, but it usually occurs when plaque buildup occurs in a cat’s mouth. This allows bacteria to grow, and you will eventually smell the bacteria on your cat’s breath.

2. Periodontal Disease

If left unchecked, plaque buildup will turn into tartar buildup. This can cause inflammation along the gum line. As the bacteria continue to reproduce, your cat’s breath will get worseand worse, and theywill also suffer from inflammation and pain, a condition called stomatitis. Periodontal disease can also lead to other health problems in pets, so you need to address the issue as soon as possible.

4. Diabetes

If your cat’s breath smells off but smells fruity instead of foul, it indicates diabetes. When ketones build up in the blood due to diabetes, it makes the animal’s breath smell sweet. If you notice this smell, pay attention to whether or not your cat is urinating more frequently, which is another sign of this condition. A prompt visit to the vet to rule out this dangerous condition is needed. If your cat does have diabetes, fruity-smelling breath can indicate you need to revisit your diabetes treatment plan with your vet.

5. Oral Cancer

Oral cancer occurs if a squamous cell carcinoma develops inside your cat’s oral cavity. This can be on any soft tissue, including the gum, tongue, palate, and tonsils. It typically causes bad breath and difficulty eating.

6. Poor Diet

Your cat’s diet has a direct impact on their breath. A poor diet filled with additives and difficult-to-digest foods will make your cat’s breath stink. A better diet can improve gastrointestinal health, which will also help improve your cat’s breath.

Oral Causes

According to International Cat Care, 85% of cats have some form of dental disease, and it’s no wonder why. A cat‘s teeth and gums (aka gingival tissue) have naturally occurring bacteria. As these germs multiply and aren’t removed via brushing, they can develop a bacteria plaque film on the teeth; this film hardens through natural minerals in your cat‘s saliva and becomes tartar. The bacteria in your cat‘s mouth that are not removed release smelly compounds after they breakdown leftover food particles. Not only does this cause cat bad breath, but mouth bacteria can travel via the blood to various organs, where they can cause infections throughout the body, often resulting in heart and kidney disease. The accumulation of tartar also forces the gums down, causing them to recede, which loosens the roots of the teeth. Eventually, those loose teeth fall out. This all makes for one stinky and painful kitty mouth.Cats also can expose their teeth and gums to foreign objects — from bugs they catch and eat to nonfood objects that can cause injury or oral trauma. In addition to these sources, cats are known for their frequent hairballs and vomiting. Imagine how foul your breath would become if you couldn’t clean your mouth after being sick and you begin to understand why cat bad breath develops.Further oral causes of halitosis (the scientific name for bad breath) in cats include oral tumors, abscesses from dead teeth and inflammatory gum conditions.