When your beloved kitty snuggles in your arms, do you feel an unpleasant odor coming from her mouth? If it does, you have every reason to worry because it isn’t an everyday occurrence.
Cat’s bad breath is a condition called Halitosis. Halitosis can be an oral hygiene-related issue, indicating a severe dental infection, or an underlying disease’s early symptoms.
Around 75% of cats above 3-years of age can develop dental disease, and bad breath is usually its first sign. While there are various dental cat treats such as breath fresheners available to promote good oral hygiene, not all of them are effective on bad breath.
So to make cuddling your kitty an enjoyable experience, here’s a comprehensive guide on what causes bad breath in cats and how to treat it.
Causes Of Bad Breath In Cats
Nothing can be as irritating as trying to snuggle with your feline and suddenly getting a whiff of a foul odor from their mouth. There are many different causes of bad breath in cats, including:
The build-up of odor-producing bacteria in the kitty’s mouth and saliva can cause the formation of plaque. If not treated in a timely manner, plaque can mineralize and transform into tartar, infecting tooth tissues and causing periodontal disease. Difficulty eating food, chewing from one side only, brownish tartar, and swollen gums are signs of dental disease.
There can be several food-related causes of bad breath in cats. For example, liver or fish-based meals, or something caught between the teeth or under gums like food or hair strands, can produce a bad smell while decomposing. There is a selection of best cat food to help with shedding so you might want to check that out as well. Cats like to chew on foreign objects such as rubber bands, the leftover particles that can also cause bad breath.
Stomatitis and Gingivitis
Both gingivitis and stomatitis can cause bad breath. Gingivitis causes gum inflammation, while stomatitis affects the mouth’s mucous lining. Usually, these conditions develop due to dental disease, but viruses, bacteria, or allergies can also promote them.
Sometimes bad breath may indicate underlying health issues rather than indicating poor oral health. Though uncommon, bad breath can be a symptom of kidney and liver disease. Excessive toxins build-up in the blood cause bad breath because the cat’s kidneys can no longer detoxify them. Liver disease symptoms include bad breath followed by yellowness in the cat’s eyes, gums, and skin on the ears.
If your kitty’s breath suddenly turns fruity, it could be a sign of diabetes. Check if the cat is drinking more water than usual, losing weight despite a sufficient diet, and urinating frequently. These are the preliminary signs of diabetes, and you must consult a vet right away.
Cat Bad Breath Remedy
Halitosis is a widespread issue faced by cat owners. Although a veterinary examination is essential to identify the reason behind the foul breath, generally, it isn’t something too serious. In such cases, you can use cat breath fresheners to address the issue. There are many different cat treats for bad breath available in the market that can help you out. Some of the safest options include:
Dental cat treats quickly freshen your cat’s breath so you can enjoy cuddling your pet. These low calorie treats for cats are all-natural, nutritious designed to clean the cat’s teeth via mechanical abrasion with their crunchy texture. Dental treats help reduce tartar build-up and are available in various flavors, including scallops and lobster, so that the feline happily munches them on.
Powder supplements have a unique formula that significantly controls plaque formation, which is the root cause behind the cat’s dental issues. These supplements ensure gum health by restoring microbial balance in the mouth. Sprinkle some powder in your cat’s meal regularly for cleaner teeth and fresher breath.
Water additives effectively eliminate germs and bacteria from the mouth while offering a wide range of other oral health benefits. These are odorless, tasteless, and colorless treats that don’t disturb your cat’s drinking habits when added to the water dish.
Several remedies can help in treating the cat’s bad breath issue on your own.
Tooth Gel – Brush your cat’s teeth regularly, ideally using tooth gel. If your feline doesn’t like it, try linking it with a meal. For example, show your kitty her favorite canned meal and just before feeding it, gently apply a small amount of the gel on the cat’s teeth using your fingers. Since the cat is interested in savoring the food, she won’t mind it at all. Follow a regular brushing routine to ensure better oral health.
Chew Toys – Like dogs, cats are also fond of chewing. Give your feline cat-friendly chew toys to keep her teeth clean. Chew toys can prevent the cat from chewing on foreign objects like wires, plastics, or shoes as well.
Cat Bad Breath Home Remedy
A healthy mouth can prevent many gum diseases and oral health issues provided that you are committed and consistent. Here are some tried-and-tested cat bad breath home remedies to help you out.
To prevent tartar build-up, brushing your cat’s teeth regularly is necessary. But, use a toothpaste and toothbrush designed especially for cats. You can easily buy them from pet supply stores or your vet’s office.
Brushing several times a week is essential, and daily brushing is ideal. It may be a challenge initially, but don’t give up as most cats learn to tolerate brushing and gradually enjoy it.
Cat friendly mouthwashes can freshen up breath quickly as these contain chlorhexidine that disinfects the mouth for at least 12 hours. Cat mouthwash kills bacteria effectively and reduces the incidence of infections, which causes bad breath. Soak a cotton bud in the mouthwash and wipe it all over the teeth’s outer crown area. Do this twice a day as preventive dental care.
Bast cat food for dental health has specially designed kibbles, which contain fibers that sweep onto the cat’s teeth when the cat chews on it. If mild tartar and gums haven’t turned sore, a dental diet can do wonders for your feline’s oral health. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) approved dental diet is most suitable for reducing tartar.
If certain foods are causing a bad smell, then it is better to avoid them. Feed your cat a particular food such as chicken for a few days and check the breath. Make sure to check Catienda cat food advisor for a selection of food. If it doesn’t cause bad breath, continue reintroducing other flavors and keep inspecting which foods cause a bad smell.
Scheduling a professional teeth cleaning session with your vet once a year is essential. Vets will perform extensive tooth cleaning, including areas where a toothbrush cannot reach, and clear tartar and plaque underneath the gums. The vet will check for cracked or broken teeth, and if your cat has periodontal disease, the vet can rightly diagnose it.
Regular brushing routine and switching to cat bad breath treats can treat bad breath in cats. If it persists, book an appointment with the vet. If a particular food is causing bad breath, avoid it.
Yes, it is! Most oral hygiene issues can be solved by keeping your cat’s teeth clean and germ-free. Brush their teeth daily to remove plaque before it sticks in the teeth. Moreover, brushing prevents gum inflammation and many other dental problems.
To determine the cause of Halitosis, get your feline examined by a veterinarian, and provide the cat’s complete health history. The vet will check their teeth thoroughly to understand whether there is dental disease or an underlying medical issue. They might run blood work, urinalysis, and perform other diagnostic tests to determine what’s causing bad breath.
You can give oral care products and vet-approved dental diets to treat bad breath. Dental care diets contain uniquely designed kibbles and special additives to reduce plaque formation and tartar build-up to keep the cat’s breath fresh.