What Causes Cats to have Bad Breath?
by Linda Hall, Cat Behavior Expert
Curing Feline Bad Breath can be easy once you know the cause. And it can have many causes. Most veterinarians agree, periodontal disease is the most common cause of bad breath in cats.
Oooh. kitties! Just the thought of cats makes me feel all warm inside! They’re so warm and soft! You’d just love to lay on the couch and kitty cuddle all day long!
Then, while cuddling, you get a whiff of that breath! Whew! How can something so adorable smell that bad? Should you be worried?
We can expect a little smell of course.. Have you ever smelled cat food? It’s no wonder their breath is not minty fresh!
While we can expect a little cat food breath, if your cat’s mouth is really smelling offensive, we need to take a closer look!
Bad Cat Breath Can Mean Illness
If your cat’s bad breath odor is very bad, it can be a sign of a dental issue or a physical problem. While it’s usually a dental issue, it can also be a sign of kidney, respiratory or liver disease. Diabetes and skin diseases of the mouth can also be a cause.
The most common reason for foul kitty breath is periodontal disease. Think about it. If you didn’t brush your teeth for a month, what would your breath smell like? What if you went a year without brushing them? I would guess you will have some cavities and possibly infections. Those stink … literally!
Curing Feline Bad Breath
How do you cure your cat’s bad breath? Just like humans, dental care and regular check ups are important for feline health. Most vets suggest your kitty get a dental cleaning once a year. If kitty is over ten years old, they suggest twice a year. During these checkups they will clean kitty’s teeth well and most importantly, they will peek in that mouth for problems.
According to The Drake Center, they may find broken teeth or tumors during these exams. Some cats get lesions that start at the gum line and go underneath, to the root of the tooth. If they find gingivitis, there is an infection all the way through kitty’s tooth.If left untreated, that infection can spread to other areas.. All of these are very painful! Of course, we all know cats hide signs of illness. That tough cat will never let you know he’s in pain … but he is!
Brush Your Cat’s Teeth
So what do we do? While dental treats can help, we really need to brushing those teeth daily. Now, don’t grab one of your extra brushes and your toothpaste! There are many good toothbrushes on the market designed for cats. They are smaller and easier to use in a cat’s mouth. Human toothpaste can be toxic if swallowed and cats don’t like that mint taste! They make toothpaste for cats in the flavors they love!
Here is a kit from Chewy with a toothbrush and tuna flavored cat toothpaste that is under five dollars! I know the thought of your cat opening wide while you brush their teeth sounds a little crazy but I promise it’s easier than you think! The Drake Center created a great video showing you how to brush your cat’s teeth:
Sweet Breath = Healthy Cat
Brush your cat’s teeth daily and take your furry friend to the veterinarian for regular dental checkups. This will keep your cat’s breath smelling fresh and it may help you avoid some painful, serious issues. If a problem does arise, you will catch it sooner and that could save a lot of your money and possibly your kitty’s life!
Just look at that dazzling kitty smile!