Why Does My Cat's Breath Smell So Bad? How To Prevent & Treat.

Why Does My Cat's Breath Smell So Bad? How To Prevent & Treat.

As kitty owners, we know their breath isn't always pleasant. Even though our cats are often meticulous creatures, consistently bathing themselves and sometimes organizing their litter boxes, they can still get stinky. A little leftover salmon kibble lunch snagged in a tooth can lead to some nasty odors wafting from their little mouths but, if you've noticed a severely pungent smell leaking out of your cat's mouth consistently it could be cause for concern.

We can help take your feline from funky smelling to fresh. Here are a few highlights of what bad breath in cat's can signify and how it can be treated. 

Learning What Causes Bad Breath In Cats

1. Periodontal Disease (Dental or Gum Disease)

    • Veterinarians agree, Periodontal disease is the number one cause of bad breath in both cats and dogs. Periodontal disease can be caused by a build-up of soft dental-plaque that can build up on the gums and area surrounding the teeth. 
    • If ignored periodontal disease can lead to tartar, making it easier for plaque to continue to build up. Further down the line it can lead to tooth loss, mouth pain, and bleeding gums. 
    • To avoid periodontal disease, it's recommended to brush your cat's teeth daily. If tooth brushing is not possible, wiping your cat’s teeth with dry gauze or a washcloth can help remove some plaque. Dental diets or treats can also reduce plaque build-up and freshen breath.

2. Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Stomatitis

    • This ailment can often be related to the feline leukemia virus, Bartonella, and other infections. It leads to serious inflammation of your cat's mouth as well as swelling, soreness, and bleeding gums. 
    • This is a pretty transmissible disease when it comes to other cats and is very common in places with high concentrations of cats like shelters.
    • There is a vaccine available so it's less likely for your cat to contract the viruses responsible for causing Stomatitis.
3. Gastrointestinal Issues
    • If you cat is suffering from digestion problems, abnormal or improper digestion of something can lead your cat to having bad breath. 
    • Normally other signs, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or change in appetite, will occur first.
    • This can amended by carefully reading through the ingredients in your cat's pet food, switching amount the amount of proteins, vitamins, and minerals they're receiving. 

4. Kidney Disease 

    •  If your cat’s breath smells like ammonia or urine, it could be kidney disease, which is not uncommon in cats ages 8 and older. 
    • Other symptoms of kidney disease include appearing lethargic, experiencing weight loss, drinking more water, and urinating more frequently and in greater volume.
    • Kidney disease can be managed with dietary modifications, such as minimizing the phosphorus content of food, making sure your cat is adequately hydrated, and dealing with secondary issues such as anemia. 
5. Diabetes
    • If your cat's breath is on the fruitier side but still foul then this could be a sign that they're contracted diabetes. 
    • Diabetes is very treatable in cats with a change in diet being the main component and adding insulin therapy as well as oral medications.
    • Most patients come in every three or four months to adjust their insulin and check on their pet's diabetes. 
If your cat is suffering from a consistent halitosis, we definitely suggest taking a trip to the vet. To determine the cause of your cat’s halitosis, a veterinarian will start by taking a complete health history and performing a physical examination.
If the origin is not obvious (e.g., periodontal disease, lymphocytic plasmacytic stomatitis, etc), your vet will then search for an underlying medical problem by running blood work, a urinalysis, and any other diagnostic tests that might be necessary. 
Here at Waggles, we find pet food to be a major source of preventative health for our cats and dogs. When it comes to reliably healthy cat food we always recommend SMACK to our customers. Containing the right amount of minerals and vitamins for your cat, as well as being high in protein, low in carbs, and providing the essential fats and nutrients your cat requires to thrive. Available in crunchy kibble SMACK also helps your cat's teeth, and gum health, or you can add water to it for a tasty wet delight. 

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