In this article we discuss the causes of bad breath in cats, other symptoms to watch out for and preventative dental care.
Causes of Bad Breath in Cats
The most common cause of feline halitosis is a dental issue, such as tooth decay, a build-up of plaque and tartar or gum disease. You may not think this is a big deal for your cat, but be aware that problems with teeth and gums can lead to more damaging health issues, and bad breath can also be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition. Diabetes and diseases of the stomach, liver and kidneys can cause smelly breath in cats, so it’s important for you to be attentive to any changes or particularly stinky breath.
Other Symptoms You Should Look Out For
If your cat has a problem with his teeth or gums which is causing pain or discomfort, he may go off his food simply because it’s too difficult to eat. You may also notice that your cat’s grooming regime isn’t what it once was, or that he’s started to drool excessively. If your cat’s halitosis comes with symptoms like dramatic weight-loss, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhoea, then it’s important to seek veterinary advice.
How to Prevent Bad Breath in Cats
Here are a few tips to keep your cat’s breath smelling as fresh as possible:
- Regular veterinary check-ups are important – your vet will be able to examine your cat’s teeth, gums and general health to make sure he is in prime condition.
- To minimise the build-up of plaque you can give your cat a chicken wing or chicken neck once a week to gnaw on. You can also try a corn cob with the corn kernels removed.
- There are dietary supplements and treats available which also work to control tartar and prevent the build up of plaque on your cat’s teeth.
- You can also brush your cat’s teeth using a piece of sterile gauze and your finger, a rubber finger grip toothbrush, or a pet toothbrush. Whilst the notion of brushing your cat’s teeth may seem a little eccentric to some, is a great way to maintain dental health. Just make sure you use toothpaste designed for cats as human toothpaste can be harmful.
Looking after your pet’s oral hygiene is as important as looking after your own, so be vigilant and keep an eye out for changes in the smell of your cat’s breath – this is often an early indicator of a dental problem or underlying heath issue.
Does your cat have stinky breath? What steps do you take to keep your cat’s breath smelling as fresh as possible?