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Why Does My Cat Breath Smell Bad?

Bad breath in pets appears common, yet it may signal an underlying health problem. Today, the veterinarians in Los Angeles County discuss potential reasons for your cat's bad breath and offer solutions to treat it.

Reasons Why Your Cat's Breath Smells Bad

Although bad breath in pets is commonly associated with dogs, it can also affect cats. There are several reasons why a cat's breath may smell bad, including poor dietary habits, dental issues, and even more severe medical conditions.

To address this issue effectively, scheduling a dental health checkup for your feline companion with their veterinarian is crucial.

Oral Hygiene & Dental Disease in Cats

We always strive to provide the best care for our feline friends, including maintaining their oral hygiene. However, it's essential to acknowledge that we may sometimes overlook this aspect of their well-being, leading to most cats developing some form of dental disease by age 3.

Food particles and bacteria come into contact with a cat's teeth whenever it eats, potentially causing various dental issues. To prevent these problems, it is crucial to remove this bacteria daily, as it can solidify into tartar due to the minerals present in the cat's saliva. Tartar, on its own, poses a significant concern.

Additionally, the bacteria in the teeth and mouth can spread throughout the body, contributing to heart and kidney diseases. Furthermore, tartar is the leading cause of gum recession and can result in your cat losing teeth. These issues cause discomfort and lead to bad breath in your cat.

Common symptoms of these conditions may include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Redness of the mouth and gums
  • Behavioral changes
  • Inability to eat or lack of appetite

The only way to accurately diagnose and treat these conditions is by bringing your cat to your veterinarian for an oral examination. The treatment that your cat requires will depend on the situation that they are experiencing. Still, some possible treatment options may include dental cleanings, tooth extractions, antibiotics, and potential dietary changes.

Other Conditions That May Cause Bad Breath in Cats

While dental conditions may most frequently cause bad breath in cats, these will not always be the cause. There is a chance that this condition can be caused by other more serious conditions within your cat's body.

These other conditions will cause symptoms very similar to those experienced by oral concerns, which makes it important to ensure that you bring your feline friend in for an examination as soon as possible.

These other conditions that may cause bad breath in your cat include:

  • Ulcers and sores
  • Kidney disease
  • Abscess or infection
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Teething
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Diet 
  • Infections
  • Cancer

Due to the wide range of potential conditions that can cause bad breath, it is always recommended to bring your cat in for a checkup if they are experiencing bad breath, especially if it is ongoing. 

How To Treat Your Cat's Bad Breath at Home

To address your cat's bad breath, prioritize treating the underlying cause or seeking a diagnosis. Start by establishing an early regular brushing routine to prevent plaque and tartar buildup.

Invest in a specialized cat toothbrush to simplify the process, or if needed, begin with your finger until your cat becomes comfortable. Aim to brush your cat's teeth multiple times a week, with each session becoming easier over time.

Additionally, ensure your cat receives an annual dental checkup and routine cleaning. This helps eliminate hard-to-reach plaque and tartar while detecting potential dental issues early on.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you concerned that your cat's bad breath may be linked to oral health or systemic conditions? Book an oral examination appointment for your cat today at Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach.

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Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Los Angeles County companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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