Why Does My Cat Breath Smell Bad?

Have you noticed that your cat's breath is extra fishy lately? While bad breath is common in cats and dogs, it doesn't mean it is normal or healthy. Here, our Middlesex vets explore why your cat's breath might smell bad and how it can be treated.

Reasons Why Your Cat's Breath Smells Bad

While we usually think of bad breath in pets as something that happens to dogs, it can also happen to cats. TA cat's breath may smell bad for many reasons, ranging from just plain old bad breath from eating to dental concerns and other more serious conditions.

This makes it even more important to bring your feline friend in for a dental health checkup with their veterinarian to find out why this smelly condition is happening.

Oral Hygiene & Dental Disease in Cats

Inattentive oral hygiene can lead to tartar and plaque build-up on the teeth, which eventually leads to dental disease. A common symptom of dental disease is bad breath, as a result of the bacteria build-up in the cat's mouth.

If your cat's bad breath is accompanied by any of these symptoms, there is a chance they are suffering from a dental disease:

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

A dental disease can only be diagnosed by bringing your cat in to have your vet perform an oral exam. If you noticed any of the above symptoms in your feline friend, contact your vet for an appointment right away.

Other Conditions That May Cause Bad Breath in Cats

There are other bodily conditions that can cause bad breath and also symptoms of oral disease.

These other conditions 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 will always be recommended to bring your cat in for a checkup if they are experiencing bad breath, especially if it is ongoing. 

Cat bad breath treatment at Home

If your cat has bad breath, your goal will be to treat the cause or have the potential cause diagnosed.

Brushing your teeth regularly is the best way to prevent tooth decay. You could try using a special toothbrush to make brushing cats' teeth easier. If that doesn't work initially, you could try using your finger to brush the teeth until your cat is accustomed to the process. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day should become easier the more often you do it.

It is also recommended that your cat get a dental checkup and routine cleaning at least once a year to get rid of all the hard-to-reach plaque and tartar and help spot potential dental problems early.

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.

Have you noticed exceptionally bad breath in your cat? Contact our Middlesex vets today!