What If Your Cat Has Bad Breath?

It is a rather gloomy day and Gram and I are sitting on the patio discussing the current events of the day. During our conversation we realized that we have not given “cats” much time recently and we decided to rectify that problem immediately.

Gram started thinking of Mr. Whiskers, her eighteen-year-old cat, who passed away several years ago and what bad breath he had due to a kidney condition. That thought led us to talking about the causes of bad breath in cats and thus our article was born.

If your cat has bad breath instead of ignoring it, Gram says the first thing you should do it take your cat to the vet as bad breath can be the cause of many unseen problems.

Normally a cat’s breath should not be offensive, though it might smell of tuna fish; if that is what it just ate.

Foul smelling breath can be caused by:

  • Dental and oral cavity disease – cats over 3 years of age generally have some sort of dental disease. Cats like humans can have gum disease, plaque and tartar caused by combinations of bacteria, mineral and decomposed food. These, however could be the least of your cat’s problems? Pitted teeth, cavities or a gum infection can cause a loss of appetite; pain and the bacteria can even get into your cat’s bloodstream causing more health problems.
  • Cancer of the mouth can also cause a bad odor. Since oral cancer is life threatening it is important to have your vet check it out at once.
  • Kidney or liver disease can cause bad breath. That was the sign my Gram got when Mr. Whiskers came down with kidney problems.
  • Diabetes – produces an acetone-like sweet odor to the breath (smells almost like nail polish remover.) Should you smell something like this get your cat to the vet as quickly as possible?

    Gram feels that if you suddenly smell strange odors coming from your cat’s mouth it is not something to treat lightly. Bad breath is a sign that something, somewhere is going awry and needs attention as soon as possible.

    Grams says under normal conditions the usual once a year visit to the vet is fine, however as a cat ages, you should consider twice a year visits. Going more often, as the cat gets older reduces the chance of sudden surprises like oral problems or other things.

    This ounce of prevention can and will save you many dollars, as treatment for whatever is wrong can be done immediately and it may save your cat’s life.

    Gram and I hope this little bit of information has been of interest to you and will alert you to any “bad breath” problems your cat may have. With the exception of tuna fish breath, of course!

    Until next time, I remain,

    Your Sadie