Why Does My Cat Have Bad Breath? [Causes & Treatment]

why does my cats breath stink

As soon as you start to own a cat as a pet, it becomes a part of your family. Over time, you develop an incredible bond full of love and care with your cat. In addition, you give your best to provide your little furry friend with a healthy lifestyle. Anytime your cat gets sick, you go for miles and try your best to vanish your cat’s illness as early as possible.

Unfortunately, no matter how much you care for your kitty’s health, some hidden illnesses do not spare it! God forbid if your cat faces an accident, you can see it and treat it accordingly. But, when it comes to diseases, your poor cat might not communicate the issue since cats do not have the luxury to speak like humans.

If you have started noticing recently that your cat’s breath is very stinky that you cannot bear it at all, the chances are that there is some underlying health concern. This article briefs the possible causes of why your cat’s breath stinks and what measures you can take to help your kitty get rid of it!

So, let’s get started!

Why Does My Cat’s Breath Stink?

Usually, a cat’s breath is not supposed to give an unpleasant odor. However, if you have recently begun to observe that your cat’s breath smells very bad and is testing your patience, there must be something wrong! As a responsible cat owner, it is one of your utmost duties to stay vigilant towards your little furry friend. Understandably, if you spend most of the time away from your pet, it might have to face severe health issues without you knowing.

Your cat’s unbearably bad breath may hide many health concerns behind. Therefore you must investigate as much as you can to trace out the root cause. Mostly, cats have dental diseases that lead to bad breath. Since your cat cannot come up to you with symptoms of any dental issue, therefore the duty is totally up to you!

Unhealthy dietary habits may also cause your cat’s breath to stink. You might not know, but your cat can feed on anything it sees, like rubber bands or plastic. The residues of these materials may become troublesome for your kitty. On the other hand, systemic diseases like kidney dysfunction and Diabetes are also the culprits for your kitty’s bad breath.

What causes bad breath in cats?

If you observe that your cat’s breath smells way too bad once in a blue moon, you may not need to worry a lot! Since it can be occasional if your cat has recently fed upon something unusual. However, if your cat’s breath has smelled exceptionally stinky for the past few days or weeks, it would be best if you start looking out for the root cause.

As mentioned earlier, the constant stinky smell in your cat’s breath is a bad sign which indicates that something is not right with your kitty’s health. Let’s have a light on the causes that are responsible for your cat’s bad breath;

1. Dental problems

Dental or periodontal disease is the commonest cause of why your cat’s breath stinks! You may be familiar with plaque formation on the surface of teeth in humans. A very similar mechanism also occurs in cats as well. As soon as your cat comes into the world, it starts eating to feed itself. Over time, food particles get stuck into teeth and allow bacterial growth.

The growing bacteria on dental plaques tend to invade gums and other mouth areas, leading to inflammatory reactions. The usual signs and symptoms of dental disease in cats are bleeding gums, bad breath, dental pain, loss of teeth, etc.

2. Mouth cancers

Though oral tumors are a rarity in cats, you never know what can happen! For example, your cat may contain genetic problems, making it vulnerable to the development of oral cancers. On the other hand, the unhealthy eating habits of some cats lead to oral cancers.

Whatever the cause is for your cat’s oral cancer, the most significant sign is bad breath. In addition, since cancers result in excessive weight loss, you may observe that your little furry fellow has lost noticeable weight along with stinky breathing.

3. Impaired liver function

One of the most critical systemic causes of bad breaths in cats is damaged liver. Therefore, if your cat has a diseased liver, you will have to bear with its foul breath. Besides, you will also observe that your cat’s teeth have started to seem yellow along with its skin. Furthermore, you can also evaluate liver disease in your cat by assessing its appetite and weight, which would be low!

4. High blood sugar levels – diabetes

Many cats suffer from occasionally raised blood sugar levels which lead to constant Diabetes. Cat owners cannot catch their cat’s illness at the first stage since it is hard to understand behavioral changes in cats. However, Diabetes in cats comes up with different signs like increased urination, especially at night, increased thirst, high desire to eat, and bad breath.

However, the breath of cats with Diabetes is not stinky; instead, it gives a fruity smell.

5. Kidney problems

You can identify if your cat has severe kidney problems or not by assessing its smell of breath. If your cat’s breath smells like that of the urine’s smell, the chances are that your cat has some underlying kidney issue! Along with a weird breath smell, if your cat has lost noticeable weight within the past few weeks along with increased urination and thirst, it would be best to visit a vet for further investigations.

How to get rid of cat’s bad breath?

Understandably, the main concern is not about your cat’s stinky breath, but if the foul breath is secondary to underlying oral or systemic disease, you must worry! Since the cats cannot convey their feelings, you must understand their behavioral changes and their signs. In addition, you have to stay careful and observant around your cat so that you miss nothing important about its health!

As mentioned earlier, your cat’s bad breath may hide any illness behind. Therefore you have to put your efforts into tracing out the root cause. It would be best to book an appointment with a professional vet as soon as you notice stinky breath in your cat.

First and foremost, you have to maintain the good oral hygiene of your cat. It would be best to brush your cat’s teeth every day, or at least clean them properly! Besides, you can also visit a vet for professional cleaning of your cat’s teeth routinely.

Visiting a vet may help your cat get rid of its dental diseases once and for all. This is because the vet may perform both the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in the same visit. On the other hand, if your cat has bad breath is secondary to systemic health problems, the appointed will run some diagnostic tests like urine D/R, blood tests, etc., to see if the liver or kidneys are problematic.

Furthermore, providing your cat with tartar-free food and oral care products can help with your cat’s bad breath! Tartar is a component of dental plaque that allows bacterial growth and provides space for more plaque development. Therefore, your vet may prescribe some tartar-free dietary products for your cat, which will be helpful.

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In conclusion

Without any doubt, the stinky smell of your cat’s breath leaves you worrisome. However, it would be best if you stayed calm. Indeed, a cat’s bad breath is indicative of an underlying health concern, but you must not worry! In this article, we have tried our best to summarize the causes of your cat’s bad breath and what you can do to get rid of it.

Hopefully, it will prove helpful!


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