Causes of Cat Bad Breath

by Jodi
(Warrington,pa. USA)

Reader Question: What Could be Causing My Cat's Bad Breath?

Pico, our cat, is 8 months old. The Veterinarian said he is in perfect health....has perfect teeth and gums. The only problem is that his breath is horrid!!! Is this normal? His secondary teeth are in and his teeth are white and clean. We feed him Royal Canin. He doesn't`like wet food.

Is this common?


Vet Suggestion for Treating Cat Bad Breath

Hi Jodi,

No, bad breath in an eight month old cat is not normal. It can be very difficult to fully examine the mouth in an awake animal, so when I’m presented with cases like these, I generally recommend that we sedate the cat so I can thoroughly examine all sides of every tooth, probe between the teeth, examine all of the soft tissues within the mouth, and maybe even take dental x-rays if I find a suspicious area. You’d be surprised what can be hidden in deep within the mouth!

If a thorough oral work up reveals no problems and your cat truly is in excellent health otherwise, it might be worth trying a change in food, though I doubt diet alone would be responsible for what you describe as “horrid” breath. Water additives, oral rinses, and regular tooth brushing might also help if the smell of your cat’s breath is simply normal for him.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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