Feline Bad Breath
"Feline bad breath is probably a sign of dental problems, particularly if you do not brush your cat's teeth. In some cases in could indicate a health problem such as diabetes, kidney or liver disease. Each condition causes the breath to smell a different way."
If your cat has just wolfed down a dish of tuna fish, her breath is not going to smell so fresh. But if she has chronic bad breath, it could be a symptom of an illness. Feline bad breath can be an indication of many health conditions, from dental problems to diabetes to kidney disease.
Feline Bad Breath Symptoms
This sounds like an easy one, right? You’ll know it when you smell it. But all bad breath does not smell the same. Also, other symptoms may accompany your cat’s bad breath, and these symptoms can indicate a particular cause of her bad breath.
Feline bad breath that smells like bad breath in humans and is accompanied by red, swollen gums is a sign of dental problems. Your cat probably needs her teeth cleaned by the vet. Follow up with regular tooth brushing (we’ll talk about how to do that in just a bit).
Breath that smells sweet and fruity can be a sign of diabetes. Other symptoms include increased thirst and urination and weight loss.
Breath that smells like ammonia could indicate kidney disease. Other symptoms you might notice include loss of appetite and increased thirst and urination.
A foul odor could be caused by liver disease. Other symptoms may include vomiting, a swollen abdomen, and jaundice (a yellowish tint to the eyes and gums).
Cat Bad Breath Diagnosis
When you take your cat to the vet for feline bad breath, the first thing your vet will do is examine her teeth and gums. The vet will also smell her breath, for clues as to the cause of her condition. Of course, the vet will also take a detailed history from you.
Based on these things, the vet may decide to do some tests. He or she may do some blood tests and a urinalysis to check for diabetes, kidney problems, and liver disease.
Cat Bad Breath Treatment
The treatment for feline bad breath depends on the cause. It might be as simple as having your cat’s teeth cleaned. The vet can do this, but you’ll need to start brushing your cat’s teeth regularly afterward or you’ll just end up with the same problem again.
If your cat has bad breath and is diabetic, or has kidney or liver disease, your vet will talk with you about the best course of treatment.
Cat Bad Breath Natural Remedy
Your cat's bad breath is probably caused by bacteria that accumulates in the mouth in the same way humans get morning breath. The key to oral health is to keep the bacteria in the mouth within a normal range.
A simple product to try is to purchase a natural mouth spray made for cats. Ingredients such as colloidal silver will help with bacteria levels and is safe for your cat. One product to research and try is OralHealth Mouth Spray. This product promotes oral health and addresses cat breath. Products like this can be used several times a day and can be used at the first sign of feline bad breath.
How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth
Use a toothpaste that is made for cats. Don’t use toothpaste made for people, as it can be harmful to your cat.
Put a little of the gel on your finger and gently rub your cat’s teeth and gums. Don’t force her mouth open. Just stretch back the lips without opening the mouth. Be gentle. Afterward, give her a favorite treat.
Repeat this procedure every day, applying the gel a little further back in her mouth each day. Once your cat tolerates the toothpaste on your finger, try using a toothbrush. They make special toothbrushes for pets. They are rubber and fit over your finger kind of like a thimble. Remember to reward her afterward.
Bad Breath: Sign of Illness?
Why Does My Dog or Cat Have Bad Breath?
Ron Hines, DVM
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