Bad breath or halitosis in cats can be caused by all sort of issues. If it’s a smell that makes you take a step back that’s an indication that something may be wrong. A healthy cat’s breath is never offensive. Your cat has bad breath? Here is why you should be worried…
You can keep your cat’s teeth clean by brushing their teeth from an early age. Or providing them with dental treats and chews designed to reduce tartar build-up. There are also oral health diets to choose which combine mechanical and nutritional aids to keep mouths in the best dental health.
Other dental care includes limiting the amount of tinned food provided. Cats need to keep their jaws and bones strong by eating dry food too. Cheap cuts of meat such as chick steak or raw chicken wings are ideal to get your cat to really chew food. Preventing plaque by diet will avoid calcified deposits having to be removed by your vet.
Dental cat toys and water additives can help remove plaque from teeth. And give a fresh smell to your cat’s breath. Regular check-ups and teeth cleaning by you or at your local vets will prevent most dental issues.
When you cat’s breath smells it could be due to:
Dental issues may produce the following symptoms:
If the problem is non-dental the following sign may become apparent:
As soon as you’ve determined your cat has bad breath consistently, you’ll need to book a vet’s appointment. If you take action quickly any minor problems won’t escalate.
Your vet will then:
Examine the mouth – This will determine if there are any obvious foreign bodies that can be removed immediately
Carry out blood counts, analyse urine, and complete a biochemical profile – To check organ function and to rule out infection
Take x-rays – A conclusive result of damaged dental roots, bones, abscesses, or tumours which may be causing your cat’s bad breath
Conduct an ultrasound – Evaluating the size of the kidneys and liver and confirming there’s no blockage in the gastrointestinal tract
Perform an endoscopy – By using a thin tube with a camera on the end an investigation can be made of the digestive tract, and any tumours or other damage will be obvious
Bad breath in cats will be treated dependant on the diagnosis…
Dental issues are normally treated by removing tartar from the teeth before polishing. Any diseased teeth will be extracted. All under general anaesthetic.
Abscesses will be lanced and flushed. Anti-biotics will be prescribed to prevent infection.
Kidney disease will be treated with a low protein diet and additional fluids to avoid dehydration.
Liver disease may require surgery but will need a change in diet and supportive care from your vet.
Tumours and polyps will need surgery to remove them. Cancer will be treated with chemotherapy. But the prognosis for oral tumours is very poor.
When putting a cat to sleep is your only option, gentle cat euthanasia at home is a kind solution. You’ll get advice and support from caring and qualified vets. All wanting to do what’s right for your cat and you. Your cat won’t feel any pain as two injections are administered. And you can comfort your pet until they gently pass away.