Virtually every pet owner knows that cats pay special attention to hygiene which is a result of their survival instinct: by eliminating odors, the felines could make themselves practically undetectable to predators and preys alike. That is why many cat parents feel surprised to notice a terrible stench coming from the breath of their kitties. Considering the fact that no one wants to put up with nasty cat breath, the subject of "my cat has bad breath" naturally attracts a lot of attention with various ideas about causes and solutions.
Want to know the origin of the awful smell in the breath of your furball and how to tackle it? If that is so, this article is what you need. Down below, you shall find everything you must know regarding less than pleasant cat breath.
Why It Smell So Offensive
Overall, different cats often have different troubles but if you face the issue of "my cat has bad breath", remember these while assessing the situation.
In most cases, cats that have a diet consisting solely of fish as well as liver tend to have high chances of developing bad breath. Fortunately, all people have to do to get rid of the foul breath is to make changes to the diet. At first, your furball might refuse to accept new food but be patient and it would eventually concede without fail. Aside from that, it's worth noting that sometimes, pieces of food become lodged between the teeth of the felines. Over time, the foods react with bacteria in the saliva which produces a nasty odor.
Generally speaking, periodontal diseases begin once the build-up of soft dental plaque on the teeth reaches an unacceptable level. As the dental plaque irritates the gums, inflammation takes place and what you have at that point is gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal diseases. Bad breath usually accompanies gingivitis and without timely treatment, gingivitis is going to develop into periodontitis and lead to issues like bleeding gum, tooth loss, bad breath and so on. While periodontal disease often shows up as cats get older, it could appear in kittens.
Abscess And Ulcer
Tooth-root abscesses happen to cats of all ages and tend to result in swelling right around the affected tooth. When the abscesses form in the mouth of cats, the breath of the felines gets noticeably smelly in no time. In order to deal with the bad breath caused by tooth root abscesses, it's necessary to get veterinarians to lance and drain the abscesses. Besides tooth-root abscesses, ulcers in the mouth would also give the breath of your furball a rather offensive odor. Overall, such ulcers mainly form because of Feline calicivirus (FCV).
In case you notice that the breath of your kitty somehow resembles the smell of urine (ammonia), the pet might be experiencing kidney failure. Most of the time, if a particular cat is indeed having kidney issues then it should drink more water and urinate in large volumes. Because it's impossible for pet owners to detect kidney failures in cats, a trip to the vets is necessary. On average, kidney diseases could be managed through a couple of dietary modifications, namely less phosphorus food and more water.
In addition to foul odor in the breath, cats with liver diseases would run into issues like losses of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and so on. Also, most affected pets tend to have yellow spots on the skins, ears and gums. In terms of treatment, the vets need to determine the cause of the diseases before setting up a proper regime. Obviously, like other organs, the liver in cats degrades as time passes by so consider the age of your kitty. Moreover, the diets of the pets have considerable influence on functions of the liver too.
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What Needs To Be Done
Regarding bad breath in cats, feline expert around the globe agrees that a vet checkup is the way to go. By taking your furball to the local veterinary clinic, you should be able to solve the issue of "my cat has bad breath" without trouble. Through a couple of tests, veterinarians shall nail down the source of the odor and address it using various means. Depending on the severity of the situation, the length of the treatment process often varies greatly from case to case. Still, follow the instructions of the vets and everything would be fine at the end.
Preventing Bad Breath In Cats: Suggestions For Novice Cat Parents
Knowing how to react to bad breath in cats is nice but you must remember: "Prevention is better than cure". Instead of waiting for the stench to manifest, pet owners should consider adopting an active approach to the issue of "my cat has bad breath".
- Brush The Pet’s Teeth: As with humans, the best way to maintain dental hygiene in the average cats is to brush the teeth regularly. That alone would be quite sufficient to stop the growth of tartar and plaque on the teeth of the pets. Needless to say, as cats happen to be finicky creatures, pet owners must take things slow while brushing their teeth.
- Use Cat-Specific Water Additive: Don't exactly have the time to brush the teeth of your cat every day? Then water additive is going to be an excellent supplement. All you have to do is to put the additive into the drinking bowl of your kitty now and then. It's strongly recommended that cat parents go after odorless products here so the felines don't notice the change.
- Offer Tatar/Plaque-Fighting Treats: Considering the fact that cats like treats, you may want to give your cat treats that tackle tartar and plaque. Such treats could be bought at most pet stores these kinds of days and they also have pretty affordable prices. With that said, it's wise to use the treats as supplements, you still have to pay attention to the oral condition of your furball. Chewing toys that help with dental health is also a recommended alternative.