While your cat's breath may occasionally smell like their last meal, an ongoing, rancid smell can point to a bigger issue. Here, our Doraville vets share some of the most common causes of bad breath in cats and the treatments offered through veterinary dentistry to tackle the smell.

Common Reasons for Bad Breath in Cats

While dogs may immediately jump to mind when we think about smelly pet breath, cats are also prone to this issue, especially if they have dental disease. There are many reasons why a cat's breath may smell bad ranging from just plain old bad breath from eating to dental concerns and other more serious conditions. 

This makes it all the more important to bring your companion animal in for a veterinary dentistry with their veterinarian to get to the bottom of this smelly condition.

Dental Disease

While you take your cat's care very seriously, some less noticeable aspects like dental care can be easily forgotten. Unfortunately, this isn't always something we do well enough and the majority of cats experience some form of dental disease by the time they are 3 years old. 

Each time a cat eats, it exposes its teeth to food particles and bacteria that can cause various dental conditions. This bacteria needs to be cleaned away daily otherwise it will harden into tartar due to the minerals that are present in the cat's saliva. While this tartar is a big enough issue on its own, the bacteria that are present in the teeth and in the mouth can also travel throughout the body causing heart and kidney disease. This tartar is also the most common cause of gum recession and can result in your cat's teeth falling out. This can not only cause pain, but also bad breath.

Some common symptoms of these conditions might include: 

  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Redness of the mouth and gums
  • Behavioral changes
  • Inability to eat or lack of appetite

An oral examination is the first step toward treating your cat's bad breath. The treatment that your cat requires will be dependent on the condition that they are experiencing but some of the possible treatment options may include dental cleanings, tooth extractions, antibiotics, and potential dietary changes.

Other Conditions That Cause Bad Breath

While dental conditions like gum disease are the most common cause of smelly breath, there are others. There is a chance that this condition can be caused by other more serious conditions within your cat's body.

These other conditions will cause symptoms that are very similar to those experienced by oral concerns, which makes it important to ensure that you bring your feline friend in for an examination as soon as possible.

Some of these other conditions that may cause bad breath in your cat include:

  • Ulcers and sores
  • Kidney disease
  • Abscess or infection
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Teething
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Diet 
  • Infections
  • Cancer

If your cat displays any of the signs listed above you should bring them to your vet for an exam right away.

How Veterinary Dentistry Can Help Treat Bad Breath in Cats

When your cat is experiencing smelly breath, our goal will be to identify the underlying condition and begin treatment to get their mouth smelling fresh again.

You should begin with a regular brushing routine from an early age if possible to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. This can be done by purchasing a special toothbrush that makes brushing cats' teeth easier and if that doesn't work at first you could try using your finger to brush the teeth until your cat becomes accustomed to the process. At the very least brushing should happen multiple times a week and should become easier the more often you do it.

Annual professional dental visits including cleaning can help to combat issues affecting their teeth and gums. This is done with examinations and thorough cleanings.

Veterinary Dentistry in Doraville

Bringing your pet to the vet for dentistry services is kind of like bringing them to a dog or cat dentist. During the visit, your vet will thoroughly examine and clean each of their teeth.

If your furry friend needs more complex dental care then we may refer you to a specialist in the Doraville area.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you recoiling at the smell of your cat's breath? Book an oral examination appointment at WellPet Humane in Doraville today.