My Cat Has Bad Breath: Sign of Illness?

So you’ve recently snuggled up to your cat and while giving her a loving nuzzle you’ve noticed that her breath seems a little off. In fact it made you wince slightly. This has made you think that she may have a few oral hygiene issues, and maybe there is something wrong with her health.

Well, the truth is you may well be right. Just as the eyes may be windows into the soul, a kitty’s breath may hint to her health.


The Many Different Causes of Bad Kitty Breath

Bad breath can be one of the symptoms to a wide range of issues, from kidney or respiratory problems, liver disease and diabetes.

However, by far, the most common problem associated with bad breath is periodontal disease. This is basically the rotting of the gums and teeth.

This is why it is important to maintain some kind of oral hygiene practices for your cat. ie you need to help them clean their teeth.

cat cleaning teeth

If your cat’s teeth are left unchecked they will slowly acquire a coating of plaque. This can build up in layers, causing the gums to swell with gingivitis.

The good news is that early stages of periodontal disease can be remedied with professional teeth cleaning.


Bad breath as a sign of Diabetes or Kidney Disease

If your cat’s bad breath has a sweet undertone, this could be a sign of diabetes.

Conversely, if the breath is urine-like this may be an early sign that your cat has developed kidney disease.

Liver disease or an intestinal blockage will give rise to foul smelling breath similar almost to faeces.


cat closeup

Mild Halitosis is normal

Not all cases of bad breath should have you sprinting to your vet with ideas that your cat has liver problems.

If your cat generally has a meaty smelling breath, while the scent is not the nicest when up close, it could well be a simple by=product of their diet.

Eating and digesting meat ingredient wet foods will always make your cats breath smell, especially if they have been chowing down on meals of canned tuna.

Nevertheless, consistent bad breath that stretches long after meal time, should be checked by a veterinarian. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your cat’s overall health.

(Image Credits: Wallpapercraft, Pet4homes)

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