How to Get Rid of Bad Breath in Cats

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bad breath in cats
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So, we humans have bad breath from time to time… Whether we admit it or not. On a related note, I have a dentist appointment this week! But that foul breath can hit cats’ mouths too and phew it’s not pleasant to smell when you’re snuggling them. The question then is, how to get rid of bad breath in cats?

What Causes Bad Breath in Cats?

Bad breath or halitosis could be due to many things, from a minor thing like a chunk of tuna caught in the teeth to sugar diabetes or a more serious illness of the liver. Given there are many causes for bad breath, the best course of action is a full physical from a veterinarian. If a medical condition is the source of the issue then this expert will be more likely than you or I to find it. If any special tests need to be done then the vet will order them and analyze the results for you.

Bad Breath Treatment after a Vet’s Diagnosis

Obviously how to get rid of bad breath in cats will depend on what the vet says is the cause of it. If it is liver disease, for example, your vet will assign a best course of action. If it is dental disease that’s the cause of the foul odor then it’s best to get a professional cleaning of the teeth and gums, which can then start to heal. For older cats, your vet may suggest medications to help; one example is steroids.

bad breath in cats
One way to get rid of bad breath in cats is to brush their teeth regularly. Photo via Klaudin, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia

Your Vet Says Your Cat is Healthy but Still Has Stinky Breath

What do you do then if your vet says your feline is healthy but they still have bad breath? Now what? Here are some suggestions:

  • Brush your cat’s teeth. Doing so will help get rid of plaque for better-smelling breath. Note: With time and patience your kitty can come to tolerate the teeth brushing. Try a beef toothpaste to make it even easier. Human toothpaste might make your cat’s stomach uneasy so don’t use that.
  • Dental treats. For fresher breath, try feeding your fur pal dental treats and chews. They can lower plaque levels too. Dental treats are better than cooked bones that the feline could potentially choke on.
  • Cat chew toys. These toys can be a source of fun for your kitty in addition to helping their mouth. Well-designed cat chew toys can tackle built-up tarter and gently massage the gums. Specifically look for those toys made to help improve dental health.
  • Cat mouthwash. Did you know this type of product exists? It can help your favorite feline stay comfortable and fight against bad breath. Make sure you use one designed solely for cats though, not the human kind that may have chemicals in it.

Don’t Ignore Smelly Cat Breath

Once you get rid of bad breath in cats, you don’t want it coming back again! Discuss with your vet gentle methods of keeping plaque levels under control from this point moving forward. Please know that if you don’t remedy the stinky cat breath, the problem can get worse. Over time an infection may develop or teeth may fall out. Also, these suggestions are not to take the place of your vet’s recommendations, if they differ from the words here. Take care of your feline as they are an important part of your family!