Smelly cat, smelly cat: dealing with feline halitosis | Pets
My cat’s breath stinks! He’s only 3 years old and his teeth look clean, so I don’t understand why his breath suddenly smells so bad. To help!
Dragon’s Breath in Inwood
Dear dragon’s breath,
While dogs are generally the pets associated with bad breath, cats can also have a case of halitosis. There are a few possible explanations for the cause of your kitten’s sudden dragon breath.
Let’s get to the “root” (Ha!) Of the problem, then “review” (Ha! Ha!) Your options for dealing with feline halitosis:
The causes of bad breath in felines can range from simple to serious. As you can probably guess, my first tip is to make an appointment with your vet. The point is that many serious illnesses can cause sudden bad breath in cats, so you’ll want to rule out serious things first. Diabetes, liver disease and kidney disease often present with bad breath and these are diseases you don’t want to sleep on. Once your vet rules out these causes of bad breath, you can move on.
Your vet will also examine your cat’s mouth for signs of infection and periodontal disease. Even though your cat’s teeth may look clean, your vet may find cavities or a hidden infection that could be the cause. In this case, your veterinarian can advise you on how to treat, which will most likely include a dental cleaning and a thorough examination, under anesthesia.
Finally, and possibly the least serious cause of your cat’s bad breath, could be something as simple as a new food that doesn’t go along with their system. Foods composed primarily of fish can cause “fishy” breath, especially immediately after a feed. Try switching to a different flavor of food and see if that helps.
How to cure “dragon’s breath”
Once you’ve ruled out something serious, it’s time to start thinking about ways to prevent bad breath. One thing that can help is brushing your cat’s teeth often (experts recommend daily, but any time you can devote to this effort will help).
Maybe it’s time for a new water bowl (plastic water bowls can harbor bacteria). Cat water fountains are great because not only do they encourage your cat to drink more water (which will help them breathe), but they also move the water constantly, keeping it clean.
With a few simple tweaks, you should be able to help turn your smelly cat into a fresh (plus) pet and ensure their health and happiness for all of you in the New Year.
Have a question for Tabby? Email him to deartabby [email protected].
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