Why Does My Cat Have Bad Breath?

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionMy cat's breath has never been sweat but over the last few months it has become quite horrible. I want to know what might be causing this and how to fix it - thanks. (April Morrison - Mississippi)

Answer

There is a multitude of possible causes for bad breath in cats, with many reasons being the same as in humans. Primary causes are infections of teeth or the gums, a foreign body stuck in the mouth, and ulceration of the mouth. However, there are also more severe causes such as lung diseases and kidney disease.

It is therefore important that you visit your vet with your cat, not least to rule out the more serious conditions. When you visit your vet, he will also want to know if any other symptoms have been reported, such as oral discharge, change in feeding or behavior or perhaps any other sensory changes. If it turns out that there is no detectable cause of your cat's breath, you can consider changing his diet or using a feline finger toothbrush to freshen his mouth every day or every other day.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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