Bad breath in cats is an obvious indicator of a health problem in your furry friend. While, odor, as a reflection cat`s normal diet is always expected, and understandable, chronic, fetid and unusual bad breath should be a reason for concern and require immediate attention.
Cats, especially kittens are quite curious, and are sure to play anything that crosses within their sight, including experimenting new and weird dies using their mouth. However, according to… bad breath in cats is not always attributed to what they eat or dental issues but could be an indicator of a more serious internal problem.
Causes of Bad Breath in Cats
Like humans, there are a plethora of things that can result to bad breath in cats. Some of the causes of bad breath include;
Like in humans, the leading cause of bad breath in cats is insufficient dental hygiene. Astoundingly, the American Dental Association asserts that more than 70% of cats usually show signs of oral infections by age 3.
Look, cats have a lot of saliva in their mouth, and when this saliva combines with odor-causing bacteria, it results to the formation of plaque on the lining of the teeth. With time, if the plaque is not removed, it mineralizes to tartar.
While plaque can be removed easily using home remedies, tartar forms a hard substance that can only be removed using medical intervention. Both tartar and plaque are known to cause periodontal infections, gum inflammation, gingivitis and inflammation of the oral structures.
Development of these oral infection, along with the existing tartar is sure to cause and aggravate halitosis in cats.
The diet plays an integral role in halitosis in cats. Certain foods such as fish-based products, liver-based products, dense proteinoids treats and manufactured supplements can contribute to bad breath in cats. Well, food can also be a cause of bad breath in humans.
Foreign Body in the Mouth
As we stated earlier, cats are quite curious and usually play with anything that comes across their face. In some cases, foreign bodies such as strings, rubber bands, bones and other small objects can get stuck within the oral cavity, and if not removed quickly, they may contribute to bad breath.
Some of the foreign bodies carry germs, which later transform to odor-causing bacteria, while other begin to rot in the mouth leading to halitosis.
In case you spot a foreign object in your cat`s mouth, it`s always advisable that you call or professional assistance from a veterinary to avoid further damage, especially if the object is attached to the gastrointestinal tract.
Additionally, foreign objects swallowed may obstruct the digestive systems, which may lead to constipation, and bloating, resulting to fetish breath from the cats.
Excessive salivation, also known as hyper-salivation or ptyalism can result to bad breath in cats. In most cases, ptyalism is a neurological disorder caused by defects in your cat`s cranial nerve control systems, which regulate the movement of the mouth and tongue. This neurological disorder affects the ability of your cat to close and open its mouth, resulting to free flow of saliva.
While saliva alone is tasteless, and odorless, it contains millions of bacteria, and when it dries around the mouth, dried and matted fur can collect, which then contribute to the bad breath.
Moreover, since saliva is essential in proper swallowing of food substance, excessive drooling might lead to food and other debris collecting in the mouth, since the cat cannot swallow food properly, which may be a potent cause of halitosis.
Some internal diseases such as kidney and liver can result to bad breath in cats. This is because both of these diseases are synonymous with the build-up of toxins in the blood, and render the blood ineffective in removing the toxins.
Similarly, uncontrolled diabetes can lead to halitosis. Other internal diseases that can lead to bad breath in cats include;
- Internal inflammation
- Bacterial overgrowth
Some defects along the oral structures such as teeth misalignment, or oronasal fistula (hole between the oral and nasal cavity) can result to bad breath in cats.
Signs of Bad Breath in Cats
Aside from a fetish breath emanating from your cat`s mouth, there several other clues that any cat owner can look out for to see whether their cat suffers from bad breath.
Some of the signs include;
- Tartar buildup on teeth; evidence of a brownish matter on your cat`s teeth, especially on the lower part of the back teeth is sufficient evidence of bad breath.
- Redness and swelling of gums; in most cases, a cat`s gum assumes a color pink, but redness might indicate inflammation of the gums, which in addition to bad breath, it causes a lot of discomfort and chewing problems to your cat.
- Decreased appetite; In the same breath of redness of and swelling of gums, if your cat`s mouth is in pain, they are reluctant to eat, or you may notice the cat getting hesitant to take a bite or chewing from one side of the mouth.
- Increased salivation
Aside from the above signs, there are others which are not exclusively related to halitosis in cats, but may also be signs of bad breath. They include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
Effective Solutions to your Cat`s Breath
- Brushing their Teeth
The first step towards curbing halitosis in cats in maintaining their proper dental hygiene. This will involve brushing their teeth. Ensure that you only use toothpaste formulated for cats as human toothpaste can affect the cats.
- Regular Visit to the veterinarian
Regular check up of your cat`s dental state is necessary to ensure that they do not have any medical abnormalities that may contribute to halitosis.
As a pet owner, the decision to clean your cat`s dental structure lies within your mandate. Remember that any creature with teeth is sure to benefit from a good care, including oral healthcare.