Bad Breath


Filed in Cats, Health

Yep, cats can get bad breath too. Bad breath in cats can be caused by a number of problems, from that tuna treat to that unknown substance you saw him pick up out in the yard. More than likely, your cat's stinky breath is caused either from periodontal disease or a severe case of tartar build up.

Like humans, cats are susceptible to inflammation of the gums, known as gingivitis, as well as inflammation of the tissues, called Periodontitis, and tartar, the hard-mineralized coating on the teeth. If you feed your cat only wet and moist food, it can lead to excess in plaque coating.

Plaque is a film comprised of saliva, food particles and bacteria. If the plaque isn't removed by brushing or regular chewing of hard food, it mineralizes into a hard coating called tartar. If tartar in your cat's mouth is left unchecked, it can lead to serious dental problems, like loss of teeth, infection and root problems, to name a few.

While humans brush and floss at least twice a day, and dogs chew on bones and tartar removing treats, your cat has no means of taking care of its teeth. Products do exist, such as treats and crunchy cat food, which can help in the fight against tartar. But if you want your cat's teeth and breath to be fresh, you're going to have to brush them yourself and mix in some dry food into his diet. See our tips on Oral Care & Hygiene to learn how to brush your cat's teeth.

Ian M. Stewart is the Senior Writer at Pet Food He lives in Oakland, Ca. with his wife, dog and two cats who have fresh breath.

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