Categories: halitosis

Home treatment for bad breath in cats

People search for a home treatment for bad breath in cats. I don’t think that it is feasible to advise on a home treatment for bad breath in cats without a skilled diagnosis first and I would like to explain why.

There are various reasons for bad breath in cats one of which (a rare one) – and this is just an example – is arsenic poisoning. Arsenic poisoning results in a strong odour of garlic in the breath of the poisoned cat. Under these circumstances you have to rush your cat to a veterinarian although you can take some steps such as induce vomiting to remove the arsenic from the cat’s stomach. Although this is very difficult to diagnose and perform in my view. I don’t think that the average cat owner would be confident enough to do all this.

Cat Yawn. A fleeting moment when your cat’s mouth can be inspected.

More typically, persistent bad breath is going to be caused by gingivitis (gum disease) and stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth and gums). Another potential cause would be excess tartar on the teeth. A further reason for bad breath might be an infection or cancer in the mouth if the bad breath is accompanied by drooling and the cat resists having her mouth opened.

The point that I am making is that you have to determine the cause of the bad breath before you can treat it at home and it is far safer and more sensible to have a professional i.e. your veterinarian make that determination. So the starting point should be a veterinary visit and then you can commence home treatments as advised by your veterinarian.

Another cause of bad breath might be a painful oesophagus due to perhaps a partial blockage. It may be caused by a mouth infection, tonsillitis, sore throat or a dental infection. The cat might drool and have bad breath.

A further reason for bad breath in cats might be kidney failure which causes an ammonia-like odour in the breath. You may be able to diagnose feline bad breath due to kidney failure because of the odour of ammonia but you’re going to have to see your veterinarian to discuss it because the kidney failure will be well advanced and the underlying reason will need to be addressed and discussed.

Feline bad breath. Possible causes. See a vet please!

The most common reason of all the above options must be a failure to deal with mouth hygiene. This is a very common problem in domestic cats. It’s because cat owners can’t clean the cat’s teeth so they become rotten with gum disease and rotten teeth in the worst cases. This is bound to cause bad breath. The treatment here would be dental cleaning by your veterinarian and possibly other treatments such as removing teeth and perhaps administering antibiotics.

You can see how grey and muddied the whole thing becomes when you dig around into feline bad breath and the only way to clarify it and to see a way forward with the right treatment is to obtain the correct diagnosis. Few cat owners are able to achieve this alone. The advice is to see a veterinarian. He or she will treat and then advise on follow-up home treatments if appropriate.

This is a personal viewpoint and I am not a veterinarian. I accept alternative ideas and criticisms. If you want to have your say please take advantage of the comment box below.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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