Why Does My Cat Have Bad Breath? (Stink Breath Treatment)

Cat’s breath doesn’t smell like peppermint naturally. However, it’s alarming if your cat’s breath stinks like rotten eggs or fish, and you gag every time you kiss your cat. There are multiple reasons behind bad breath in cats, such as bacteria buildup that needs to be taken care of immediately.

We have provided the causes of the cat’s bad breath and the treatment for it. So, keep scrolling to find more about how to get rid of a cat’s bad breath naturally and how to prevent the cat’s stinky breath.

why does my cat have bad breath

Why does my cat’s breath stink?

The mild odor in the cat’s breath is perfectly normal. However, if your cat’s breath stink, it might be due to an underlying ongoing disease or due to some bacteria buildup. Moreover, bad breath in cats is also caused by the last meal (stinky fish) eaten by the cat that can be solved by brushing your cat’s teeth.

What causes bad breath in cats?

Following are the multiple causes of cat breath producing an unpleasant and pungent odor that should be addressed immediately;

1. Periodontal disease

The most common cause of stinky breath in cats is odor-producing bacteria buildup. In addition, bacteria can mix up with saliva and produce plaque and tartar, resulting in gingivitis (inflammation of gums) and stomatitis (inflammation of mucus lining of the mouth). Both of the conditions are caused by bacteria and viruses.

Symptoms: The symptoms of periodontal disease in cats are;

  • drooling,
  • difficulty in eating,
  • brown tartar,
  • inflamed gums,
  • bleeding gums
  • and chewing from one side only, which can finally result in the loosening of teeth.

What to do? Visit the vet so the vet can perform some investigations to diagnose the dental disease. In addition, the vet will further check for infections such as FIV and Calicivirus and order some X-rays.

2. Diet

Stinky fish, tuna, and liver-based ingredients can cause a cat’s breath to stink. Sometimes, the cat can chew a rubber band that gets stuck between their teeth and decay, resulting in an unpleasant smelling breath.

What to do? Change the diet. Moreover, brush your cat’s teeth daily.

3. Underlying disease

Another cause for bad breath in cats is an underlying metabolic disease. For example, liver, GIT, and kidney conditions can result in halitosis (an oral health problem with the symptom of stinky breath).

  • If your cat is old, the most common cause of ammonia or urine-smelling breath is kidney disease. Kidney diseases cause halitosis because the kidney can’t detoxify effectively, which results in a buildup of toxins causing stinky breath in cats.
  • Moreover, if halitosis presents with vomiting, loss of appetite, and yellowing of eyes and skin, the cause is an underlying liver disease.
  • The most likely cause of breath producing a fruity odor in cats is diabetes that warrants a prompt investigation. In addition, the cat loses weight, urinates, and drinks water frequently.

What to do? Schedule a visit to the vet, so blood tests can be performed to rule out any metabolic diseases.

4, Oral Cancers

Oral cancers can also cause a cat’s breath to stink as it infects the teeth.

How to get rid of the cat bad breath?

You should treat the cat’s bad breath immediately if you observe brown teeth, fruity breath, ammonia-smelling breath, or halitosis with vomiting and yellow skin.

The first step to getting rid of the cat’s bad breath is to visit the vet immediately when you notice the red flag symptoms described above. The vet will first take a detailed history and perform a general examination. In addition, blood tests and urinalysis can also be performed to rule out metabolic diseases. After reaching a diagnosis, the treatment is given according to the specific cause of bad breath in cats.

The treatment varies from simple dental cleanup to change in diet and to antibiotics to treat bacterial infections. In addition, insulin is given to manage diabetes. Also, brush your cat’s teeth daily with special and flavorless cat toothpaste.

Kidney diseases can be treated by minimizing the phosphorus content in your cat’s meal in addition to keeping your cat hydrated.

Moreover, avoid feeding fish and tuna to your cat and increase the watery diet with real meat in it.

How can I prevent bad breath in cats?

You can prevent bad breath in cats by following the below instructions;

  • Visit the vet frequently, irrespective of your busy schedule.
  • Schedule professional dental cleanup once a year, or brush your cat’s teeth yourself regularly. Brushing your cat’s teeth can remove the plaque and prevent tartar formation. (Never use human toothpaste as the cat’s digestive tract can react badly to the human toothpaste’s flavor).
  • Change the dry and hard diet of cats to something watery with meat in it. The liquid diet doesn’t dry up the cat’s mouth. (Dry mouth can cause bacteria to build up that result in halitosis).
  • Switch to tougher treats, as when the cats chew tougher treats, the teeth get cleaned.
  • You can add liquid cleansers prescribed by the vet to the water bowl of your cat. As the cat drinks the water, the liquid cleanser will remove the plaque from the teeth.


How to get rid of cats’ bad breath naturally?

You can get rid of cats’ bad breath naturally by brushing their teeth regularly or wiping the visible plaque from their teeth with dry gauze or cloth.

Why does my kittens breath stink?

It is usual for kittens older than four months to have mild stinky breath. However, if other symptoms like drooling present with breath producing a strong and unpleasant odor, visit the vet immediately.

Do kittens have bad breath when teething?

Yes, it is normal for kittens to have bad breath when teething. However, if the cat’s breath stinks even after teething, it warrants prompt treatment.

What should cat breath smell like?

Cats’ breath has a mild fishy odor usually that disappears after brushing their teeth.

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Cat’s breath stink due to various reasons such as; bacteria buildup, gingivitis, a diet rich in fish and tuna, and metabolic diseases. It would be best if you immediately visited the vet when you observed the bad breath in your cat. The treatment for stinky breath in cats includes brushing your cat’s teeth, insulin, hydration, and yearly professional dental cleanup.

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