Hello, my name is Catherine. I have long loved animals and have had several of my own over the years. Sadly, I saw two of my cats suffer with feline cancer, one of my dogs had arthritis, and, of course, we faced the usual calamities and injuries pets often face. However, I have had to navigate this on a relatively restricted budget, and through the years, I have gotten quite proficient at that. I work at a library and love doing research on pets and veterinary care as well as a range of other topics. I also love to write so decided to put my info in a blog. Please, explore and enjoy!
Cats, like humans, can have problems with bad breath. If your cat suddenly comes up to you for a cuddle and opens its mouth only to unleash a rank smell in your face, then you may wonder where the smell is coming from.
While your cat's breath may not always smell sweet, it doesn't normally smell this bad. Why does your cat have bad breath, and do you need to do anything about it?
Food Yawn Smells
Some foods make your cat's breath smell pretty bad. This is often worse if they have just eaten a pungent wet food. If your cat yawns in your face shortly after they've eaten, then the smell may be bad enough to make you recoil. Cat food doesn't smell good to humans; it smells pretty rank. So, if your cat has just eaten something very meaty or fishy, then this may be the bad smell you're getting.
Typically, food smells go away shortly after the cat has eaten. They aren't anything to worry about.
Teeth and Gum Smells
If your cat's breath smells bad but you're pretty sure that the smell isn't food-related, then your cat may have a dental problem. This kind of smell tends to hang around the cat and doesn't go away.
Sometimes, this smell is caused by a buildup of hard tartar on your cat's teeth. In some cases, cats get bad breath because they have other problems with their teeth, like decay or infections. Gum problems can also be an issue. If your cat has a gum infection or gum disease, then their breath will smell a bit rotten and nasty.
While you may expect your cat to show other symptoms if they have dental problems, this isn't always the case. Cats are good at hiding pain and discomfort. However, if the problem is getting worse, your cat may eat a little less enthusiastically than normal and they may drool at odd times. If you can get a look in your cat's mouth, you may notice that its gums look sore and red or its teeth have stains on them.
If your cat's bad breath is constant, then make an appointment for a check-up with your vet. Your vet can establish why your cat's breath smells so bad and fix any underlying problems. If your cat's face looks swollen on one side and they seem ill or distressed, then you need a vet emergency appointment. Your cat may have a dental abscess that needs immediate treatment with antibiotics or surgery.