Feline Halitosis: Cat Bad Breath

Cat bad breath, also known clinically as feline halitosis, is a very foul smelling condition. While bad cat breath may be offensive to you, it is the least of the consequences from this condition. Feline halitosis can be a red flag that there are underlying conditions worthy of treatment.

Causes Halitosis in Felines

A build up of bacteria in the mouth is the most common cause of feline halitosis. When bacteria are present in the mouth, it can cause a build up of plaque and tartar.

However, worms or parasites may also be to blame for the development of feline halitosis. Although there may or may not be other signs related to intestinal parasites, it is certainly worth considering when bad breath is present.

Feline halitosis can also be the symptom of many other life-threatening conditions, such as kidney disease, diabetes, rotten teeth or even tumors. These are conditions can be fatal if left untreated. So, identifying the cause of feline halitosis is crucially vital to treatment.

Symptoms of Feline Halitosis

There is no other stronger symptom than the bad breath itself. However, if there are tumors in the mouth or rotting teeth, you may notice that you cat is less likely to eat at meal time or that he groans in pain when he attempts to eat. This in combination with the bad breath is a red flag.

Additionally, if the liver or kidneys are affected, you may notice the need for you cat to urinate more often, that he has a lower production of urine and that he appears to be in pain when he urinates.

Diagnosing Halitosis in Cats

Feline halitosis is not a condition that can be checked for diagnostically. It is a condition that is apparent based on its symptoms. However, there should be a routine blood test to check sugar levels, a fecal sample to check for the presence of worms or parasites, a urine sample to check kidney and liver function and a thorough physical examination to check for any associated physical pain with your cat's condition. These procedures can help to determine if the problem is solely in the mouth or if there is an underlying condition causing the symptoms of feline halitosis.

Feline Halitosis Treatment

Treatment begins with identifying the problem. If there appear to be tumors in the mouth, they will be need to biopsied to determine if they are benign or malignant. If the tumors are cancerous, a chemotherapy regime along with some medication and dietary changes will be called upon.

If worms or parasites are the culprit, a three day dosage on Panacur may be given to kill off the worms. After that, a strongly implemented deworming regime may help to keep your cat free of parasites and worms.

If feline halitosis exists in your cat and is due to an underlying condition, such as kidney disease, liver disease or diabetes, those conditions will need to be treated individually. Once those conditions are treated or are under control, the bad breath of feline halitosis should disappear.

How to Prevent Feline Halitosis

There is no full proof way to stop the condition from ever developing. But you can follow a few tips that can help reduce the likelihood of the development of feline halitosis in your cat. Those tips include:

  • Brushing your cat's teeth daily. This is not an easy task but it can greatly help to reduce the build up of plaque and tarter and eliminate bacterial infections. However, wet food has more water, so it might be better to mix wet and dry food, or have wet food and provide dry treats.
  • Switch to feeding dry food rather than feeding canned food. The dry food helps scratch the plaque and tarter from your cat's teeth.
  • Maintain feeding a diet that is high in nutrients and benefits other functions of the body, such as the digestive system and the endocrine system.