How to Cure Bad Cat Breath

Smelly breath can indicate a health issue in your kitty.
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While your cat's breath may not always smell fresh, if you notice a foul odor coming from your furbaby's mouth, it could indicate a serious medical or dental problem. To keep your kitty's mouth clean, regular brushing can help deter odors, as can a visit to the vet.

Step 1

Consult with your veterinarian about your cat's bad breath. Some illnesses result in kitty halitosis, such as feline immunodeficiency virus and kidney disease, including chronic renal failure. Diabetes causes your cat's breath to smell unusually sweet. Gastrointestinal problems, dental infections and liver disease can also lead to stinky breath. A full exam, including a blood or urine test, can help narrow down the cause of your cat's bad breath, which should be eliminated with proper medical treatment.

Step 2

Have your cat's teeth professionally cleaned by your veterinarian. The main cause of kitty halitosis is poor dental hygiene. Plaque turns into tartar over time, which builds up on your cat's teeth, especially under the gum line. This leads to cavities, gingivitis and bacterial infections of the mouth. These dental issues cause stinky breath and require a veterinarian to clean away all of the plaque and tartar under anesthesia to remedy your cat's bad breath.

Step 3

Brush your cat's teeth daily. Most pet stores and veterinarians carry special cat toothbrushes with soft bristles and meat-flavored enzymatic cat toothpaste. Gently rub the paste onto your cat's teeth with the brush to remove plaque buildup, improving your furbaby's breath.

Start your dental routine slowly, first rubbing the paste on the teeth with your finger and later with the brush. Give your kitty lots of treats, preferably crunchy dental treats, after a cleaning to reward him for good behavior.

Step 4

Feed your cat crunchy kibble. Some pet food manufacturers make dry cat food specifically for the removal of tartar and plaque from the teeth. As the cat chews, the kibble helps to scrub the surface of the teeth clean, leading to fresher kitty breath. Ask your veterinarian about prescription diets for cats with dental issues.

Step 5

Add a drop or two of sugar-free lemon juice to your cat's water bowl, recommends Vetinfo. The lemon helps to improve your cat's breath by neutralizing odor-causing bacteria in the mouth.

Step 6

Mix a small sprig of parsley in your cat's food every few days. Parsley is included in cat treats specifically made to freshen your cat's breath, and has odor-reducing properties.

Step 7

Spray 0.12 percent chlorhexidine into your cat's mouth for one to two weeks, recommends PetPlace. You will need a prescription from your veterinarian for this medication, which helps reduce inflammation and bacteria in your cat's mouth.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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