Why Does My Cat Have Bad Breath?

By June 17, 2019 Uncategorized

Why Does My Cat Have Bad Breath? | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

The worst thing in the world is for your beloved pet to come up to you ready for nose-buts, and have their breath take you away.

Hanging out with your pet doesn’t have to be a toxic experience; a little veterinary dentistry and you’ll be wanting to snuggle your furry friend again in no time.

Diagnosing Bad Breath In Cats

There are a few factors that can cause bad breath in cats – halitosis can be a sign of illness, but in some cases it can also be avoided.

Read below for more information.

1. Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth, around the gum line.

It can cause an infection in the bone surrounding the teeth, if left to harden into tartar.

Periodontal disease can also lead to bleeding gums, tooth loss, pain and other infections.

Most veterinarians will sedate your pet so that they can do a proper cleaning, as well as possibly take x-rays and extract any diseased teeth.

The best way to avoid this is to brush your cat’s teeth regularly, and ideally using feline toothpaste.

Many cats will resist having their teeth brushed, so you may have to work up to it slowly.

2. Oral Cancer

Cats who develop oral cancer will often have tumors that get infected and cause dreadful halitosis.

Unfortunately, it’s one of the most common ways vets diagnose cancer of the mouth, which means the cancer is farther along.

With a poor prognosis, cats will typically only live another two to six months once diagnosed.

3. Diabetes

Cats can also get diabetes, which vets will treat with insulin, just as doctors treat humans.

Diabetes is characterized by losing weight even though they seem ravenous, or possibly urinating more often than usual while also drinking more water than normal.

However, the breath is a dead giveaway for diagnosing diabetes – because it will smell sweet and fruity.

reasons for cat's bad breath | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

4. Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Stomatitis

Lymphatic plasmacytic stomatitis is an inflammation of the mouth, causing swelling, bleeding gums, serious pain when your cat opens their mouth, and also that nasty odour.

This issue can be solved by doing a thorough cleaning, and likely removing some teeth; in severe cases, your cat may also need antibiotics.

5. Kidney Disease

Kidney disease will often create bad breath that smells like urine or ammonia.

If your kitten urinates frequently or in larger volume; if they drink more than usual; if they are lethargic or lose weight; these are all signs of kidney disease.

The odour is a result of toxins building up, and is easily tested with a urinalysis and blood test.

You can manage your pet’s kidney disease with a modified diet, proper hydration and possibly medication for anemia or high blood pressure.

6. Liver Disease

If you smell bad breath and notice your cat’s eyes, ears or gums have yellowed, then there’s a good chance your fur baby has liver disease.

When you take them to the veterinarian, they’ll also want to know if your cat has been lethargic, eating poorly, experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, or drinking and urinating more frequently than usual.

Your vet will recommend a course of treatment depending on the severity and condition of the case.

Contact Bickford Park Animal Hospital

Sometimes bad breath is simply due to a piece of residual tuna stuck between their teeth, but very often it can be the indication of something more serious.

If your cat has fetid breath, consider having them properly looked at by a veterinarian.

Contact Bickford Park Animal Hospital, and let us help you and your feline friend.

In yours and your pet’s health,

Dr. Helen Foster, DVM
Bickford Park Animal Hospital
807 Bloor St W,
Toronto, ON M6G 1L8


Bickford Park Animal Hospital is a veterinary clinic in Toronto, located across from Christie Pits park, committed to the highest level of caring and treatment for cats and dogs.