If your cat’s breath is so bad that you’re wondering if he’s been brushing his teeth with anchovy paste lately, you may be looking for home remedies to make his breath stink considerably less. While there are several home remedies to freshen bad breath in cats, it’s important to keep in mind that likely, the bad breath may stay at bay for a bit, but will readily return if the underlying cause isn’t addressed.
Start with a Dental Check Up
Before trying any home remedies for bad breath in cats, have your kitty see the vet to rule out any medical problems. Bad breath in cats may be caused by several ailments. In young kittens, bad breath can be caused by ulcers in the mouth as seen in kittens suffering from feline calicivirus or feline herpes virus, explains Dr. Joey, a board certified veterinarian. Another possibility is something lodged in the mouth which is causing an infection. In adult or older cats, bad breath is often indicative of dental disease, which other than bad breath, is often accompanied by tartar buildup and red , inflamed gums.
Get Those Pearly Whites Cleaned
If your vet confirms dental disease in your cat, it’s important to get that taken care of. Left untreated, the bacteria derived from dental disease may enter the bloodstream and even affect the cat’s vital organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys. A dental cleaning can hep keep the situation under control as the tartar is removed from the teeth and the gums are given an opportunity to heal. If your cat is very up in the years age-wise, your vet may opt to manage dental disease through medications such as antibiotics or steroids, based on your vet’s findings, explains veterinarian Dr. B J Hughes.
Other Sources of Odors
In some cases, the bad breath isn’t caused by a dental issue but by a systemic disorder. Pay close attention to your cat’s breath smell. Veterinarian Albert S. Dorn in the book: “The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats” reveals that a fruity, almost sweet smell can be indicative of diabetes, while a urine-like smell may be indicative of kidney disease, whereas, a foul odor may indicate a liver disorder. Most of these disorders though produce accompanying symptoms such as vomiting, increased thirst and urination and decreased appetite.
Home Remedies for Bad Breath in Cats
If your vet gives your cat a clean bill of health, you can try some natural home remedies for bad breath in cats. Diet changes can sometimes be helpful, so ask your vet or holistic vet for recommendations. Please keep in mind that if your vet determined that your cat’s bad breath is deriving from a dental or other health issue, these remedies may help for a little while, but soon the bad breath will return and will continue to persist until the underlying cause is addressed. Your cat’s body is trying to tell you something, so pay attention!
Give Them a Brushing
When your cat eats, a white stinky film known as plaque accumulates over the teeth. Unless this plaque is removed on a routine basis, the plaque will mineralize and turn into hard-to-remove tartar which will require a vet’s appointment for dental cleaning to remove. If you start getting your cat used to getting his teeth brushed from a young age, chances are, he’ll develop considerably less plaque. With patience and loads of positive reinforcement, you can teach your kitty to tolerate having his teeth brushed, which translates into healthier, less stinky mouth. To make the experience even better; invest in a beef or poultry-flavored tooth paste.
Give Something to Gnaw
In the wild, cats kept their teeth healthy and clean by munching on the meat and crunchy bones of rodents. Nowadays, cats are fed kibble or canned foods so their teeth no longer get that good chewing action and teeth scraping as in the good old days. Cat owners are often tempted to feed their cats cooked bones but these can cause serious damage as cooked bones tend to splinter and may cause a cat to choke. A better option is feeding kitty some dental treats or provide some chew toys.
Pass Them Some Mints
If your cat’s yawning almost made you faint, you may feel thankful knowing that astute inventors have crafted mints purposely made for cats. Many sell them even in cute tins just as human mints. Just make sure you don’t confuse them with your mints or your partner won’t feel much ecstatic kissing you after you have chewed on a liver-flavored mint!
Try a Water Additive
Nowadays, there are several water additives on the market purposely made to help reduce plaque, tartar and bad breath in cats. All you need to do is add the additive to the cat’s water bowl and allow the cat to drink. Veterinarian Dr. Hughes recommends CET Aquadent by Virbac. Other than cleaning the cat’s teeth as kitty drinks, many users report that some water additives also help remove that annoying slime that sometimes accumulates at the bottom of pet water bowls.
As seen, there are several home remedies for bad breath in cats. However, not always will your cat favorably respond as often bad breath is a sign of an underlying health problem. As always, best to consult with your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.
*Disclaimer: All remedies suggested are not to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If your pet is sick please refer to your veterinarian for a hands on examination. If your pet is exhibiting behavior problems please refer to a professional pet behaviorist.