Cats are clean animals but they are not perfect. In fact, they too can suffer from halitosis. If your kitty has bad breath, identify the causes as soon as possible, in order to find the cure and allow her sweet-smelling breath to return.
Halitosis in cats, what are the main causes?
It has been estimated that about 7 in 10 cats may suffer from halitosis during their lifetime. This disorder occurs mainly in adults, due to a poor diet, incorrect oral hygiene and, in the most extreme cases, due to liver, kidney and stomach diseases. There are also other causes: halitosis can depend upon parasite infestations, especially in kittens, bad digestion and throat infections. Therefore, we can summarise the three main causes of halitosis in cats as follows:
- oral and dental problems.
- intestinal problems.
- digestive problems.
How to assess the severity of the halitosis
If your cat suffers from halitosis, taking her to the vet is the right thing to do, in order to evaluate her state of health and exclude any serious illnesses. If, for example, you notice any signs, such as reduced appetite, redness and swelling of the gums, formation of brown tartar associated with increased salivation, you are dealing with something that goes beyond simple halitosis caused by a poor diet, for which your feline friend will urgently need specific treatment. If the doctor finds early-stage stomatitis, your cat will slowly recover by modifying her diet, otherwise more aggressive solutions such as the use of medicines will be required.
How to counteract your cat’s bad breath
To prevent your cat from having bad breath, it is important to concentrate on prevention. If the cat is particularly collaborative, you may be able remove dirt manually, by cleaning your furry friend’s teeth at least three times a week, using a classic toothbrush or one of those that you wear on your finger.
It is also advisable to rethink your cat’s diet, favouring dry food over wet food. Some of the dry foods on the market are specifically designed to reduce the build-up of bacterial plaque that causes the formation of tartar and consequent bad-smelling breath.
Another precaution is related to hydration: it is essential for your cat to drink at least 300-500 millilitres of water a day, so that the harmful bacteria on her tongue will be removed little by little; encourage her to drink, by leaving bowls of fresh water around the house at all times.