Bad Breath.


Fidy Says
6th October 2007

Bad Breath.

posted in Cat Health |

Bad breath, also known as halitosis is not just an unpleasant odour but can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Most often caused by dental problems it can sometimes be caused by other medical conditions.

Unhealthy teeth and gums have greater impact on the body than just causing bad breath, pain and infection. As the gums have a rich blood supply, bacteria is readily transported to other organs (such as the liver, heart and kidneys)  causing damage and even organ failure. It is important to have bad breath checked out by a veterinarian as quickly as possible.

The most common causes of halitosis in cats are:



Tooth decay

Tooth abscess

Foreign body trapped in the mouth


Kidney disease

Liver disease

Cancers of the mouth

Gastrointestinal problems (obstructions, cancer, infection)

These are some possible symptoms if the problem is dental:

Unwillingness to eat


Poor coat condition, due to reluctance to groom

Red, swollen & or bleeding gums

Tartar (calculus) deposits on the teeth

Pawing at the mouth

If the problem is non dental these symptoms may occur;

Polyuria (increased urination)

Polydipsia (increased thirst)

Weight loss




Enlarged liver or kidneys

If in doubt always seek professional advice.

Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination of your cat, including checking the oral cavity. Diagnosis may be made upon physical examination, or your veterinarian may wish to run some further tests including;

X-ray – To check the condition of the dental roots & bones.

Diagnostic tests to determine liver & kidney function.

FeLV & or FIV tests.
Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the halitosis.

Remove calculus from the teeth & polish.

Extract any diseased teeth.

Treat or manage underlying cause such as diabetes, kidney disease etc.

If you think anything is wrong with your cat, don’t delay. See your vet.

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