Cat's bad breath?

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  1. Hi fellow cat owners,
    My cat Stitch occasionally has bad breath and I am wondering what to do about it. Do I brush his teeth and how? What kind of breath freshners would you use? Below is a pic with his mouth open. You can see his teeth are slightly yellow. Is that normal? TIA

  2. I think you should take him to the vet. It could be that his teeth need to be cleaned. Brushing his teeth won't help if he has tartar.
  3. i've grown up with cats my whole life and we've never had any of our cats' teeth cleaned. they just have bad breath. just don't put your face too close to their mouth :smile:
  4. Ongoing stinky breath is NOT normal. It is usually a symptom of infection. You should definitely take your kitty to the vet. A recent hot topic in veterinary medicine has been genetic tooth/gum problems in cats. Some kitties get it and some don't. My kitty had this problem. He has needed several extractions over the years. He gets his teeth cleaned by the vet every 12-18 months to keep the problem in check.

    Stitch's stinky breath could be due to a similar genetic problem or just an infected tooth. I would make a vet appointment for him as soon as you can. Let us know how it turns out!

    BTW: not sure where you are in the Bay Area, but I used to take my kitty to Cat Hospital in Campbell on Hamilton Ave. They are great!
  5. I had my vet tell me once that bad breath (abnormally bad though) could be a sign of other internal problems, like kidney issues. so i would say that if its gotten worse recently you should take kitty in for a check up.

    if its always been an occasional problem I wouldnt worry about it. Also cat teeth brushing is a nightmare, at least with my cats. I tried once. never again.

    also how about dental health/breath kitty treats?
  6. Tartar is full of bacteria and if that's the problem, it should really be taken care of as it could even damage the heart and other organs.

    Besides that the cat's breath smells better afterwards, too. :biggrin:
  7. maybe my cats are just lucky :shrugs: we had 5-6 different cats when i grew up and now i have 4 of my own. my mom worked at a vet for almost 20 years and i don't ever recall our cats getting their teeth cleaned. but our cats have always been on very good food so maybe that effects it? when they get check out at the vet each year nothing is mentioned about their teeth.
  8. For those of you that have had your cat's teeth cleaned, did they have to put your cat under general anesthesia to do it?? Our vet recommended we get our female cat's teeth cleaned (she has bad breath due to tartar :biggrin:) - but I'm really not comfortable putting her under general anesthesia to do it. They said that is the only way they would do it, but I really haven't looked into other places to compare. Is there any other way, or are you pretty much stuck with anesthesia as the only option?
  9. ^^pretty sure that's the only way. it would be too hard for them to have to deal with a scared cat while trying to clean their teeth. just safer all around for everyone (including the cat).
  10. Yes, it has to be done under general anesthesia. :sad: But I'm sure your cat will be fine. Some of my cats had to have their teeth cleaned too and everything went fine.

    ILuvShopping, you really had some lucky cats. :smile: Some of mine have great teeth too and some had to have their teeth cleaned multiple times. My 20+ years old cat had only one tooth left when she died. ;)
  11. Thanks all for your advice. Stitch is my first cat so I don't know what to expect sometimes. I do have a yorkie MeiMei and I had her teeth cleaned since she really had bad breath. She was put under and the vet took out 12 teeth. She was in so much pain afterwards I didn't want her to go through that again unless absolute necessary.
    Do they sell cat breath mints? I don't recall seeing them I only saw ones for dogs. Would dogs one work the same?
  12. Your little Yorkie was in pain because she had teeth problems. It had gotten so bad that the vet had to remove 12 teeth! It isn't a matter of "putting your pet through" a painful procedure. It is absolutely necessary. It is the same as a person having a bad tooth and not doing anything about it. Can you imagine how painful that would be over time if left untreated? Our animals can't tell us how they are hurting. Breath mints are NOT the answer. You really need to take your cat to the vet to get this checked out.

    And yes, unfortunately anesthesia is necessary to do a teeth cleaning for kitties and dogs too. I can totally understand if people don't want to spend the money because they can't afford it or something. But ultimately, our pets can't help themselves, so we have to do our best for them. If pets have problems that go untreated and neglected, they will have a shorter life.
  13. Thanks... that's what I was afraid of. :sad: The cost is kind of ridiculous (about $500 at our vet) but I think the main problem for me is that when I was expressing my concern to the vet tech at our appointment about having the cat put under anesthesia and that I didn't want it done if it didn't have to be, THIS was her explanation to try to calm my nerves...

    "Oh don't worry, it doesn't hurt them at all. We put them in the same glass-sided box that we put animals TO SLEEP in, but use a different kind of gas, so it's just like they are taking a nap. It doesn't hurt them all." :faint: WTF?!?!?! Why even put that in my head?? What if you accidentally grab the wrong type of gas?

    Anyhow, once I can mentally work up the nerve to shove that thought out of my mind... I guess I'll have to make her an appointment. :s
  14. FYI, what our vet does is give our kitty the minimum amount of anesthesia needed via an IV in his leg. After kitty is sleeping, they put a little tiny mask over his nose only, which keeps him out, but is still just the minimum amount needed. They don't use a gas filled box. When they take his little mask off, he revives very quickly. I am concerned about anesthesia too. Also, it costs us about $500, so the quote is correct. However, if you have any doubts about your vet, consider switching.
  15. i thnk my vet uses a glass box as well. i only know this because my cat goes completely psycho when he goes to the vet, to the point where the vet will sometimes not want to go near him. this year we're going to try to give him a little valium before the appointment to see if that helps, but they commented to me one time that the only way for him to get his shots may be to put him under and then they mentioned some box.