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Bad Kitty Breath?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
My 1 yr old cat, Nermal, has bad breath. It smells slightly fishy and I don't really notice it unless he's right in my face or yawns. He eats dry Purina Special One regular chicken (not fish) formula and no wet food at all. I do not feed him ANY people food He does not have a water drinking problem as he is CONSTANTLY drinking out of the sink, table top fountain, my glass, my husband's glass and his own water bowl. It never really concerned me except I read somewhere that kitties shouldn't have bad breath and it could be a sign of an infection. Does this just sound like regular 'kitty breath' (kind of like 'doggie breath') or could it be something more?

post #2 of 2
Hi Swingdance!

From your user name, i guess you are fond of ballroom dancing. My mom is taking ballroom dancing lessons, and i really want to take ballroom dancing lessons one day. (My hubby does not want to learn. Sigh!)

Back to you, ... in my past research, i found this:


Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Bad breath becomes more common as dogs and cats age. It is caused by a number of factors, including:

Periodontal disease (bad teeth)
Gingivitis (especially in cats)
Poor digestion
Stomach problems
Chronic small intestinal problems
Poor diet
A veterinarian should examine all animals with halitosis. Teeth should be cleaned if needed. The diet should be modified to improve the quality of the food (see the articles on Feeding Your Dog and Feeding Your Cat ).

Most dogs and cats with halitosis have poor digestion, abnormal bacterial populations in the stomach and small intestines, and often have slow passage of food out of the stomach.

Severe disease involving kidneys, adrenal glands, liver or other organs can cause foul mouth odors. Blood tests would be needed to determine if this is the problem. Animals that eat feces (coprophagia) will have bad breath. Animals that are in the habit of scavenging for garbage and foul tasting plants may develop bad breath, and those that eat indigestible items (sticks, plastic, rubber, etc.) can have bad breath.

Some dogs and cats with bad breath might need radiographs and perhaps endoscopic examination (scoping the stomach) to help determine the problem.

However, most dogs and cats with bad breath do not improve with dentals and don’t have systemic diseases. The mouth odor is coming from the stomach and esophagus. Food is not being adequately digested, moving too slowly through the digestive tract, and abnormal bacteria are growing because of this “slugging†of food.

Many animals are given products that mask the odor. We believe that this only hides the symptoms of maldigestion and dysbiosis (abnormal bacteria populations). We recommend that you try to improve digestion, detoxification, and nutrition as primary ways to improve mouth odor.

If the bad breath persists after the veterinary exam and treatment, consider doing the following:

Change the diet to a more healthy one

Supplement the diet with:

Dipan 9 or Similase - digestive enzymes are often very helpful
Lactobacillus sporogenes - beneficial bacteria improve normal bacterial populations.

Garlic - aids in digestion and has a healing, beneficial effect to the stomach lining.

Aloe vera - heals the mucosal lining of the stomach.


Chinese herbal medicine - often Chinese herbs can heal the abnormal digestive system. Each animal must be individually analyzed for the correct formula.

Personally, i get rid of their bad breath by gently rubbing a soft dampened washcloth (dampened with WARM water) and rub their teeth, cleaning gently, after their intakes of wet foods.

Also, i brush their teeth several times a week with a tiny toothbrush that i buy from the hello kitty store (for kids) and a pet toothpaste. This morning, both kitties just got their teeth brushed.

i think it is important to look into the kitties' diets and maintain their teeth well, to ensure overall good health as well. i hope to help my kitties keep all their teeth as long as possible.

Hugs for your Nermal, and happy swing dancing!

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