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Everything You Should Know About Fishy Cat Breath

Nearly everyone is familiar with the term “dog breath,” however, not as many are familiar with bad “cat breath.” Even if a cat’s breath does smell bad, some cat parents might just assume this is because their cat enjoys fishy flavors. This makes sense, but it’s important to note that bad breath is not normal. Cats are actually not supposed to have bad breath! So, if you notice that your cat’s breath is starting to smell a bit fishy, then you might need to look into it more. Luckily, we have partnered with NomNomNow, and they have shared some beneficial information with us.

What Causes Bad Breath for Cats?

If your cat has bad breath, there are a few possible reasons. In an extreme case, it could be because of feline leukemia or stomatitis, which is a painful gum tissue disease. The most common cause is periodontal disease, which is commonly referred to as dental disease. This disease begins with tartar buildup on the surface of your cat’s teeth. This buildup is created from the residue of food and saliva, along with the activity of bacteria in your cat’s mouth. It might sound gross, but it can actually happen to cats very easily.

This disease has a 5-stage process that is numbered 0 through 4, with 0 labeled as a healthy mouth and 4 as an extremely diseased one. The best way to find a cure for this disease is to consult your vet. They can decide the best treatment methods for your cat by figuring out where they fall in the 5-stage process.

Over time, plaque can build up into a thicker layer of tartar, and this can cause irritation and infections. For cats, the most common sign of dental disease is either the presence of gingivitis or inflamed gum tissue.

How to Fix Plaque and Dental Disease

Cats have a bad habit of hiding their pain and problems until it’s too late. Luckily, veterinarians can help you catch your cat’s dental disease as soon as possible. By taking your cat in for regular exams at the vet, you can avoid any extreme gum diseases. Plus, if you notice that your cat has bad breath, you can ask your vet about it to help ease any concerns you might have.

Many vets will recommend a yearly dental cleaning for your cat. As beneficial as this may be, most cats aren’t willing to cooperate with this type of care routine, and as a result, this type of procedure would need to be done while your cat is under anesthesia. That way, the veterinarian can properly clean inside your cat’s mouth without having to wrestle your furry friend or get bitten in the process.

During this procedure, the vet can search for lumps, inflammation, or other unusual objects in their mouth. Then, they can complete full mouth radiographs to get a better look at your cat’s teeth for a more accurate diagnosis. The vet will then use an ultrasonic scaler to clean off the existing plaque. Finally, they will polish the teeth with a fine paste.

This detailed exam can detect if your cat is suffering from a serious disease or not. One of the diseases that can be found is stomatitis, which was mentioned earlier. Another disease that could be spotted is called tooth resorption, a painful disease where the cat’s body absorbs the roots of their teeth. Both of these possibilities require advanced dental treatments, so it is important to allow a professional to catch it early on.

How to Prevent Plaque and Dental Disease

Caring for your cat’s dental needs doesn’t always have to be so extreme. If you get in a routine right when you get your cat or immediately after you get the plaque removed from their teeth, then their teeth should remain in good shape. This routine simply consists of brushing your cat’s teeth. Of course, most cats will not like this new activity, however, if you try to brush your cat’s teeth every day just like how you would with your own teeth, you should be able to avoid plaque and dental disease.

If your cat wants nothing to do with the toothbrush, there are still other options. There are plenty of pet supplies catered toward cat dental health, including dental chews and water additives. If you are unsure which products will have the best effect on your cat’s health, then you can consult your vet first.

Why is Prevention So Important?

Many cat parents might want to clean their cat’s teeth just to get rid of the fishy smell, however, feline dental care is so much more than that. Bad breath is typically an indicator of an underlying disease, and it is better to catch these issues before they worsen. Cats are great at hiding their pain, so just because you don’t visibly see something wrong with them doesn’t mean it’s not there. Get in the routine of caring for your cat’s teeth on a regular basis, and if you notice an unusually fishy breath appear, seek out a veterinarian for assistance.

Dental care is just one of the many important aspects of keeping your cat healthy. With NomNomNow, they make sure the food your cat is eating is packed with the right amount of moisture and protein to live an active and healthy life. Their recipes are formulated by a veterinary nutritionist and made with human-grade ingredients you can actually see, so you have one less thing to worry about when it comes to taking care of your kitty.

Written by Molly Weinfurter
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