Cat Bad Breath Home Remedy

If you’re on the Internet searching for “cat bad breath home remedies,” you probably have one smelly feline on your hands. Don't panic! There are solutions. Luckily, you landed on the right page to find the answers.

Owning a pet means having someone to cuddle with whenever you want. What's the best cuddle buddy one can get besides a teddy bear? A cat! They can be sophisticated snobs at times, but every cat lover knows that they can also be as sweet as candy — especially when they want something.

But when you're playing with your cat and you get a whiff of that unpleasant smell, even if it's National Hug Your Cat Day, you can’t help but feel kind of grossed out. That’s why we’re here to help you get your cat’s odor back to normal. Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about a cat’s bad breath. 

Why Does My Cat Have Bad Breath?

The care, diet, and health of your cat determine the smell of their breath. Like people, if your cat has poor hygiene, their breath is going to smell like yesterday’s garbage. But unlike people, your cat’s health and hygiene are not their responsibility — it’s yours!

When we have bad breath, it’s pretty embarrassing since we all know that we’re supposed to brush our own teeth. With our pets, it’s different. Your cat doesn’t care about how they smell around others. They are very good at keeping themselves clean. But if you don’t give your cat proper oral care or a healthy diet, their breath may smell regardless.

Oral Causes

Cats eat everything they want and it’s pretty normal for a foul smell to come from their mouth occasionally. Other than food getting stuck to their teeth and plaque build-up, oral infections can also cause bad breath.

Systemic Causes

While it’s easy to conclude that the source of your cat’s bad breath is their teeth, there are other reasons why your feline friend gives out a foul smell. Some underlying medical conditions, like diabetes and liver disease, can cause their breath to reek. If your cat’s breath continues to smell even after you brush their teeth, you may want to consult your vet to rule out any other health issues.

What Causes a Cat to Have Bad Breath?

So, we know that bad breath is generally caused by poor oral hygiene and illness. But what specific conditions make your cat’s breath smell? We spelled out some of the common culprits for you right here!


Gingivitis is a bacterial infection that results in redness and swelling of the gums. It can affect cats of any age. Gingivitis is one of the common dental issues of cats that cause discomfort or severe pain. It may be mild and easily treatable, but moderate to severe gingivitis can cause extreme pain, gum recession, and tooth loss. Treatment will require dental cleaning under general anesthesia. 

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease happens when tar and plaques pile up and harden in between the cat’s teeth and gums. The resulting bacterial enzymes cause infections. This, in turn, triggers mild to severe inflammation in the gums. Severe cases of periodontal disease may require tooth extractions.


Your cat’s bad breath can be caused by the food he or she consumes before coming up to you. Their daily diet and food preferences may be one of the reasons why they give off a foul smell. 

Wet food, liver, or fish that got stuck somewhere in their mouth can cause bad breath. Just like any parent, we can’t monitor our fur babies all the time, and it may just be that they ate something with a smell that you don’t particularly like. Note that even the healthiest cat treats and food can create tartar and plaque if oral hygiene is not implemented on a regular basis. 

Related Article: Hemp Oil for Cats

Metabolic Ailments

Your cat’s kidneys and liver condition can contribute to bad breath. It’s essential to bring your pet to a vet for a thorough health check. 

What Is the Best Cat Bad Breath Home Remedy?

So you’ve consulted your vet, and your cat has no serious medical conditions. Finding the root cause of the issue is the first step in effectively treating it. There are several easy fixes you can try at home to remedy your cat’s bad breath. Below are some examples:

Brush Teeth

Just like their human parents, pets need to maintain their hygiene. Food gets stuck in between their teeth. To get rid of it, brush daily. It sounds so simple, but your first few attempts to brush your cat’s teeth may cause some frustration for both of you. Work on introducing it slowly. Your cat will thank you later!

Lemon Juice

Try adding 1-2 drops of lemon juice into your cat’s water bowl. Lemon juice has antibacterial properties that help neutralize odors. Be careful not to let them drink more than two drops because citrus fruits are toxic to cats.

Chew Toys

Some cats love to chew too. If your fur babies like munching on things, you can get them a chew toy for cats. It will not only help with cleaning their teeth, but it can also save you from chewed wires and slippers.

Diet Change

Your cat’s diet may be one of the reasons they give off that foul smell. Consider trying out a different set of meals or a different brand. Try other flavors or a different type of meat and see if it improves their breath. Incorporating dry cat kibbles can help too.

Bad Breath Treats

There are tons of treats available in the pet aisle that are made specifically to help with your cat’s oral health. You can grab a few and find what works best.

How to Prevent Bad Breath in Cats

Just like with any other condition, in humans or pets, prevention is always better than cure. Maintaining good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent bad breath with your cats. Start brushing their teeth when they’re young so they’ll get used to the toothbrush. Having annual medical checks with your vet is highly suggested to make sure that your cat is healthy.

Since bad breath is sometimes a symptom of a severe medical condition, it’s important to rule that out.

Final Thoughts on Preventing Bad Breath in Cats

Cat bad breath is fairly common, but you can treat it easily. If you know your cat well and the changes in their body bother you, it’s always best to consult your vet. Overall, maintaining your cat’s hygiene is a good way to prevent oral and medical concerns. Now, go on! Add “brushing teeth” to your list of cat bonding activities.

Read Next: Why Do Cats Hiss?


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