Bad Breath In Cats: Tips To Keep Your Cat’s Breath Fresh

bad breath in cats

Nobody likes having bad breath, including our cats. According to, cats aren’t immune from having bad breath. Bad breath in cats occurs when their oral care is being neglected.

Prevention is the best method, but if your cat already has bad breath, there are some things you can do to give him that clean and fresh mouth he deserves!

Brush Your Cat’s Teeth

This is the best method to prevent bad breath in cats.  Brushing your cat’s teeth daily reduces tartar, plaque and decay, your cat’s mouth will be cleaner and his breath fresher.

There are toothbrushes designed just for cat’s teeth, but a child’s toothbrush will also do the trick.  Another option is using a damp washcloth, dab a little toothpaste on the cloth, then rub across your cat’s teeth.

If possible, start brushing your cat’s teeth daily when he’s a kitten so he becomes used to it.  This will make tooth brushing quicker and easier for you and your cat as he gets older!

Use toothpaste made for cats, not humans, as the fluoride in our toothpaste can be harmful to cats and they do not have the ability nor instinct to spit it out.

Having trouble brushing your cat’s teeth?  Try a specially formulated water additive to reduce plaque and tartar. Ask your veterinarian for his recommendations.

Dental Treats/Chew Toys

Some dental treats and chew toys claim to remove plaque and tartar in pets. They may reduce plaque and tartar slightly, but dental treats and chew toys should ONLY to be used as a supplement to your cat’s overall dental care.  Again, ask your vet for recommendations on best products for your cat.


Diet is a huge factor in controlling bad breath in cats.  Just like onion and garlic can wreak havoc on your breath, the foods your cat consumes can do the same.  It has been noted that raw and canned foods for cats are a huge contributor to their bad breath issues.  Dry food has been known, however, to reduce tartar build up.  Be sure to choose a high-protein food that has real meat. Also, make sure to provide plenty of water for your cat to keep him hydrated, avoiding other health problems.

Schedule routine visits to your veterinarian.  A check-up is a great way to determine what can be done for your cat’s foul-smelling mouth.  Sometimes, bad breath in cats is related to an underlying medical condition, such as stomach or liver problems.





Written by Ann Butenas

Ann Butenas

An internationally-recognized author and writer, Ann began her professional writing career at age 12 and began speaking while in college. She has been published thousands of times over the past three decades in all media forms, was former editor and publisher of KC Metro Woman magazine, and has also hosted three talk radio shows in the Kansas City area.