Modern Medicine, Old-Fashioned Care

Jan 27, 2016 | General Health

Gross Reasons Cats Have Bad Breath

We’re all familiar with the saying “dog breath” but let’s not single out the dogs. Cats can have stinky breath too. Here are 10 gross reasons cats have bad breath.


10. Use a litterbox. Cats are very clean creatures so next time you see your cat cleaning between its paw pads, it is most likely to remove pieces of litter. Kind of like washing our hands in the toilet after using it.

9. Eat vomit. Doesn’t really matter whether it’s their vomit or another cat’s vomit—still smells like used cat food and they will eat it.

8. Hunt vermin. Cats are natural-born killers. Mice, birds, voles, bats, snakes. And they will proudly carry that dead prey in their mouth to your bathroom floor where you’ll undoubtedly discover it first thing in the morning…with your bare feet.

7. Eat bugs. Thousand-leggers with no legs. Half-eaten fuzzy black spiders. Shall we go on?

6. Root in the garbage for the grossest of tidbits. Those snotty tissues are filled with protein-packed, bacteria-filled, salty goodness that cats think smell so delicious.

5. Eat earwax. (See #6) Why do you think cats dig cotton swabs out of the garbage or chew your iPhone earbuds after you’ve listened to an hour worth of downloaded music?

4. Yak up hairballs. It’s bad enough cats can almost vomit on command…on your white duvet cover, in the middle of the night…but it’s even worse when a long, matted clump of cat hair that looks like it could crawl away comes out of that mouth.

3. Lick to clean. Any self-cleaning effort is welcomed, but really, “a cat’s mouth is cleaner than a human mouth” knowing where that tongue has just been?

2. Never brush their teeth. Their lack of opposable thumbs and gross habits (See #3-10) are not reasons for avoiding proper dental care. Talk to your veterinarian about easy steps for brushing your cat’s teeth as well as pet toothpaste and types of brushes. Never use human toothpaste on a cat! Regular oral care is a good start to eliminating halitosis.

1. Can suffer from gingivitis and rotten teeth. An oral exam should be an important part of your cat’s annual veterinary exam. Like keeping current with required vaccinations, regular dental care is an important part of overall wellness and reducing pet dental disease.

For expert dental care, call Doylestown Veterinary Hospital at 215-345-6000 to schedule an exam and consultation.