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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Cat Bad Breath

Cat bad breath is not so different from human bad breath: it tends to be caused by the activities of bacteria in the mouth that break down proteins and release sulfur compounds into the air. Sulfur smells bad, so breath that contains sulfur compounds smells bad also. In cats, the bacteria that cause the problem tend to be associated with a buildup of tartar on the teeth. Tartar is a coating composed of food particles, bacteria, and minerals.
To cure cat bad breath, it's helpful to try to remove the tartar that has built up on the cat's teeth. Some pet foods are formulated to help reduce tartar by producing mechanical friction that scrapes tartar off, or by including an enzyme that helps to dissolve it. Pet treats are also commonly marketed as tartar fighters in one way or another. If the buildup of tartar on the cat's teeth is extensive, it might be necessary to pay to have a professional cleaning. When the tartar is removed, the cat bad breath should go away.
Some people are able to clean their cat's teeth at home. Animal toothpastes are available in meat flavors - the mechanical brushing is important for removing tartar, but some of these toothpastes also contain enzymes that dissolve the tartar, so just getting it on the teeth regularly will help a bit to cure cat bad breath. Toothbrushes and tooth scrapers are also available. It is a fortunate cat owner whose cat will tolerate this kind of attention: start early with your cat to prevent the buildup of tartar in the first place, and avoid cat bad breath later.
Another approach is to try to decrease the number of bacteria in the cat's mouth that are producing the bad smell. Just as chlorhexidine and other antibacterials are helpful for humans, these substances can be added to a pet's water or sprayed directly on the teeth to combat cat bad breath. Alternative products are also available that treat the problem by fighting the bacteria. These remedies don't remove the tartar however, so they won't permanently cure cat bad breath - a combination of a bacteria-fighting product, with a mechanical means of tartar removal might be the best approach.
Keep in mind that, like people, cats sometimes have an odor in the mouth that is not coming from the mouth: kidney and liver disease are two things that cause cat bad breath. Take you cat to your veterinarian if your cat has a consistent problem, so that a complete examination can be done. Even if the problem does originate in the mouth, treatment under the watchful eye of a veterinarian is important because problems in the mouth can lead to other serious health problems later. If you cure cat bad breath now, you may avoid trouble in the future.
R. Drysdale is a freelance writer with more than 25 years experience as a health care professional. She is a contributing editor to
Bad Breath Cure, a blog dedicated to the treatment of bad breath.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=R._Drysdale