Cats seem to be prone to chronic oral inflammations, both in the mouth and the gums.
A cat can be allergic to plaque collected on the teeth, its food or fleas.
The lesions that erupt in the mouth are known as feline eosinophilic granuloma, a mouthful itself.
Other causes that can give your cat “Kitty Breath” are lowered immune resistance diseases such as FeLV (feline leukemia virus) and/or FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus). Viral or bacterial infections such as FIP (felilne infectious peritonitis) can be the culprit.
There is debate as to whether certain breeds of cat are more susceptible, but no conclusions have been reached. However, cats whose immune systems are compromised are prone to oral infections.
Symtoms of gum disease (gingivitis) or mucous membrane disease (stomatitus) can be drooling, difficulty eating, bad breath, bleeding gums or not grooming themselves.
If your cat shows any of these signs, a vet visit is in order. Your cat may have to be anesthetized to undergo a thorough examination and x-rays. Treatment depends on the vet’s diagnosis.
Plaque forming on the teeth is caused by food remaining in the mouth and combining with bacteria. A professional cleaning is the next step. Your cat will be anesthetized and your vet will extract teeth if necessary and clean away the plaque accumulation. Your vet may apply fluoride to protect the teeth. Your cat will then be treated with antibiotics to prevent infection.
You can care for your cat at home by brushing daily or at least 3 times a week. This will help prevent plaque build-up and keep your cat’s breath smelling sweet.
Your cat will become accustomed more easily to the procedure if you start at an early age to brush its teeth.
If your cat is prone to dental problems, it should be seen at least twice a year by your vet. Be sure to feed your cat a high quality food and ask your vet about the addition of a vitamin/mineral supplement.
Related article: Doggie Breath – Causes & Cures