My crazy cat lady confession: I love fishy cat breath. It’s the wee hours of the morning. I’m asleep. And dreaming. In my dream, I’m standing at the fish counter in the grocery store. How about a pound of wild Atlantic salmon? Perhaps a bag of fresh mussels? Shrimp cocktail is always a hit. I’d reach for my wallet, but I’m not wearing pants… I awaken suddenly, marveling at the ludicrousness of my seafood sodden midnight stroll. I don’t marvel long. There’s a cat breathing in my face.
Her breath wafts warmly across my nostrils. It smells like low tide, but in a good way. I breathe deeply and close my eyes, drifting back to sleep. Yes, I am a crazy cat lady. I must be, for I truly love the distinctively seaside aroma of cat breath.
Not all cats have great breath. I’ve smelled some seriously stinky cat breath in my time, usually emanating from the tarter encrusted mouths of older felines or those who regularly dine on the cheapest of cat foods. Healthy cat breath is not offensive, though it may be fishy if you regularly feed your felines seafood-based foods as I do. Stinky breath on the other hand –the kind the burns your eyes and peels paint from the walls– may actually indicate something wrong with kitty’s health.
While most likely the product of poor dental health (such as tartar buildup that can lead to periodontal disease and tooth decay), a bad breath kitty could be suffering from kidney disease, respiratory disease, liver disease or diabetes. If your feline friend is sporting bad cat breath, arrange a visit with your veterinarian. He or she can determine if your pet just needs a dental cleaning or if more serious issues are afoot.
Share this article with your cat-loving friends so they'll know what to look out for!