Why Does My Cat’s Breath Stink? – 5 Main Causes & Remedies

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

why does my cat's breath stink

You love everything about your cat, except when they go straight to your face and yawn. I hear you. Not too long ago, I also asked the same thing: why does my cat’s breath stink?

Dental and gum problems could be the main culprit of your cat’s stinky breath. Your cat might have developed cavity and tartar build-up. If not treated, that could lead to other severe problems like gingivitis and periodontitis.

But is it the only reason? Let’s see.

Causes of Why Your Cat’s Breath Smell Like Poop

If a cat’s breath smells so bad, it has different causes. So, here’s what I found:

1. Dental or Gum Diseases


This is the most common yet likely to get neglected by cat owners. It’s hard to notice the tartar or cavity until it’s all over your çat’s teeth.

A less severe gum problem in cats is gingivitis. When the tartar and cavity stay in your cat’s teeth for a long time, they will eventually mineralize. After a while, the tartar hardens and produces more plaque, which causes gum swelling.

The more severe dental problem is periodontitis. It is the leading cause of your cat’s tooth loss. That’s why pet enthusiasts encourage you to have your cat a regular dental checkup in the vet clinic and prevent severe dental diseases.

What Are The Symptoms of Oral Disease in Cats?

  • Bad breath and weight loss
  • Drooling
  • Red and bleeding gums

If you notice these symptoms, visit your cat’s vet doctor immediately.

2. Feline Lymphocytic Plasmocytic Stomatitis (LPS)


If you notice your kitten’s breath stinks, gum swelling or bleeding, and grievous pain, go to your vet doctor for LPS disease tests.

The sad truth about LPS disease is that it is constantly recurring. Unlike other feline oral ailments, this one is passive. Even everyday oral hygiene, anti-inflammatories, and drugs don’t work well.

LPS is linked with feline viruses, such as calicivirus, feline immunodeficiency, and leukemia. The best way to prevent this is by completing your cat’s vaccine yearly.

3. Kidney Problem


What if, despite brushing your cat’s teeth and having dental check ups regularly, your cat’s breath still smells like death?

If that is the case, the underlying cause could be internal–a kidney problem. Aside from bad breath, your cat may have experienced other symptoms like lethargy or lack of appetite.

When you notice ammonia or urine smells in your cat’s breath, visit your vet doctor immediately to check your furbaby vital by taking a blood test and urinalysis.

4. Liver Problem


If your cat’s breath smells and shows signs of yellowish eyes and gums, lethargy, and loss of appetite, get your cat checked immediately. You must not neglect these symptoms as they could be the signs of liver disease in your cat.

5. High-Sugar Level


Have you noticed increased urination, too much food intake, and breath’s fruity smell in your cat? If so, book a veterinary visit immediately, as this could be an early sign. As we always say, prevention is better than cure.

Is It Normal for My Cat to Have Bad Breath?

No. A cat’s breath should be neutral. If all of a sudden it smells like fish, you have to visit a vet doctor immediately as it could be a sign of oral problems or other internal diseases.

How to Fix Stinky Cat Breath


The good news is that although your cat’s breath is bad, it is fixable. I will also share the common home remedy I know as a cat parent.

1. Practice a Good Dental Hygiene

My kitten has bad breath, so I always make sure to do a good brushing. Like us, feline friends eat regularly, and often that food gets stuck in their teeth.

When you brush your cat’s teeth, you can help maintain good dental hygiene. It’s also crucial to visit a vet doctor for checkups. By doing so, you can prevent your cat’s tartar buildup.

2. A Few Drops of Lemon to Your Cat’s Water

Lemon has an antibacterial agent that cures terrible breath, not just in humans but also in cats. Just put the right amount of lemon in your cat’s water, but make sure not to put any sugar in it.

3. Visit Your Cat’s Doctor

The best way to know your cat’s bad breath treatment is by visiting a vet clinic. Vet doctors can diagnose the real problem behind it and give necessary prescriptions.

The doctor’s tests on your cat can give you peace of mind. You will know the necessary measures for preventing or curing other underlying health issues.

Reddit members have been talking about this issue as well. Delve deeper into the conversation here:

My cat loves wetfood. But his breath STINKS. Like its so pungent and horrid to the point where the smell stains my nostrils. What can I do ?
byu/shamalamading7 incats

Tips to Prevent Stinky Cat Breath


Prevention helps your cat lead a healthy and happy life. So, keep these few things in mind to prevent your cat’s stinky breath.

1. Change Your Cat’s Diet

Aside from wet food, it’s crucial to feed dry food to your cats for their dental health. Chewing it can help them brush away the food remnant from their wet diet.

You can also switch to a dental diet to ensure their breath is always fresh and clean. Ask the vet doctor about the appropriate diet for your cat.

2. Give Dental Treats

If it’s hard to get your cats to love brushing, you can give dental treats as an alternative. It prevents plaques and freshens up your cat’s breath.


It’s challenging to guess your cat’s health just by focusing on a single problem. Being said that, the cat’s bad breath could be the symptom and not the real issue.

So to answer the question, “Why does my cat’s breath stink,” it could be because of oral problems, LPS, kidney problems, liver problems, and high sugar levels.

No one can be certain unless you bring your cats to a vet doctor. Nevertheless, you can avoid your cats having stinky breaths by brushing their teeth regularly, changing their food to a dental diet, and giving them dental treats.

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