Why Does My Cat Have Nasty Bad Breath And How Can I Fix It To Make It Smell Better?

By default, you shouldn’t expect your cat to have particularly fresh or minty-like breath. Felines are natural carnivores, which means that their primary nutrition comes from meat.

As such, they eat a lot of things that will produce bad breath.

Furthermore, unlike humans, cats don’t pay any attention to it. And they certainly don’t go looking for a toothbrush to use following a meal or before they go to sleep.

However, brushing your cat’s teeth is a good way to eradicate bad breath in your cat. You can check out our article here on how to brush your cat’s teeth effectively (and what products we recommend).

But before you choose a solution, you need to find out why your cat’s breath has suddenly started smelling bad.

There are many causes for bad breath in cats, but that doesn’t mean you should start panicking.

What Causes Nasty Bad Breath In Cats?

Lack Of Oral Hygiene

You can’t expect your feline pet to keep up its dental hygiene on her own. So you must do it for her.

Food particles, tartar, plaque, and various smelly bacteria get stuck in between your cat’s teeth every day. These build-ups are the most common reason for bad breath.

If you’re feeding your cat a wet cat food diet, she won’t get the crunchy kibble that helps clean her teeth while chewing.

Lack Of Vitamins And Improper Diet

Just like humans, cats may find themselves in need of an additional boost – for shinier fur, for a stronger immune system…or for better breath.

Treating your kitty with vitamins and supplements is important. But you should always remember that such supplements are not a substitute for high-quality cat food.

If you’ve recently changed your cat’s diet or if you’re feeding her low-quality food products, this may result in bad breath. Talk to your vet to determine if this is the issue. Either one may cause other side effects, too.

Medical Issues

Various cat breeds are prone to suffering from medical issues. The most common ones that cause bad breath are stomach problems, gum disease, gastrointestinal issues, and tooth decay.

Again, talk to your vet if you think kitty might be suffering from something health-related.

How To Make Your Cat’s Breath Smell Better And Fix Stinky Breath

For starters, you don’t need to brush your kitty’s teeth to get rid of the nasty breath, as there are other ways to maintain its dental hygiene.

You certainly can choose to brush, as we’ve mentioned above, and here’s our article on how to do that.

Remember that chances are good that your feline furball isn’t suffering from a serious medical condition. Her bad breath is most likely caused by bacteria and tartar build-up. (Check with your vet to be sure, though!)

Here are a few pet-friendly products that will help you maintain your cat’s oral health.

Our review process is unbiased and based on extensive research. If you buy through the links on our site, we may earn a commission.


Feline Greenies Dental Treats

  • Cleans teeth
  • Reduces tartar
  • Breath freshener
  • Vet recommended
  • Multiple flavor options including chicken, tuna, salmon, and catnip

How can cat treats help? Well, these aren’t just any ordinary treats for training or praising.

Greenies are special dental treats that protect and improve the condition of your pet’s gums and teeth.

They come in a variety of flavors – chicken and salmon combo, salmon, beef, tuna, ocean fish, roasted chicken, and even catnip – and are filled with tons of essentials like vitamins, minerals, taurine, and chlorophyll.

The treats have a crunchy texture, which removes the food scraps and tartar stuck to your cat’s teeth. Cats who eat dry food tend to have this taken care of already. So it’s a great alternative if kitty eats wet food exclusively.

They’re also low in calories and safe for daily intake for any cats over the age of 1. This means you don’t have to worry about overfeeding her just to clean her teeth.

Greenies’ dental treats will prevent tartar and plaque from building up on your kitty’s teeth. They’ll get rid of the unpleasant breath and will protect your pet’s gums and teeth by preventing dental problems in the future.

Tropiclean Water Additive For Cats Teeth

  • Freshens breath
  • Reduces plaque and tartar
  • Easy to use – No brushing

Tropiclean is the top best-selling water additive for pets on the market.

Its all-natural formula includes decaffeinated green tea, which is a natural source of fluoride. It’s also awesome because it doesn’t require any brushing and rinsing. Y

Just add it to your pet’s water bowl daily. It will remove the tartar and plaque on its own, leaving your cat with cleaner teeth and fresher breath.

Tropiclean will help your cat fight off tooth decay, gum disease and other types of periodontal diseases.

Tropiclean is recommended by tons of qualified vets from all over the world. as a leading product for maintaining a cat’s dental care. Even better…this water additive is surprisingly budget-friendly!

Oxyfresh Water Additive

  • Freshens breath
  • Tasteless and Odorless
  • Add to water bowl daily

If you’re looking for a simpler liquid substitute to the cat treats and the plaque remover, Oxyfresh will do the trick for you.

Oxyfresh’s solution is among the best choices on the market these days when it comes to solving the bad breath situation.  It completely neutralizes the nasty smell and is 100% cat safe.

As we all know, cats tend to be extremely capricious and there’s a huge chance they won’t forgive you if you try to hide medicine in their water. However, Oxyfresh is tasteless and odorless, guaranteeing that your feline friend will never sense it in its water bowl.

All you need to do is add a capful of the water additive to your cat’s water bowl daily and Oxyfresh will do the rest for you.

Cats have different nutritional needs than humans. So it’s extremely important to provide a well-balanced diet for your feline furball every single day.

Feeding your precious furry pal with high-quality cat food guarantees that your kitty will be less likely to develop dental problems or other types of medical issues.

Of course, a healthy diet isn’t enough. If your kitty still has nasty breath even after you’ve started using dental care products, you should consult with your vet. Your cat’s health must always come as your priority, so don’t ever skip a scheduled check-up with the vet.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!