(NewsUSA) - How many times has your cat come to wake you up by rubbing his face against your face in the morning? Your cat looks adorable, but the odor coming from his mouth may make his affection less than welcome. Of course, you want to freshen your cat's breath, but before you look into kitty breath mints, you might want to make an appointment with your veterinarian.
While post-tuna halitosis is no cause for concern, your cat's breath should not stink consistently. If you notice an unrelenting odor, your cat might be suffering from an undetected health issue, such as oral disease or diabetes. If you notice the following smells, have your cat examined by a vet:
* A sweet smell. If you cat's breath smells fruity, it could be a sign of diabetes, especially if the sweet breath is combined with excessive thirst, frequent urination and weight loss.
* An ammonia-like smell. If your cat's breath smells like urine, he could have kidney disease. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, thirst and frequent urination.
* A bile-like smell. If your cat's breath smells like vomit, he may have liver problems. Look for other symptoms, including a swollen belly, loss of appetite and jaundice, or a yellow discoloration in your cat's eyes and gums.
* A smell similar to bad breath smell in humans. If your cat's breath smells like human morning breath, it might have gum disease, the most common cause of halitosis.
Gum disease is caused by destructive bacteria, which can build plaque and infect the gum line. Professional tooth cleanings can help control the problem, but cats (and noses) benefit greatly from weekly tooth brushing.
If your cat won't allow you to brush its teeth, try using an oral care probiotic such as Teddy's Pride (www.myteddyspride.com). The tasteless, odorless probiotic powder, which can be sprinkled on pets' food, flood the mouth with healthy bacteria, so the harmful bacteria that cause bad breath have less room to grow.