Meowmie, why do you ask the breath smell, would that indicate something? just curious for future diagnosis
Okay. Young cats including kittens can have bad breath for two reasons. The most common reason is a digestive problem. The food may simply not agree with the cat and the cat's digestive system is struggling while it is trying to digest and move the food through the cat's body.
Lack of certain digestive enzymes and lack of friendly bacteria can be involved in this type of bad breath.
The other reason, and thank God the less common one, can be a systemic illness such as feline leukemia or FIV.
Strong bad breath and/or gingivitis in a very young cat is always a serious warning sign that must be followed up on.
In older cats bad breath can be caused by a digestive problem, neglected teeth and gums, and sometimes liver or kidney disease.
Gum disease and other dental problems including oral cancer can also cause drooling in cats.
One more note on the subject. In older cats neglected oral health can lead to liver, kidney and heart disease. What happens is that toxins released by bacteria under the gumline are absorbed by the bloodstream and carried to vital organs.
So keeping the teeth clean and the gums healthy is very, very important.