Raw diet and bad breath - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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Raw diet and bad breath

Hi everyone,

Our kitten's been fed raw since the day we got him, and the older he's gotten (9 months now), the more we've noticed that his breath is really quite awful. This is our first cat on raw diet -- our previous cat was kibble-fed, and while his breath wasn't exactly minty fresh, it wasn't horrid either. Our new cat's breath, when we get a good whiff of it, is really pretty rotten.

He's been to the vet and his teeth and gums are "perfect." He's happy and healthy. We feed him lots of bones for his teeth. He's also done teething (we thought this might have been the culprit). Our vet said that sometimes cats just have bad breath, and ours might be one of those. And as long as he's healthy, it's really not a problem other than the occasional waft of odour, particularly when he's grooming!

What I'm curious about is whether there's any correlation between raw diets and cat breath. Given his dental hygiene is fine, it would seem to me that this is something more gastrointestinal. In all of your experience, do raw-fed cats usually have a noticeable difference in breath, either for the better or for the worse? We've been amazed at how much less stinky and hefty his poops are compared to our last cat, but he seems to be suffering a bit more on the other end.

And, for those of you experienced with raw diets, are there any particular culprits for bad breath or tips for fighting it?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 06:13 AM
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Hmmm. Odd. I think if it were me I'd get a blood check done. There are lots of things that could cause bad breath.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 06:19 AM
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When you give a raw diet are you including all the vitamins and minerals (plus supplements) that they need? I applaud anyone who can make a homemade raw diet but it's common to make mistakes and not include some essential vitamins. This could be a way your cat is telling you something is wrong.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 10:09 AM
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Good call. What exactly are you feeding? Bad breath is usually an indicator that something is wrong.

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Last edited by marie73; 01-05-2014 at 02:39 AM.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 05:09 PM
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If the problem is not diet related, maybe it could be a stress thing? We had a dog who, when living with other dogs caused him to be constantly nervous and stressed out. We had his teeth cleaned, but it did nothing to help his breath. Now that he has been living as an only dog he is super happy and his bad breath has completely disappeared. He isn't fed anything special either, though he does love to chew on an elk antler. If you can't find something wrong with the diet, look around your home and make sure it is cat friendly. Does he have his own place where he can get away from any other animals/children? I know cats are pretty different than dogs, but maybe they can internalize stress in a similar way?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies.

Marcia, he's been to the vet very recently and was in excellent physical health, she couldn't find anything wrong, and wasn't worried about his breath… his yearly physical is in a couple of months, and she didn't think it worthwhile to do bloodwork until then.

texasgirl, we don't make our own. we use a premixed raw from a great company here in Canada, and make sure that the vitamins and minerals are in balance. we rotate meats, include additional RMBs, and supplement with things like additional fish oils and taurine based on consultation with the food manufacturer. he's growing like a weed… i guess i wouldn't rule it out, but can't think of anything he's getting too much of or too little? he also gets a little bit of good-quality wet food as a "topper" on his raw sometimes, but haven't come across anything that would indicate this as the culprit. he gets a couple of 100%-duck dried treats a day usually.

kytkattin -- this sounds like it might be a conceivable cause. Does stress cause bad breath?? i've never heard of that! We live in a childless apartment with no other pets, but about 6 weeks ago we got new neighbours upstairs with two cats and i think this might be bugging him, as he's been a little more vocal and clingy since they moved in. But, on the other hand, his bad breath has been there for months, since well before these new neighbours moved in, so i don't know that this is the cause either.

Thanks for your thoughts… hopefully I can get to the bottom of this!
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