Smelly cat, smelly cat, is this an emergency?
November 14, 2012 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Veterinarian-filter: My 11-year-old kitty, Ryoko, has very bad breath these days and I think she has a gum infection. The soonest my vet can see her is Friday afternoon. She's eating fine and full of energy, but as an overprotective cat mom, I wonder if there's anything I should do in the interim so the problem won't get any worse. Do I need to worry?
posted by xenophile to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
Make sure she has a ready supply of water. Bad breath can be an indicator of lots of things, but a common one for an elderly cat is kidney disease.

I'd also see if you can take a physical look in there. Is anything stuck in her teeth?
posted by MuffinMan at 9:51 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

She should probably be fine, if she's eating and behaving OK otherwise. She is also a SUPER CUTE KITTEN!
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:53 AM on November 14, 2012

We have used something like this. Not that one exactly, but one we got from the vet.
posted by Danf at 10:10 AM on November 14, 2012

Often cats get rotten teeth, and that leads to bad breath. If the teeth are bad enough, some may have to be pulled. That would mean that, at most, you could give her some treats that are designed to help clean teeth, but otherwise nothing more urgent is needed in the short term. I wouldn't get worked up.
posted by acm at 10:23 AM on November 14, 2012

Yeah, I don't think there's anything you can do before Friday but I wanted to say "yay you!" for taking her in to get checked out. Much like human dental care, I think a lot of people think dental = cosmetic.
posted by JoanArkham at 10:31 AM on November 14, 2012

Love your photo!

Love me some black kittehs!

Do you brush teeth and massage gums? If not, ask your vet about starting. The toothpaste is chicken flavored. I have no words.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:35 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

My cat is about the same age. This year we realized his perpetual bad breath was from a couple rotty teeth. We had them removed and he was a million times better. As long as your kitteh is eating and drinking easily, I wouldn't worry until you see your vet on Friday.
posted by ninjakins at 10:53 AM on November 14, 2012

Two out of three of my cats have had teeth and gum problems, to the point that one of them has no teeth at all. They both had bad teeth before I got them (they were from so-so shelters) and had lived that way for months, if not years. I bet your kitty will be fine waiting two more days.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:24 PM on November 14, 2012

My ancient cat's bad breath was bad teeth :( My best friend's cat had bad breath due to periodontal disease. Both went back to normal cat breath after the problems were fixed. Of course it's possible it's other things. But I think your sweet cute cute kitty will be fine until she sees the vet, especially if she's behaving normally and still eating fine.
posted by upatree at 12:50 PM on November 14, 2012

"Eating fine" and "Full of energy" are excellent signs that whatever is amiss is not urgent. (Ryoko also appears to have a lovely glossy coat.)
posted by feral_goldfish at 12:53 PM on November 14, 2012

Awwwww, reminds me of Panther. Miss that little guy. The only thing I would recommend you do is document anything out of the ordinary you notice between now and the appointment, and write it down. Any info the vet has will be helpful.
posted by azpenguin at 4:50 PM on November 14, 2012

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