Fixing our cat’s dog breath (with a side of barf)

First of all, congratulations if you were either fascinated by the absurd title and had to look or if you decided to overlook the title and trusted me enough to read on.

The truth is, we’ve had a problem with each of our cats that has been a source of irritation for a while. Both are kinda gross, but who doesn’t like a little discussion about cat bodily function now and then? *sigh*

Barfing cat

For as long as we can remember, Missy has had a problem with vomiting food when she starts to eat too fast. We’ve discussed it with two vets and they agree she’s healthy, just eats too fast. Let’s just say that what comes up is the same shape and size of what goes down, meaning she’s inhaling food without actually chewing it even half way.

We’ve tried several things to get her to slow down, including freezing her food so it’s too cold for her to gobble down. That presented several irritating challenges so we continued to be on the lookout for a new solution.

John found a “hunt a treat” toy that he thought we could try. It’s from Booda toys and looks like this (the purple one)

Photo from website for Doctors Foster and Smith

The point is, Missy would have to work to get her food, thus slowing her down. On the back of the packaging, it said that  this was a “thinking” toy because it was intended to make cats think through how to get the treat inside. We figured, why wouldn’t that work with food?

The first time we put it out, Missy didn’t know what to think. She circled it and stared and swatted at it. Then she figured it out. At this point, Colby, who always has to do what “Big Sister” does, came over and gave it a try. He’s a few crayons short of a box and couldn’t figure it out, even after John put his paw through the hole for him.

Anyways, Missy got to eat her fill and yes, it slowed her down enough that she didn’t throw up.

The next day, John thought it would be easier if he left the regular feeding bowls out for when he was at work and I came home from work. The problem? Missy turned her nose up at the regular bowls. Apparently they were no longer interesting! We now put a few bites of food in the regular bowl so they don’t fight over the Booda “hunt a treat” toy but for the most part, both our cats like to eat out of the toy. Oh, Colby finally figured out how to get food out it….after both John and Missy showed him. We’ll probably get another one just so they both have their own.

Speaking of Colby….

Knock ’em over breath

For as long as we’ve had him, Colby has had nasty, make-you-pass-out breath. As in, he would be sitting next to us and yawn…and it would make us hold our breath.

Like with Missy’s problem, we’ve talked to the vet about it and apparently Colby’s breath is just at the high end of normal bad. I would hate to smell the breath from a sick cat! But his teeth and digestion seem fine so the vet recommended breath treats. We had found some treats that seemed to help some and that he actually enjoyed but they disappeared. We’ve tried several other kinds of treats to solve the breath problem and nothing has fazed it.

About a month ago, we were ordering a supply of flea control (we treat all year long) from one of our favorite discount sites, 1800PetMeds.com and saw a special on a breath product called Be Fresh Dental Care Solution. We checked reviews and it had a decent price so we figured, why not? A few days later, it arrived and John put it in their water dish. We weren’t sure what they would do, considering it was something new and quite frankly, made the water smell slightly pool-like.

Photo from 1800PetMeds.com

Both cats circled the water and smelled it and to our surprise, tried it. Then they gulped it. We were relieved that they at least seemed to tolerate it. We had no idea how much! I recently had to clean out their water bowl and filled it with water without putting in the solution. Missy and then Colby went over to get a drink and just sniffed at the water. They looked back and forth between me and the water, sometimes batting at the water and crying. Incredulously, I tried putting some of the solution in. They sniffed and together (a miracle in of itself) started gulping the water down like they had been deprived for hours, not minutes.

But here’s the really good part. Not only will both cats drink it, the solution works like a charm with Colby’s breath. It’s really cleaned up whatever was causing the smell and we no longer hold our breath when he yawns or cries out when sitting close to us. We never could figure out what caused the bad breath, but it’s a lot better now! By the way, the solution is for both cats and dogs so if your dog has “dog breath” then you should also try it!

So, see? That blog wasn’t so gross was it? Pass it along to anyone who has feline friends with these problems.

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