Why Is My Cat Drooling and What To Do About It?

Cat Tips

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Slobbering dogs are a common sight. Drooling cats, on the other hand, not so much. If your cat is drooling, it might be nothing to worry about, but it could also be a sign of sickness.

How can you tell the difference? Spot Pet Insurance gives you insight into the reasons behind your cat’s drooling.

Is it normal for cats to drool?

Happy and relaxed cats can drool to express pleasure. Your cats may be drooling while kneading and purring to show contentment. Kittens knead and purr to get their mother to release milk. This link between kneading and feeding is why cats drool.

Now that your cats are older, kneading can still trigger salivation. You might not see this too often because cats aren’t big droolers, but it happens.

Although cats don’t always respond to food by producing excess saliva, it’s not an unusual sight. If you give your cats food and see saliva droplets around their mouth, just know it’s normal. Dogs like the Boston terrier drool a lot more than cats. Drooling in our feline friends is

generally, only saliva drops or bubbles around their mouths.

Your cats may also start drooling when under stress. For instance, if your cats get anxious during the ride to the vet, they might begin drooling. Other stressful situations that can trigger a cat’s drooling include fireworks, unfamiliar animals, moving to a new home, and loud music.

When does your cat’s drool become abnormal?

If your cat is drooling continuously, it becomes concerning. Under typical conditions, cats will stop drooling after the triggering event ends. If a cat isn’t trying to show contentment or excitement for food, something else could be behind the drooling.

Some health conditions can make a cat drool, and these require medical attention. Here are a few possible reasons for abnormal drooling in cats:

Dental disease

You might have experienced this one before. Anything irritating your teeth and gums can result in excess saliva.

Dental diseases that affect cats, such as gingivitis, stomatitis, and cat cavities, may cause drooling. This excessive saliva production helps soothe the irritated area in your cat’s mouth.

Other symptoms of feline dental diseases include:

  • Bad breath
  • Dropping food
  • Blood in saliva
  • Facial swelling
  • Difficulty eating
  • Preferring soft foods

Dental diseases require medical attention, and it becomes an emergency if your cat stops eating. Unlike humans, cats can’t bear going days without food.

Your vet will examine your cat’s mouth. Imaging tests help your vet determine your cat’s diagnosis and treatment.

Foreign body

A curious or playful cat can swallow a foreign object. This object blocks the GI tract and causes nausea which triggers drooling. Typical foreign objects that cats might swallow include strings and ribbons. Despite common cartoon depictions, cats should not play with balls of yarn.

If you look into your cat’s mouth and find half a string hanging out, head right to the vet. Don’t attempt to pull out the ribbon yourself. You can’t tell how far down your cat’s gut it extends. If the string is wrapped around internal structures, pulling it could cause further damage.

Fortunately, you can get it removed at your vet’s office. Vets will need to confirm the location of the string or other foreign body first. An abdominal ultrasound or X-ray will reveal the location of the foreign object.

Heatstroke

Cats aren’t the most likely to get heatstroke; it’s still possible if they can’t regulate their body temperature properly. In hot weather, cats cool down by panting and sweating through their foot pads.

If the temperature doesn’t go down, your cats might get exhausted and experience a heat stroke. If your cat is drooling on a hot day, it might be because they’re having trouble regulating body temperature.

Other signs that your cat may have heat exhaustion include:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Red tongue and mouth
  • Rapid pulse and breathing
  • Stumbling, staggering gait
  • Rectal temperature over 105° F

If your cat shows these signs, offer plenty of drinking water. Additionally, a soak in cool water can also help lower their body temperature.

No sign of improvement? Take your cat to your vet immediately. They might need IV fluids or other treatments to stabilize their condition.

After eating something unpleasant

Did you just give your cat their medicine?

After taking pills or other unpleasant-tasting substances, your cats may start drooling. Try giving them some water to help wash off the bitter taste in their mouth. They’ll stop drooling once their mouth tastes normal again.

After ingesting something toxic

Your cats may also drool after ingesting toxic substances. If you see your cat drooling and you didn’t give them oral medication, check that they haven’t swallowed something else.

Look for toxins such as poisonous plants, insecticides, and chemicals. If you suspect your cat has ingested something deadly, take them to the vet as quickly as possible.

Trauma

Anything that causes trauma in your cat’s mouth may cause drooling. For instance, a cat who just chomped an electrical cord may have burns inside their mouth. A cat fight may also result in internal mouth scrapes and scratches.

The excessive salivation that follows may be helping to soothe the injured part of your cat’s mouth. Oral injuries may be tricky to see. However, if you notice excessive drooling, a visit to your vet might be necessary.

Cats may get pain management and other treatments to help them recover. Switching their diet to softer meal options can help reduce irritation while your cat recuperates.

Tumor

Cancer affecting your cat’s oral cavity can cause excessive drooling. Oral cancer in cats may affect the tongue, gums, tonsils, and palate. It may also extend into the upper and lower jaws.

Reduced appetite is one of the earliest signs of oral cancer in cats because the tumors are extremely painful. Your cat’s nutrition is affected since they’re not eating well. Bad breath, blood in saliva, and facial swelling are also common with feline oral cancer.

Your vet will need to investigate your cat’s condition with a physical exam, biopsy, and imaging tests. Treatment options for feline oral cancer include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and palliative care.

When should you take your drooling cat to the vet?

If you can’t identify why your cat is drooling, it could be due to a hidden medical condition. Your cat may also show other symptoms along with the drooling such as:

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Bad breath
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Upper respiratory signs (sneezing/nasal discharge)

Tests at your vet’s office help determine what’s causing the drooling. After diagnosis, cats can get suitable, condition-specific treatment.

Rules on cat drool

Cats may drool when satisfied or content, but it won’t look like how your dogs drool. Rather, you may notice some saliva or bubbles around the mouth. Food may also make your cat produce excess saliva.

Drooling isn’t usually an issue, but it may indicate underlying health troubles. Conditions that may cause worrisome drooling for cats include trauma, tumors, dental disease, eating unpleasant substances, heatstroke, and ingestion of foreign bodies.

Your vet may order blood work and imaging tests to identify why your cat is drooling. After diagnosis, your vet can give your cats the best therapies to manage their condition.

If it turns out that your cat is just drooling normally, you can continue giving them the best care. Thankfully, you can access valuable information for caring for your pet from Spot Pet Insurance.

Here at Spot Pet Insurance, we do our best to provide helpful cat info. We care deeply about your cat’s health and want to be with you every step of the way. For other helpful info about cats, check out our Spot Pet Insurance webpage! Here we provide you with educational materials that can help you with the best foods, toys, safety, cleaning tips and care tips for your cat. We also offer personalized pet insurance plan options to help keep your cat protected in case of unexpected accidents and illnesses.

Sources:

What to Do If Your Cat Drools | The Spruce Pets

Heat Stroke in Cats | PetMD

Know the Signs of Poisoning in Dogs and Cats | Pet Poison Hotline

Feline Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma | NC State Veterinary Medicine

Why Is My Cat Drooling? | PetMD

Feline Dental Disease | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

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