why do cats drool

Why Do Cats Drool? Understanding the Causes

Unlike some dogs, cats drool infrequently and unnoticeably. The majority of drooling is intermittent and involves only a tiny amount of saliva. If your cat is drooling excessively, you should have her inspected by a veterinarian. Some of these causes can be rather serious, therefore early detection is always preferable.

Causes Why Do Cats Drool

If you see your cat drooling, she may be unwell or stressed—or she may be completely relaxed. There are several reasons and causes why your cat may drool, and they generally fall into three categories:

1. Pathological Disorders Cause Cats to Drool

Cats Drool Because of a Dental Disease

Certain disorders, such as dental disease, cause oral irritation. Drooling is an attempt to alleviate or soothe the irritation in the mouth or throat in certain instances. Dental problems are typically the cause of excessive drooling. Up to 85% of cats over the age of three have tooth or gum disease. The produced saliva may be bloodstained or odorous.

Cats drool when they are in pain, according to Ethan Nunnally, DVM, of Large & Small Animal Medicine & Surgery, Animal Health Center in Albia, Iowa. “Your cat may have stomatitis, a condition characterized by inflammation of the mouth and lips,” he explains.

Inflammation may be a sign that your cat is suffering from a mouth infection. “Cats may drool as a result of gum disease and abscessed teeth,” he explains. A consultation with your veterinarian is necessary.

Cat Drool and Oral Cancer

Oral malignancies in cats can arise anywhere from the tip of the tongue to the back of the throat, although being considerably less prevalent than dental or viral infections. These disorders cause excessive and persistent drooling. This is a sign that your cat should have a thorough checkup by your veterinarian, with a focus on dental issues.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most prevalent oral cancer in cats, and it can develop in either the jaw bones or the tongue. It is a deadly cancer that typically goes undetected until the tumor has spread.

Feline Upper Respiratory Infection Causes Cats Drools

Some cats with viral respiratory diseases develop oral ulcers, resulting in increased saliva flow. So what exactly is a feline upper respiratory Infection?

A common ailment in cats is feline upper respiratory infection. It’s similar to a cold, but it’s far more serious. It is caused by several viruses or bacteria and affects the upper airway (nose, throat, and sinuses) rather than the lungs.

The symptoms of feline upper respiratory infection vary depending on the origin and location of the infection, however some frequent clinical indicators of upper respiratory disorders in cats include gagging and drooling.

Viruses can be discovered in infected cats’ saliva, tears, and nasal secretions. They spread easily through physical contact, such as caressing and grooming, or when cats cough and sneeze on one another. Viruses can also live on surfaces shared by cats, such as food and drink bowls and litter boxes. People who have contaminated hands or clothing can spread them from one cat to another.

The majority of cats infected with feline herpesvirus will carry it for the remainder of their lives. Even if they don’t appear to be sick, they may be able to transfer it. A mother cat with a new litter of kittens is one example.

Drooling Cat Due to Kidney Failure

Kidney failure is a leading cause of death in cats, both acute and chronic. Chronic renal failure (CRF) causes weight loss, increased thirst, increased urination (bigger clumps of urine in the litter box), dilute urine, halitosis (poor breath), and drooling. The kidney generally removes BUN and creatinine. These amounts cause uremic ulcers in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. The sooner you discover CRF symptoms, the sooner your vet can treat it and the longer your cat lives! Your vet may use IV fluids, medication monitoring, and stomach protectants

2. Irritants Make Cats Drool in Their Attempt to “Wipe Away the Discomfort”

Something is in Your Cat’s Throat.

If your cat has access to houseplants or is left outside, she may have swallowed a plant leaf, a blade of grass, or another object that became caught in her mouth or esophagus. A foreign body in these regions can make swallowing difficult for your cat, and she will likely drool in response. They may claw at their lips or vomit, but the point is that swallowing is painful for cats. If you believe this has occurred, consult your veterinarian.

Your Cat Ate Something Bad.

Your cat may slobber after eating something unpleasant. Generally, poisoned cats vomit. They may drool to get rid of a nasty taste they’ve eaten (in the same way you might drool if you taste something bad). Taking the cat to the vet, is what you should do if you notice an uncharacteristically drooling.

3. A Stimulus to an Emotion

Your Cat May Be in Fear

Drooling can occur when a cat is angry, frightened, or afraid. A cat also drool, It is usually caused by nausea and the fear of vomiting. Motion sickness can occur as a result of driving a car or from apprehension. In either case, it usually comes to a halt at the end of the journey. If your cat drools out of fear, it will not last.

Drooling can be caused by fear alone. Your cat may drool excessively if she feels threatened. If possible, get her to a safe place away from the stressor, and she will stop drooling once she feels safe again.

Your Cat May Be Anxious

Your cat may drool if you put her in a carrier and drive her to a vet visit. Cats dislike change in general, and something out of the norm, such as a car journey, may increase their anxiety levels as well as the activity of their salivary glands. If this occurs, simply wait out the stressful circumstance, and your cat will cease drooling.

Cats Drool When They Are Happy

When some cats are extremely calm and like being touched or cuddled, they may slobber. This is not unusual and just reflects a physiological reaction to happiness. Similarly, some cats may drool while sleeping, most likely due to their relaxed state. Consider it like the small moist spot on your pillow after a good night’s sleep. This form of drooling is frequently indicative of a contented cat.

Some cats drool when they are happy, according to Marilyn Krieger, Certified Cat Behavior Consultant in San Francisco and author of Naughty No More: Change Unwanted Behaviors Through Positive Reinforcement. “They may possibly be kneading,” she adds. “Drooling is a pleasant activity in some cats.”

Consider it a reaction to the happiness of being with you, but if you don’t like the drool, Krieger offers putting a blanket or washcloth under your cat while petting her, so you don’t get drooled on. “Don’t try to change it or be upset by it,” she advises. “Some cats merely drool.”


There are three main reasons why cats drool: They are sick, they are not feeling comfortable, and because of an emotion (fear or joy). Take your cat to the vet for a checkup if it’s drooling excessively. Don’t wait until you find out what’s wrong with your cat, early detection is always preferred. Your cat may be suffering from an allergic reaction to food or has been eating too much. Some cats drool to “wash away” irritants, while others drool when they are happy or in fear.

Your cat may slobber after a bad meal if it gets stuck in its mouth or throat. If you see unusual drooling in your cat, take it to the vet. Some cats like being petted by their owner, may also drool as a way of expressing their happiness.

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