Why Does My Cat Drool?
Your cat will drool for a variety of reasons that range from them being relaxed and happy to them having serious health conditions. The reasons cats drool can be broken down into 3 main categories:
- Mood & Emotions
- External Stimulii
- Health & Wellness
Cats produce A LOT more saliva than most cat owners realize. The only reason we don’t see these copious amounts of saliva is because cats are much better at containing their saliva than dogs are. If you have any questions, doubts, or uncertainties please call your vet!
Happy & Comfy Kitty!
Sometimes whenever cats get a little too happy they might actually start drooling! This isn’t exactly a common occurrence, but enough cats do this that we feel it was important to mention in this list.
If your kitty is nice a comfy they might start drooling while you pet them or while they sleep. For some cats, kneading makes the comfortable enough to start drooling as well!
They're Scared or Anxious
Another reason cats might drool is when they’re feeling scared or anxious. When a cat’s anxiety levels go up, they will sometimes start salivating.
Your cat might be drooling in their carrier on the way to the vet. They might be drooling because they’re scared of all the boxes if you’re packing your house up to move. (How To Safely Move With Your Cat)
If your cat is scared or anxious you should try and move them to a safe and calming space. I know this isn’t always possible, such as on trips to the vet. Once your cat feels safe again they will stop drooling, assuming anxiety or fear was the original stressor.
Eating Something That Tastes Bad
If your cat eats something that they don’t like the taste of, it might cause their salivary glands to kick into overdrive. This response helps them remove the bad taste from their mouths.
If your cat eats something dangerous or poisonous they will usually throw up. However, if you feel your cat may have gotten into something that can be harmful to them then you need to call your vet immediately.
Something Is Lodged In Their Throat or Esophagus
Sometimes cats will eat something that won’t exactly travel safely down their throats and into their digestive systems. Usually it’s something like a blade of grass, a leaf, or some kind of hair or fuzz that they were playing with. The excess saliva helps the object or food travel down their throats to be digested.
If your cat is choking on something that is lodged in their throats then you should call your vet or nearest pet emergency center ASAP.
Your Cat Is Sick
There are numerous medical reasons that can cause cats to drool. If you’re certain that nothing else on this list is causing your cat to drool then they might be sick and you should call your vet immediately.
Stomatitis, or inflammation of the cats gums and lips, can cause excessive drooling. Gum disease and abscessed teeth can also cause cats to drool. Sometimes cats may drool simply from being in pain.
Another health-related reason for cats to drool is from being too hot or if they’re suffering from heatstroke. This is especially true if you have a flat-faced cat. Read our guide on How Hot Is Too Hot For Cats? to avoid heatstroke in the future for your kitty!
Normal Cat Drool
Whenever dogs drool they will get these big long wisps of saliva that dangle or drip out of their mouths. Cat drool looks MUCH different! Sometimes cat drool might simply look like a little spec of saliva on their chin. Other times you might not even see any drool but you can feel a tiny wet spot on the blanket they were laying their head on.
As we mentioned above, normal cat drool can occur from your cats being happy and comfy. Whenever kittens are nursing they will knead their mother’s belly. They will also salivate more when nursing. This response sometimes follows cats into adulthood where they might drool every time they knead or make biscuits.
Abnormal Cat Drool
A cat that is continuously drooling is not normal and is likely associated with a health condition. This is especially true if you’re not able to pinpoint your cat’s drooling to any specific foods or recent exposure to anything.
When in doubt you should ALWAYS give your vet a call and follow their guidance. An in-person visit will likely be required.
Pictures of Cats Drooling
Featured image is credited to Debbie Drubin of Debbie’s Pet Sitting. ig: debbiespetsitting
Orange kitty drooling is credited to Kristin Pesce. ig: lichen8