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Why Do Cats Drool? Ask Your Vet!

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Lexically, the word ‘drool’ means to dribble, slobber or slaver; saliva fluid dribbling out of the mouth. Unlike dogs, your cat does not drool a great deal, but if she does, it is a matter of concern. To test if she drools, scratch her chin or find or see if the spot where she has been lying down is damp. The first and best option for you is to ‘ask your vet.’

At the same time, it is pertinent that you know something more about your cat’s drooling. The reasons for your cat’s drooling fall into three major categories:

  • Pathologic conditions that may be caused due to inflammation, inability to swallow or pain
  • Emotional stimuli
  • Irritations marked by her scratching of body

If the drooling is intermittent and involves dribbling of a small amount of saliva, there is nothing for you to worry about. But if it persists, be alert for early detection because some of the causes may lead to serious conditions.

The following may be one of the reasons for your cat’s drooling

Dental Disease

Feline Resorptive Lesions (FORL) is a major cause of dental ailments. It is also known as the Cervical Line Erosion. FORL can ensue at the juncture of gum line and tooth, marked like a red hairline along her gum. However, in case if your cat possesses many hardened plaques over the teeth, you may not be able to see the gum lesion.

If affected by FORL, your cat will feel extreme pain, irritation, and ruptures of the teeth. Some bad smell may emanate from her mouth. In such case, your cat drools in her effort to sooth or remove irritation in her throat or mouth. It has been found that over 85% of cats over the age of three have symptoms of gum or tooth diseases.

Respiratory Conditions

The viral respiratory conditions can develop ulcerations in your cat’s mouth that cause an excessive outflow of saliva.

Oral Cancer

Although less common, your cat may develop cancer on the tip of the tongue or back of the throat. In such case, there will be excessive and ongoing of drooling.

Take your cat the vet for a thorough examination of oral conditions. White cats lack pigmentation and are more at risk for aggressive cancer called Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC).

Kidney Failure

It is known as Chronic Renal Failure (CRF). It may lead to increased urination, weight loss, and large masses of urine in the dirty litter box, halitosis, dilute urine, and drool. Kidney filters creatinine, and BUN.

If they develop in the bloodstream, then they cause uremic ulcers in esophagus, mouth, and stomach. To avoid any risk to your cat, ask your vet.

Presence of Foreign bodies

If your cat is drooling excessively, it might have swallowed a blade of grass, a small fish bone or even a tiny sewing needle. These objects might have got stuck in her mouth or esophagus. She might paw at her mouth, trying to vomit.


When your cat gets frightened by any external stimuli, she gets excited or upset which may also cause drooling. Your cat is subjected to nausea or apprehension, just before vomiting. This may often cause drooling. However, such situation does not persist for a long time.

Relaxed and Elated

Your cat may also drool when she is extremely relaxed or elated when subjected to petting or cuddling. This is only a psychological response to happiness.

Even, when extremely relaxed while fast asleep, she can drool. This is an indication of a happy cat, and her action is known as ‘the drool of happiness.’ In such situation, her jaw hangs open, slightly.

If your cat drools out of happiness, take note of certain areas of her body that stimulates her drooling while massaging. If she drools on rubbing her chin, avoid it and focus your petting on some other areas of her body. It is also advisable to keep a washcloth or towel handy. You can also relax her using coconut oil for cats.

Other Reasons

There are a number of other factors that may cause drooling of your cat. These may include tooth decay, plant poisoning, corrosive poison, Trauma, trouble in swallowing, nervous breakdown, kidney failure, or even a heart stroke. In certain cases, besides drooling, your cat may show other worrisome symptoms.

Some poisonous plants like the peace lily, umbrella plant, calla lily, elephant ear plant, and mother-in-law’s tongue contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals; when ingested by cats create intense burning of mouth.

Nausea may signal upset of stomach or inflammatory bowel disease. For any unusual drooling of your cat, you must consult your vet so that it does not lead to any potential medical issues.

If you find your cat, vomiting, not eating, undergoing weight loss, diarrhea, bad breath, dropping from the mouth, unable to close her mouth, ask your vet immediately and keep your furry friend, free from fright, foreign bodies, and Feline Resorptive Lesion.

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