Dogs are known to drool a lot. A cat drooling, though, isn’t a usual sight, but it happens. So when your cat’s mouth starts to drool, cat owners can’t help but wonder – why do cats drool? Is this behavior normal, or should I be worried?
Whether it’s just a little drool or non-stop drooling, Feline Living – your go-to site for anything cat-related – is here to tell you the real deal behind that cat drool.
This includes all the possible reasons why your seemingly sophisticated pet kitty is suddenly drooling, and more.
Cat Drooling: Is it normal?
We often see dogs drool, and this is because these lovable canines have four major salivary glands, making them drool machines. But did you know that cats have five major salivary glands?
That's right, but despite the number, cats drool but not as much as dogs. So there’s no need to contact your vet if your cat drools.
As long as it’s just a small amount of drool and it doesn’t happen frequently, you can consider your cat’s drooling a non issue.
Why Do Cats Drool? 6 Possible Reasons
Is your cat drooling? If yes, there are six (6) possible reasons behind the sudden gush of saliva coming out of your cat’s mouth. Check out below and see which one fits the bill.
Yes, you read it right. Your cats’ emotions can trigger excessive salivation.
So, if you see your cat drool after a visit to the vet or after being cuddled, the culprit behind your cat’s drooling is just that.
And you know what? The drooling can happen when your cat is feeling uber happy or anxious. This type of drooling, though, is normal and is only temporary.
Joy, Contentment, and Relaxation. Being petted (at the right time) often gives your cat pleasure. As a result, your cat will start to knead. Both actions stimulate drooling. In this case, you can say that drooling equates to pure satisfaction.
Other times, you’ll also notice your cats drooling while they’re sound asleep. Like humans, a cat’s facial muscles tend to relax while sleeping. When this happens, the stored-up saliva can leak through the sides of the mouth (all thanks to gravity).
Stress or Fear. Open-mouth panting is a sign of stress or anxiety. As an after effect, your pet cat may start to drool. Motion sickness can also make your cat drool.
But just like joy or contentment, this physiologic response caused by loud noises, visits to the vet, or car rides is also short term and stops when the stressor is no longer present or once your cat is calm and relaxed.
One foreign body that cats often swallow is a string. But that’s not all that cats swallow. Cats can also scoff down stuff like grass, a fish bone, or even a sewing needle. Obviously, swallowing these inedible things spells trouble.
Besides dealing with the bad taste, these things can get stuck in your cat’s throat, stomach, and intestines. When this happens, your cat will have difficulty swallowing. Saliva will also build up in their mouth, causing drooling. They may also try to vomit.
Now, if you see a string hanging in your pet cat’s mouth, you better not pull it. The string might be wrapped around something in your cat’s digestive system, and tugging on it might only lead to severe problems.
To top it off, most cats don't like getting their mouth checked (unlike dogs). So to be safe, let your veterinarian handle the situation.
Exposure To Poisonous Plants And Other Toxins
It's possible that your cat has been exposed to something toxic like poisonous plants (think azaleas and tulips), pesticides, chemicals, and toxic food. Exposure to these elements often results in drooling.
To get a list of poisonous plants, toxic food, and chemicals, check out ASPCA.
Oral issues like trauma or burns caused by cat fights, unforeseen accidents like getting hit by a car, or your cat chewing on an electrical cord can also cause your cat to drool.
In this case, excessive drooling is a sign that you need to get your cat checked by a vet immediately.
Excessive thirst caused by heat stroke can also make a cat drool. While this rarely happens, it’s still possible, especially for brachycephalic or flat-faced cats (think Persian cats).
Take note that cats do sweat, but not in the same way humans do. Unlike humans, cats primarily cool themselves through panting rather than sweating.
Underlying Health Problem
If it's not an emotional stimulus or if there is nothing stuck in your cat’s mouth, your slobber-filled pet cat may be drooling because your cat is sick. Here are a few possible health concerns your pet cat might be having:
Mouth Disease Or Dental Disease
Cats that salivate excessively might be suffering from a mouth or dental disease. Dental issues like tooth decay, mouth ulcers, and gum disease are common causes of drooling among many cats.
Pulling your cat’s lip gently and inspecting its teeth and gums is one way to check if your cat has oral problems. If you see brown teeth, bleeding gums, and blood-tinged saliva, you better seek veterinary advice ASAP.
Besides dental diseases, cats can also develop oral cancer. This can appear in your pet cat’s tongue and throat. This condition, like dental disease, also results in excessive drooling, and will also require you to set up an appointment with your cat’s veterinarian.
Viral respiratory conditions like upper respiratory infections can also result in increased drooling. Like other diseases, you’d want your cat to be checked by a vet if your cat shows signs of drooling plus lack of appetite, sneezing, or coughing.
Organ diseases like liver and kidney disease can also cause cats to drool excessively. Apart from that, gastrointestinal problems and internal parasites often lead to nausea and vomiting. Both of which often lead to slobbering behavior.
If your cat shows signs of excessive salivation accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and the like, the chances of your cat being sick is high. So, contact your vet right away.
Did you say that your cat is drooling? If it’s just a small amount and if it’s only temporary, then there is nothing to fear. After all, drooling is normal in cats.
However, it’s a different story if your cat is drooling excessively. When the drooling doesn’t go away, and isn’t triggered by emotions, this type of drooling warrants a visit to your local veterinarian.
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