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

 In Cat Health, General

It’s a fact of pet ownership that dog owners are all too aware of – drool. Slobber. Saliva. It’s part of who they are.

For years that fact was used by many to argue against getting a dog and choose as a pet – a cat. Here’s the big reveal though – cat drooling is a thing!

Some cats drool and can’t really control it, it’s part of who they are. Other cat’s drool for a very specific reason. Understanding the differences, and what you can do, can make you a happier cat owner and make your cat healthier (and drier).

So let’s answer the question you must be thinking – Why Is My Cat Drooling and What Do I Do About It?

Cat Drooling As a Sign of Happiness

When you bring out your cat’s favorite treat, do they need a towel too? For many cats, drooling is a sign of happiness.

Drooling mainly occurs when a cat gets excited. Say when they get a treat or extra attention.

Cats that drool for these reasons can turn the spigot on and off depending on their mood. Sometimes a cat drooling signifies a more serious message from your cat.


Cat Drooling As a Cause for Concern

Considering fashioning a bib for your best feline friend? Suddenly more water then fur when you two cuddle? Your cat may not, in fact, be trying to drive you away, cat drooling could be a cry for help.

A drooling cat could be suffering from a number of conditions including:

    • Stroke
    • A respiratory condition
    • Oral concerns
    • Poison intake
    • Liver disease

Don’t panic yet though! Just because your cat has started to drool doesn’t mean that they should be rushed to the hospital.

When a cat is having a medical incident there will generally be multiple symptoms together. For example, is your drooling cat also suffering from nausea?

Are they short of breath? Has your cat stopped eating or has their bathroom habits changed?

It’s important to notice even the smallest of changes. On their own these can be nothing but added together they can point to a larger concern.

If you have multiple cats, has just one started to drool or could all of them now use the service of a mop? What’s the age of your now wet cat?

The last question is important because older cats can present for very specific conditions when they start to drool. For example, cancer.

The Big C

Oral cancer in cats, also known as feline oral squamous cell carcinoma, is particularly prevalent in older cats. With early detection though you have the possibility to give your furry friend a new lease on life.

If you start to detect your cat drooling, either when they haven’t before, or more frequently, or not just because it’s “treat time,” you’ll want to schedule an appointment with your vet. A vet will give your cat an exam and may order blood work to rule in or out, cancer.

If cancer is detected, surgery is an option as is radiation. What will be the determining factor will be the placement of the tumor and then the most effective treatment to give your cat the best quality in their remaining years.

Check Your Yard

If your drooling cat is an outside one, or if they are an indoor cat who recently took an adventure, you’ll want to get out to see if you can retrace their steps.

One of the things to be looking for is the type of plants that may be around. There are a number of plants that are mildly poisonous to cats.

If a cat eats one of these plants they’ll feel their mouth start to burn thanks to the insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that these particular plants contain. A few small bites shouldn’t kill a cat, but that mouth on fire will lead to a certain outcome – cat drooling.

The plants in question include:

  • Calla lily
  • Elephant ear plant
  • Schefflera
  • Peace lily
  • Diffenbachia
  • Snake plant

If you don’t have any of these plants in your yard, don’t immediately write this off as a potential cause to those puddles around the house. Remember, cats aren’t particularly known for their ability to follow boarders so you might peek into the neighbor’s yard also.

I’m So Scared

Just as some cats drool when they are excited, other’s…well the term that comes to mind is “scaredy cat.” Yes, some cats drool when they get scared.

This is an option to look into if your cat starts to resemble a sponge. Are there significant changes that have taken place recently that might be adversely affecting your cart?

Have you moved? Has someone moved in nearby? New roommate with a new pet? Or lots of travel? Some cats can not tolerate a ride in the car, no matter who’s driving.

What You Can Do

If you are dealing with a cat drooling, you need to pay particular attention to the circumstances that trigger those drooling incidents. If you can pin it to “treat time” or some similar stimulant, then mystery solved.

If though your cat is more steadily drooling, and for no apparent reason, you need to get them to a vet as soon as possible. After you make an appointment, take that walk around the yard or catalog the items in the house, paying particular attention to those items that look like they have gone a few rounds with your cat.

You’ll want to be looking for something that the cat might have injured themselves on or that they could have ingested. If you don’t find anything, it’s ok, not finding anything is just as good as finding something.

After all, you’re just looking for any information that you can gather to share with the vet. As with any doctor’s appointment, going in with as much background as possible only helps move things along faster.

It’s important that if you realize that you have a cat drooling, you don’t panic. You know your cat better than anyone so look them over and trust your instincts.

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