We all know that when a dog drools, it’s pretty commonplace, but did you know that cats also drool? In fact, you might be playing with your favorite feline and see some saliva coming out of the corners of his or her mouth.
But, not to worry, it is usually short-lived and harmless.
Why Is My Cat Drooling?
The good drooling… or the harmless drool!
If your cat drools when you open a can of tuna or is excited when you pet your kitty, this is the good drooling. Think of this as similar to purring.
Some cats will drool when they are a little nervous, such as a ride to the vet’s office or getting a dose of medicine! And some cats will salivate profusely when scared.
Others actually suffer from motion sickness, while some smack their lips and foam at the mouth if they feel nauseated or are about to vomit a hairball.
Not to worry, all of these causes of drooling are usually benign and short-lived.
Drooling Can Be a Sign of a Health Problem
But if your cat is drooling or foaming at the mouth for no obvious reason or lasts for more than an hour, then it’s time to call your vet.
There are two main reasons why drooling can occur (the not-so-good drooling) and could be a sign of a more serious problem.
There are usually two main reasons why your cat might be drooling: there is a problem occurring inside your cat’s mouth (oral problems) or there could be something else going on in your kitty’s body. And, this is when you need to contact your vet as soon as you can.
- Dental or gum disease
- Something foreign in the mouth (fish bone, string wrapped around tongue, stick)
- Oral mass (tumor), ulcer or laceration
- Salivary gland cyst
- Bee stings
Your cat might also have bad breath, blood-tinged saliva or refuse to eat the usual foods. You might notice that not only is your cat drooling, but that he or she might look uncomfortable and paw his or her mouth.
Other Health Problems Associated with Drooling
- Disorders of the esophagus, stomach, or intestines—blockage, nausea
- Advanced kidney disease
Your cat could also be drooling because he or she was exposed to toxins
If your cat is exposed to some sort of toxin, like a household cleaning product that might have been or licked off his or her fur and/or some house plants might have burned the lining of the mouth, this will cause drooling.
Certain flea dips and insecticides are very toxic to cats and may cause drooling. There can also be additional symptoms such as vomiting, muscle tremors, weakness, and lethargy. If your cat has these symptoms or you suspect a chemical exposure, go to your vet immediately. Bring the labels or product information with you if possible.
Next time you find your cat drooling, let’s hope it’s the happy or short term drooling. And, as always, if you have any doubt, please consult your veterinarian.