You may be used to seeing our dogs slobber and drool, but what does it mean when your cat drools? Should you be alarmed? Is it normal? Do happy cats drool? The simple answer is yes to all of these questions.
A little drool can be harmless, but large amounts of saliva can be produced by your cat for all kinds of reasons, so knowing when you need to be concerned is essential for any cat owner. If your cat is drooling excessively it is a good time to have her examined by your veterinarian. Some of these causes can be very serious, and early detection is always best.
Medical Reasons Your Cat May Be Drooling
According to Dr. Sam Gilbert, VMD, Zoetis Petcare HQ Medical Lead, when cats have mouth issues, especially those that cause irritation or pain, they can drool. A cat’s body, like our own, produces extra saliva to help soothe the mouth and throat and remove possible irritants. Here are a few medical problems that may be causing your cat to drool:
- Dental problems. If your cat has dental disease and/or disease affecting their gums, tongue, or the roof of their mouth, it can lead to drooling and even significant pain.
- Oral injury. You may see drooling if your cat has some sort of mouth trauma like a cut or puncture.
- Foreign object. Drooling can be triggered by something as simple as a small piece of plant debris getting stuck in your cat’s teeth or gums.
- Nausea. Cats can become nauseated from a variety of illnesses, like gastrointestinal upset, liver or kidney disease, as well as ingesting toxins. Anything that can cause nausea can make your cat drool. But it is also important to keep in mind that nausea does not always cause drooling and signs of decreased food intake or interest, vomiting, or lethargy should prompt a trip to your veterinarian.
- Problems swallowing. When cats have difficulty swallowing for reasons like oral disease, nerve problems, injury, or swelling, they will drool.
If you notice that your cat is suddenly drooling, especially with the presence of blood and/or an odor, you should take them to your veterinarian for evaluation.