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Drooling In Cats Explained – Why Does My Cat Drool?

Looking for a guide to tell you why your cat drools? Then this article is for you. Discover whether you should be worried or not over your cat drooling and what does it mean in different situations. Read on and learn what to do about excessive drooling.

Cats are not known as big droolers. However, they do drool in moments of purr-fect happiness, when they feel secure, lovely and relaxed, or sick. Even when they drool it may go unnoticed. Reasons for cats drooling are many and they can be divided into pathologic conditions, emotional stimulants and some sort of irritation.

Some of these causes may be serious, while some are just emotional reaction. But, early detection is always best as well as getting familiar with drooling overall.

As a cat owner, you’re probably well aware that cats drool as well. Although it is usually not in large terms, it happens and most of the time it’s not dangerous or anyhow related to your feline’s health.


Every cat owner knows how his cat acts in certain situations and how the cat acts when it’s happy, sad or even mad. Because let’s keep it real, our feline friends are known for being vicious from time to time. That’s how you know that when cats purr they are happy, and they are extremely happy if they are offering a few head butts. Furthermore, from time to time cats can get super happy and on cloud nine. In those rare moments, cats will drool on their owner.

And when it happens owner sees it as ultimate affection and an overall purr-fest sigh of love, or even a compliment. On the other hand, there are probably a few veterinarians who would disagree on that belief. That different belief doesn’t come without a reason, as drooling may be a sign that something is amiss.

Cat owners are surely familiar with the behavioral signs of kitty contentment. Happy cats will purr, knead their paws, and offer up a few head butts for good measure. Occasionally, cats on cloud nine will drool on their owners. As the owner of such a cat, you will interpret the flow of saliva as the ultimate compliment.

So, drooling means that they are happy, sad, hungry or sick? It can mean everything and nothing.

What Does it Mean When Your Cat is Drooling?

It is time to pack your feline friend and take her to the vet’s office if you have noticed excessive drooling for a longer period of time. There are certain conditions that may cause excess drolling, like a dental disease. But, before we tackle and explain all of the possible diseases we will explain the difference between normal drooling and abnormal drooling in cats.

Normal Drooling in Cats

Normal drooling is common for most of the cats while they are purring. Its a sigh of relaxation and contentment. Said in simple language – they are happy.

Furthermore, there is a scientifically supported fact between drooling in cats and happiness. Drooling is often connected with kittenhood. Kittens are known for kneading their purfect paws on their mothers to stimulate milk release. Behaviors like this one lead to a comforting and satisfying meal, as well as nurturing the bond between mother and kittens.

These behaviors are even saved in adulthood when moments of happiness are associated with kneading paws and it stimulates some drooling because of the link to nursing. In general, purring often accompanies the kneading and famous drooling.

So, this love formula is simple:
Healthy cat + making biscuits on your stomach + purring = drooling.

However, although cat’s don’t drool like dogs on sight of the food it can still happen and it’s nothing to worry about. Your feline buddy is probably just excited for eating that delicious food that you got him prepared.

Good to know: Drooling may be temporary. This happens if your cat went through some kind of stress like a car ride or even vet visit. So, if the drooling was short-lived and stop on their own, there is likely little cause for big concern or concern at all.

Abnormal Drooling in Cats

If your furry friend drool constantly, and you can’t connect it with a feeling or food, then it is a sign that something is missing on a healthy level. At this moment it’s crucial to take your cat to the vet. After all, the vet is the only one that can detect problems before the cat shows any of the signs.

It is always a responsible move to take your cat to the veterinarian office at least once a year for a routine checkup. Even if the cat seems healthy.

Why Would a Cat Suddenly Start Drooling?

In a nutshell:

  • Purr-fect happiness
  • Showing love
  • Relaxation
  • Food
  • Health problems
  • It is just something that they do

What Is Drooling a Symptom Of?

Before we get familiar with all the health issues that might be related to abnormal drooling, let’s first mention saliva.

Saliva is continuously created by the salivary glands. Ptyalism is a condition of excessive production of saliva. Common reasons for oral problems and any most of the disorders connected to the central nervous system, are the foundation for ptyalism and following drooling.

Preudoptyalism is a condition in which a normal amount of saliva has been produced, and it shouldn’t be mistaken with ptyalism. The main difference is that pseudoptyalism may lead to many anatomic abnormalities like:

  • abnormal alignment of the teeth, known as malocclusion
  • inability to reluctance to swallow because of pain

In some cases drooling may be a signal for one of these serious conditions:

  • Dental disease
  • Poison ingestion
  • Liver disease
  • Food
  • Respiratory infection
  • Malocclusion
  • Ingestion of a foul-tasting substance
  • Nerves or stress
  • Foreign object or tumor in the mouth
  • Nausea

However, you need to take your feline friend to the vet to get a professional to diagnose. There are certain conditions that produce high irritation of the mouth, like a dental disease. Therefore, drooling is an effort to remove the irritation in the mouth or throat.

Drooling Conditions

Excess drooling is a common cause of dental disease. Its typical for a 3-year-old cat or older to have some sort of gum or tooth disease. In that case, saliva may have a strong and unpleasant smell and traces of blood.

Kidney failure is the #1 killers of cats. This condition can be either acute or chronic. Chronic renal failure is known for specific signs that are seen in clinical signs of weight loss, increased urination followed by increased thirst, bad breath which is a sign of halitosis, and excessive drooling.

Although it is not common, some cats can develop oral cancer that can be spread from the tip of the tongue all the way back to the throat. These specific conditions are a result of ongoing and excessive drooling.

Cats are explorers in the first place and they can creep in inside the smallest and darkest places in the house. During their house adventures they can come across a piece of glass from a glass that you broke a few months ago, or a fish bone, extremely small button or anything else that may seem interesting and lost. This is not a common thing, but it happens. In that case, excessive drooling may be due to a foreign body.

In addition, your feline friend can drool when fearful or upset. State of fear can reinforce drooling and lead on to nausea and the apprehension that precedes vomiting. In most cases, motion sickness may be a result of simply driving, for example. If that’s the case it will stop at the end of the ride.

There are cats that can develop crucial respiratory conditions, in a certain period of life, like ulcerations in their mouth, finally resulting in higher level of saliva flow.

Is Your Cat a Plant Lover?

Less known cause, but still a big real danger is having plants in your surrounding that can be poisonous for your cat. Certain plants like tulips and azaleas can make cat drool on a regular base and make her sick, so try to avoid them if possible. If not, make sure that your cat stays away from it and from eating it.

Poisonous plants: Common plants like tulips, azaleas, and chrysanthemums can make your cat drool, as well as make her sick, so don’t let your feline friend eat them. For a list of poisonous plants, check with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Also, one of the most common reasons for cat drooling is heat, in case your cat spends time outside. If your feline friend is an outdoor cat bear in mind that excessive time outside without clean water, and in the too hot sun, can lead to excessive drooling that can be a sign of a heat stroke. If you think this is the case, call the vet.

Good to know:Cats with flat faces are more susceptible to heat stroke. This is the common case with Persians.


A number of diseases can be prevented by a few simple steps, that will take just a few minutes of your time on a daily or weekly level.

  • Dental diseases – brush your cat’s teeth once a day. Use only cats toothpaste
  • Heat Stroke – always have fresh water available and keep your feline friend inside on very hot days, or limit their movement
  • Never leave your cat in a locked car
  • Plants – keep only plants that are safe for your cat
  • Motion sickness – Put the cat occasionally into the carries in the backseat of your car without driving. With time, you can move from out of the driveway and slowly increase the speed
  • Regular checkups – Bringing your cat for regular checkups may prevent many illnesses
  • Make sure that you wash your hands from unknown pets before you pet your cat. This is important especially if you have a kitten and want to avoid eye infection
  • Stick to vaccine schedule

Cost of Drooling

Yes, drooling will cost you money, and that’s just one of many reasons why prevention matters. How much money you gonna spend depends on the cause of the drooling. Treating this condition can vary in cost.

For example, if your cat is diagnosed with tooth decay, an average cost would be $800. More dangerous conditions, like poisoning or heat stroke, are more expensive treatments with an average price at $2500.

Furthermore, the upper respiratory infection may cost $500, while treating motion sickness can cost around $200.

You are the one who knows your cat’s habits the best. For this reason, you’re the one who can notice first if your feline friend’s acts differently. Little drooling during your petting moments is O.K.

On the other hand, excessive drooling is a sign to contact your vet, because your vet is the only one who can verify infection and treat it.

However, you can take a few steps to make your cats life happier: treat cats teeth regularly, keep your cat up to date on vaccines and vet visits, indoors and away from other pets if possible.