Why Is My Cat Drooling? Is it Normal?
If you have ever owned a dog, you will be well aware that they tend to drool a lot. But drooling in cats is something which is altogether rarer. So, if you notice that your kitty has started to drool, you will want to have a better understanding of what is going on to confirm that everything is normal. There are several different reasons why your cat may be drooling, so we need to talk abut a range of possibilities to give you a clearer idea what the problem is likely to be.
In general, the reasons cat be split into three main categories. First, you have the pathological conditions which can result in difficulty swallowing due to pain and/or inflammation. Second, you have irritations in your cat’s mouth that they are trying to get rid of. Finally, there are the emotional stimuli which can cause this action. Generally, drooling should not be regular and should only be in small quantities. If this is not the case, it is a good idea to have your cat checked out by the vet to make sure that everything is okay. Early diagnosis of any underlying issues is always going to be the best way of getting them treated effectively.
As promised, here are six of the main reasons why your cat is drooling.
Reason One: Dental Diseases
One of the most common reasons why your cat is drooling is some sort of dental issue causing an irritation in their mouth or throat. In these cases, the action of drooling is usually an effort to remove the irritation or simply to soothe it. The vast majority of cats over three years old suffer from some sort of dental issues, which is why it is so important that you work to look after your feline’s pearly whites.
There are plenty of reasons why proper dental care is so important. Obviously, you help to prevent irritating and painful dental issues, which can then lead to a significant expense to put right again. But these problems can also be dangerous as they spread their way to other parts of the body, which can lead to serious complications. If you want to stop your cat from losing their teeth, it is important that you take some action. And from your point of view, it is much more pleasant if your cat has fresh breath. Especially when they like to show their affection close to your face!
There are several ways to better protect your cat’s teeth. Make sure that you stay observant of any issues as cats are notoriously good at hiding any pain they are feeling. Take them in for a yearly check up with a professional. Cleaning your cat’s teeth on a regular basis is a good habit to get into, but this is much easier if you start off when they are young. You are likely to need some practice yourself to do the job effectively. Feed your cat a combination of wet and dry food and try to vary the meat that you are providing too. Any treats should be given in moderation.
Reason Two: Oral Pain and/or Cancer
Oral pain can result from treatable conditions like dental disease or mouth sores. But it can also stem from more serious issues like oral cancer. Although this is a lot less common than dental or viral issues, cats are liable to develop cancer in anywhere in their mouth from the back of their throat to the tip of their tongue. As you would expect, drooling is a common side effect. If you are at all concerned that there may be a serious issue such as cancer, a complete examination should be undertaken by your vet. Make sure that you highlight to them the drooling issue, so they have the fullest picture of what is going on.
Reason Three: Foreign Bodies
While this is a less common reason than the previous two, it is still one which is worth mentioning. It could be that a foreign body has entered your cat’s mouth, usually because they have eaten it. This can be anything from a blade of grass to a small bone. It could be something which tastes bad or even something which is toxic to your kitty. If something has become lodged in your cat’s mouth, drooling is one way to try and clear it, along with other actions like pawing at their mouth, gagging, or vomiting. Drooling usually occurs as swallowing has become uncomfortable for your pet and the saliva has started to build up in the oesophagus and needs to be released somewhere.
Reason Four: Other Medical Issues
There are other medical issues besides the ones we have covered which could be causing the issue. One possibility is a viral respiratory condition causing ulcerations in the mouth. It is common that this results in an increase in saliva flow. Other medical issues which could result in increased drooling include problems with their gastrointestinal tract, liver, or kidney. Be aware that if it is a gastrointestinal issue, it is more likely that your cat could be blowing saliva bubbles rather than drooling in a continuous stream. Otherwise, it could be something as simple as your cat feeling nauseous. Motion sickness is an issue is some cats. For others, the apprehension of something unpleasant like getting in the car is enough to set them off. Be warned that this drooling can often precede vomiting, so make sure to line your cat’s travel carrier with something that is easy to clean! Generally, this drooling should stop at the end of the car ride.
Reason Five: A Reaction to Medication
If your cat has recently started taking a new medication, this is another possible cause of their drooling. Cats have different reactions to medication, so you should always be aware of any possible side effects. While one cat may have no reaction, another one could start drooling as a result of the new drugs in their system. If the medication has a particularly unpleasant or bitter taste, this is a possible culprit which could be causing drooling.
Reason Six: An Emotional Response
Finally, we have the different emotions responses in your cat which could be causing their drooling. Excitement and fear are a couple of the main possibilities. But it could also be caused by your cat feeling extremely happy and relaxed. If your cat drools when being stroked, it is likely to be a physiological reaction to the content way they are feeling. Some owners will also notice their cat drooling while they are asleep.
Is Drooling Ever Normal in Cats?
Now we come to the question that you probably want answered the most. As just discussed at the end of the previous section, there are plenty of cats who drool as an emotional response, which is commonly joy or apprehension. If your cat only drools at certain times when you can tell what sort of emotional state they are in, it is likely that this is perfectly normal. If your cat has suddenly started drooling having never done this before, this is more cause for concern. One of the other five reasons above are possibilities, and most of them relate to medical issues, so you will want to have your kitty checked out by a professional at the earliest possible opportunity.
If you find that your cat starts drooling but stops again fairly quickly afterwards, you probably don’t need to rush out to the vet straight away. However, if the drooling is continuous and accompanied by other symptoms such as pain, a pawing at their mouth or a loss of appetite, it is more likely that there is another issue which could be at play. In fact, a lot of the problems which could cause drooling are dental related, and these are often preventable if you take could care of your cat’s pearly whites using some of the steps which we discussed in more detail above.
What to Expect at the Vet
If you take the cat to the vet due to the drooling issue, they should give a full oral examination including looking at their teeth, gums, and tongue. They will be monitoring for any sources of pain and other symptoms. If the problem isn’t immediately clear, they may start asking questions about anything that your cat could have ingested such as poisonous plants. If nothing is obvious still, the vet can then start running a few diagnostic tests such as blood tests and radiographs.
If you are concerned about your cat’s drooling, it is better to be cautious and set your mind at ease. Cats can hide their pain very well, so it is not immediately apparent that something is wrong. If there is an issue, it is always better if it gets treated early, so your kitty has the best chance or returning to normal quickly.