Is it normal for cats to drool? Reasons why your cat is drooling

Have you noticed your cat drooling a lot lately? Don't worry, TAG24 can tell you what that's all about.

Drooling is rather rare in cats, but can be quite harmless.
Drooling is rather rare in cats, but can be quite harmless.  © Unsplash/Miron Cristina

It is not uncommon for cats to drool, and in most cases excessive saliva is completely harmless.

However, if the drooling is accompanied by other symptoms, it could point to a health problem.

Unlike dogs, whose mouths start watering just from looking at a treat, drooling is not necessarily common in cats.

Here's how you can know if your feline friend just happens to be the slobbery type or there's something more serious going on.

Cats drool when they're relaxed

Drooling with pleasure: cats can salivate when they're feeling perfectly relaxed.
Drooling with pleasure: cats can salivate when they're feeling perfectly relaxed.  © Unsplash/C. Z. Shi

Your fluffy pet is snoozing on your lap. Suddenly, you notice a wet spot underneath its head.

There's usually nothing to worry about in this scenario.

Cats typically drool when they're feeling particularly chilled out. A nice, cuddly spot or a purr-fectly delightful petting session can make them literally drool with pleasure.

This frequently happens during their many catnaps. Saliva production increases as the fur ball gets comfortable and slips into a state of complete relaxation.

So there's no need to fret over a bit of leakage here and there. On the contrary, it's a sign that your cat is feeling content.

Drooling as the symptom of an illness

Drooling can also indicate an oral disease.
Drooling can also indicate an oral disease.  © 123rf.com/Vadim Guzhva

If a cat seems to be slobbering all the time, however, it's time for owners to check for potential problems. The animal might be suffering from an undiagnosed condition.

There are a few diseases that cause excessive salivation:

1. Oral diseases

Swollen gum, tooth tartar, dental problems in general and mouth wounds can be a possible reason for constant drooling.

In addition, discoloration of the gums, bleeding, or discomfort when eating – which can lead to cats refusing to feed – are all signs of oral pain, which needs to be urgently addressed.

Going to the vet is essential, because dental diseases and medical issues in the jaw area should not be underestimated. The bacteria that cause swelling in the mouth can spread to internal organs and do even worse damage later on.

2. Cat flu

Drooling can also mean your pet has a case of the kitty flu.

This typically also involves other symptoms. Just like with humans, a sick cat will cough and sneeze a lot, its eyes will constantly water and it will lose its appetite. Excessive sleeping can be tricky to spot in cats, but a visible crusts around the nose and eyes, as well as difficult breathing and swallowing, are more obvious signs.

If in doubt, it's always best to check with the vet.

3. Poisoning

A lot of dribble could also point to poisoning. If a cat has ingested a toxic substance, this is often the first noticeable symptom. Drooling becomes an important alarm signal when your feline has eaten the wrong kind of food, a poisonous plant, or unsuitable medication, so be sure to act quickly!

4. Medication

Sometimes, however, intensive salivation is actually the symptom of the treatment, not the disease. Certain types of medication, especially the kind that has to be administered orally, can cause drooling in cats.

Even ear or eye drops can have this side effect.

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Some cats are just a bit more leaky than others.
Some cats are just a bit more leaky than others.  © Unsplash/Shubhankar Sharma

Most of the time, you won't need to give your cat's slobbering a second thought. It's probably just floating away in a state of complete relaxation.

But constant vigilance is required when the drooling appears alongside other signs that something might be wrong.

Whatever the situation, if there's any suspicion at all of a health issue, a visit to the vet's office can't hurt. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Cover photo: Unsplash/Miron Cristina

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