When most people think of drool, they think of dogs with jowls, like Saint Bernards and Mastiffs. But dogs aren’t the only ones who can produce excess saliva; cats sometimes drool too, and you shouldn’t ignore it when it happens.
So why do cats drool, and when is it time to see the vet? Let’s take a look.
Some cats drool when they are happy, excited, or extremely relaxed. A cat who is getting a serious rubdown from a loving owner, for example, may feel so soothed and serene that they forget to swallow! For many cats, purring and drooling go hand in hand, but you should still mention it to your veterinarian at your cat’s annual check-up. They may want to check your cat out to ensure that the drooling is not related to a larger health issue.
RELATED STORY: Is My Cat Weird? 5 Freaky Feline Behaviors
Some cats produce excess saliva in response to stress or fear. For example, many cats drool in the car, at the vet’s office, before or after receiving an injection, or in response to a bad-tasting or toxic food or medication (or in anticipation of it, if they’ve had it before). Oftentimes, stress-induced drooling will be accompanied by stress-related purring; that’s right, purring isn’t always positive. Sometimes it signals fear or discomfort.
If your cat’s drooling is related to stress or fear, it should stop when the cat’s circumstances or environment changes. However, if the drooling continues or if you notice any other symptoms, contact your veterinarian; something more serious may be going on.
RELATED STORY: Diets to Treat Cat and Dog Stress
Medical Issue-Related Drooling
A cat may also produce excess saliva and drool as a result of certain medical issues, including:
- Oral pain, often related to dental disease
- Motion sickness
- Difficulty swallowing
- Feline herpes
- Upper respiratory infection
- Kidney disease
- Disorders of the esophagus, stomach, or intestines
Does your cat drool? Leave us a comment and let us know, and sign up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.