Cat Drooling: What Does It Mean in Kittery, ME
If you’ve noticed your cat drooling, you may wonder if it’s normal. You cat may have left just a little dab, or her chin may be wet with drool. Cats do drool, and it may or may not be normal. This article will discuss cat drooling, and when it’s fine and when your cat should be seen by her veterinarian.
Is Drooling Normal for Cats?
A happy, relaxed cat may drool and it’s perfectly normal. These cats probably picked up this behavior early in their kitten-hood. When cats are content, it often leads to purring and kneading, which stimulates drooling. When an older cat without a history of drooling suddenly begins to drool, it may be a sign that something is wrong.
It’s also possible for cats to drool from stress. This could be caused by loud noise, car rides, a trip to the vet, or other things the cat finds stressful. This is temporary and should be of little cause for concern.
If your cat begins drooling and it’s constant, there may be a health issue behind it. There are several medical conditions that require veterinary care that could be causing the drooling. Contact your veterinarian.
Reasons For Cats Drooling
These are some of the most common reasons why cats drool.
Some cats, when very relaxed and enjoying attention, such as petting and cuddling, may drool. This is a response to their joy. Some felines will drool when they sleep. These are typically indicators of happy cats.
Cat Dental Issues
Mouth pain can have a lot of different reasons, but the most serious are oral masses, tumors, and dental diseases. Cats can suffer quite a bit from dental diseases.
Dental disease in cats (oral inflammation, gum inflammation, cavities, tartar, resorptive tooth disease (loss of enamel coating)) can all cause drooling.
Other signs of cat dental disease/issues include:
- Bad breath
- Dropping food
- Chewing with their head tilted to the side
- Difficulty eating
- Wanting only soft food
- Blood tinged saliva
- Weight loss
- Mouth gaping open
- Poor grooming
Other oral issues that can cause drooling:
- Something stuck in the mouth
- Oral tumor/mass
- Broken teeth, abscessed teeth
- Chemical irritation
Contact your veterinarian for an exam. Problems with eating will lead to weight loss and a decrease in health.
Cats with a neurological disease may drool if their ability to chew food and swallow is compromised. There would most likely be other signs of neurological disease which could include:
- Issues with moving the tongue
- Problems picking up food
- Balance issues
- Overall body weakness
Many diseases can cause neurological symptoms. If the cranial nerves are affected, there will be more localized issues which only affect the face. If there’s a health condition encompassing the whole body, there could be signs in multiple areas of the body.
Upper Respiratory Viruses
These respiratory viruses can cause oral ulcers and drooling. In addition to drooling, there may be:
- Eye discharge
- Nasal discharge
- Not eating or drinking as normal
Contact your veterinarian for an exam.
Fractures of the skull or jaw or injuries to the mouth can cause drooling. Sometimes cats will chew on electrical cords which could result in burns and oral ulcerations that lead to drooling. Contact your veterinarian. Your cat may need pain control and supportive care.
Excessive drooling may be a result of a foreign body lodged in the mouth, esophagus or the GI tract. The cat may paw at their mouth, try to vomit, and due to discomfort, will not swallow normally. If there is a string or ribbon hanging out of your cat’s mouth, DO NOT pull it out. You can cause serious damage and harm to your cat. Contact your veterinarian immediately.
A nauseous cat or a cat that has been vomiting may drool a lot. There are many possible causes for nausea and drooling, from internal parasites to disease.
Exposure To Toxins
Cats can ingest, chew, or lick a poisonous substance and may drool excessively. Some toxic items may be:
- Toxic foods
- Toxic plants
- Flea/Tick preventatives not meant for cats (never use dog medication on a cat. It can be fatal.)
If you suspect your cat has been exposed to toxins, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Cats such as Persians (flat faced cats) are more likely to suffer heatstroke. Make sure your cat has plenty of water and not too much sun. Common signs that a cat is too hot are restlessness and drooling. Pets can suffer severe heatstroke. There will be an increase in the cat’s body temperature. Heatstroke can shut down a cat’s organs. Do not put off calling your veterinarian. Heatstroke can be deadly.
Unfortunately, cats can get cancer. When they develop a cancerous mass in the tongue, mouth, or back of the throat, they may:
- Have bad breath
- Bleed from the mouth
- Have difficulty eating/swallowing
- Unable to fully close their mouth
Tasting something bitter, like oral medication, can cause a cat to drool and it can be dramatic.
Some diseases can also cause drooling. These disease are:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
Never ignore drooling if your cat is not a drooler and suddenly starts. Dental issues can put cats in constant pain. Contact your veterinarian and follow their guidance. Cats are very good at hiding signs of illness. Often, by the time you find out something is wrong, your cat is very ill and needs help immediately.
If your cat doesn’t drool from happiness when being petted and made over, and she suddenly starts drooling, don’t delay calling your veterinarian. There are many serious reasons that could be behind your cats sudden proclivity to drool. Your cat could be experiencing painful dental issues, or she could have a serious medical condition that needs treatment. It is your responsibility as a cat parent to get to the source of any new drooling and make sure your cat is healthy and happy. Or to see that she receives any needed treatment for a health problem.
If you cat is drooling in the Kittery area, please call our vet at (207) 439-2661.