A cat sitting by a window in a watercolor painting.

Why Do Cats Drool?


One sunny afternoon, Emma sat down to relax with her beloved cat, Luna, purring on her lap. As she stroked Luna’s soft fur, she noticed something wet and slimy on her hand. To her surprise, it seemed that Luna was drooling excessively. Concerned about this unusual behavior, Emma consulted with her vet and learned that drooling in cats can be due to various reasons, ranging from benign to serious health issues.

Saliva plays many roles in cats’ health. For example, it protects the teeth from bacteria and viruses. It also helps keep the mucous membranes moist and healthy. During grooming, cats use their tongues to clean their faces, ears, eyes, paws, and tails.

Cats drool because it helps keep their mouths clean. Saliva contains enzymes that help break down food, and saliva also moisturizes the tongue. This allows the cat to eat without getting too dry. They might also do it because they are bored, anxious, curious, stressed, sick, or thirsty. Cats also drool while eating or drinking, but these are normal behavior.

why do cats drool?

Normal Reasons Your Cat May Be Drooling

Cats often drool, but what causes it, and how do you know if it’s normal? Here are some common reasons why cats or kittens might drool.

1. Bored

The most common reason cats drool is boredom. When a cat has nothing to do, he often licks his lips. This can be an annoying habit that needs to be addressed. If your cat is constantly licking his lips, try putting him in another room with toys or food. Consider giving him some treats and playtime.

2. Stress

Another reason why cats drool is stress. A cat who is feeling stressed will often lick their lips as if trying to calm itself down. It’s essential to keep your cat happy and relaxed so this problem doesn’t worsen. Try playing with them, feeding them, and providing plenty of attention.

3. Anxiety

If you think your cat is suffering from anxiety, there are ways to help. One way is to give your cat a massage. Another option is to put your cat on the floor and let him walk around. Your cat should feel free to explore without being restrained.

4. Illness

If your cat is ill, he may have trouble keeping himself hydrated. This could lead to excessive saliva production. To prevent this, make sure your cat gets enough water. Also, try adding more wet foods to his diet.

5. Medication

Some medications can affect your cat’s saliva production. These include antihistamines, antidepressants, painkillers, and antibiotics. Talk to your vet about any changes in your cat’s drooling.

6. Thirsty

Your cat may also drool when he is thirsty. He may lick his lips for several minutes before taking a drink. In addition, he may lick his paws after drinking. Make sure your cat always has access to fresh water.

Abnormal Drooling in Cats

There are other reasons why cats drool. Hyperthyroidism is one possible cause of excessive saliva production. This is a common problem among older cats. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much hormone. As a result, the body produces excess amounts of thyroxine, which stimulates the pituitary gland to release TSH — Thyrotropin Stimulating Hormone.

When TSH reaches high levels, the pituitary gland releases prolactin, which triggers lactation. Prolactin also stimulates the mammary glands to produce milk. In addition, prolactin increases blood flow to the salivary glands, causing them to secrete more saliva.

abnormal drooling in cats

Other conditions that can lead to excessive drooling include diabetes mellitus, upper respiratory infections, dental disease, nausea, foreign bodies lodged in the mouth, and certain types of heart disease. Other causes include stress, anxiety, depression, and psychological disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.

1. Diabetes Mellitus

Cats suffer from diabetes mellitus (DM) just like humans. DM causes abnormal drooling in cats. The condition may be mild or severe. Mild cases cause saliva to dribble out of the cat’s mouth. Severe cases result in excessive salivation.

If your cat suffers from DM, you should monitor its health closely. First, your veterinarian will test your cat’s blood glucose level. This is done by drawing small blood from the cat’s ear vein.

2. Upper Respiratory Infections

Cats suffering from respiratory infections drool. Bacteria or viruses usually cause upper respiratory infections. They’re common in cats because their nasal passages are not designed to filter out germs.

3. Dental Disease

Dental disease often leads to excessive saliva production. Tooth or gum disease affects up to 85% of cats over three years old. A tooth abscess, an infection of the gums, or gum disease can cause your cat to drool excessively.

Gum disease (periodontal disease) affects the gums around your cat’s teeth. The bacteria that cause this disease can enter through minor cuts in the mouth, such as those caused by chewing on objects like toys. As a result, cats who suffer from gum disease tend to drool more than usual.

When this happens, brushing your cat’s teeth regularly is essential. This helps prevent bacteria buildup and gum infections. And since cats are prone to gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), brushing them daily is vital.

4. Nausea

Nausea can cause your kitty to spit up. Saliva contains digestive enzymes that aid digestion. Spitting up helps remove these enzymes from the stomach. Sometimes, they drool when they’re sick. This is because they may be experiencing nausea due to food poisoning, stomach flu, kidney disease, or another illness.  

If your cat seems to suffer from nausea, take him to the vet immediately. Your veterinarian should examine your cat and determine whether he needs medical treatment.

5. Foreign Bodies

Foreign bodies in the stomach can cause excessive salivation. In addition, foreign bodies such as coins, plastic bags, pieces of string, and toys can get stuck in the esophagus. If they do, your cat may start spitting up.

To help prevent this problem, keep your cat away from areas where he can find toys or other items that he might swallow. And if you notice your cat does accidentally eat something, take him to the vet right away.

6. Heart Disease

Heart disease can affect your cat’s ability to swallow correctly. It can also cause fluid retention in the lungs. These fluids can then leak into the trachea and cause coughing. Coughing can trigger excessive saliva production.

7. Psychological Disorder

Psychological disorders such as OCD and schizophrenia can cause your cat to lick his lips excessively. He may even start licking himself. Cats with neurological diseases often present with facial or oral signs. These disorders affect the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, muscles, and organs.

drooling excessively

What Should You Do if Your Pet is Drooling Excessively?

If your cat is drooling excessively, it could mean there is something wrong with his teeth, gums, jaw, tongue, palate, throat, esophagus, stomach, intestines, or pancreas. Many things can cause excessive drooling, and some require veterinary care.

The best thing to do if your cat is drooling is to take him to the veterinarian immediately. He’ll likely receive medication to help control the symptoms. You can also ask your vet about home remedies that might work better for your pet.

When to Worry?

1. If your cat has been drooling excessively for more than 24 hours.

2. If your cat has not eaten for at least 12 hours.

3. If you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior.

4. If your cat appears lethargic, weak, or unwell.

5. If your cat is having trouble breathing.

6. If your cat has an open wound on its face or mouth.

7. If your cat has a fever.

8. If your cat has developed diarrhea.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cats usually drool when they’re happy, excited, or stressed out. So it’s normal for cats to drool when you pet them. However, if your cat doesn’t normally drool, he might feel extra affectionate today!

If your cat seems interested in your actions, he might even start licking his lips. This could mean that he wants some attention from you.

It would be best if you never forced your cat to stop drooling. Instead, try giving him lots of love and attention. He’ll probably enjoy it so much that he won’t want to keep doing it!

If your cat frequently drools, especially after eating, drinking, or playing, she might have some medical problem. Based on what I read, only 2% of cats drool for non-medical reasons. It’s normal for cats to lick themselves occasionally. Still, if your cat licks her lips excessively, has a poor appetite, drinks water constantly or seems lethargic, you should bring her to the veterinarian immediately.

If your cat is drooling excessively, there are several things you can try to help reduce the amount of drool.

  1. Make sure that your cat is getting enough water. Cats who don’t get enough water often produce excess saliva.
  2. Keep your cat away from foods that contain salts, such as table salt or salted meats. Salt causes saliva production to increase.
  3. Consider giving your cat a special diet designed specifically for cats with dry skin.
  4. Give your cat a good brushing every day. Brushing helps remove loose hair and dead cells from your cat’s coat, which reduces the amount of saliva produced.
  5. Use a wet towel to wipe up any saliva that gets onto furniture or floors.

Cats often drool after taking medicine because the medication stimulates their salivary glands. 

When cats feel scared, their body releases a hormone called ‘adrenaline.’ This hormone triggers the cat’s survival instinct and causes it to react more quickly than normal to protect itself from danger. Part of this reaction includes an increase in saliva production, which explains why cats often drool when scared.

Another possible reason for drooling could be the preservation of moisture in the mouth. When cats are scared, they tend to stay very still and don’t want to expend too much energy – so by drooling, cats can maintain their optimal hydration levels and avoid expending extra energy to drink water.

Cat drooling is one of the most visible signs that your feline enjoys being petted or groomed. When spending time with a cat, you may also notice them licking their lips – a surefire sign that your cat feels relaxed and content.

Though cats can give off definite cues when they’re blissful, don’t be alarmed if your cat doesn’t react this way – some cats aren’t enthusiastic about being petted and may not expect any reaction at all!

Cats drooling in the car is common, though it can be quite alarming for cat owners. When cats feel anxious or stressed, they may lick and groom more often than usual. As saliva builds up in the cat’s mouth, it can begin to drool. This is thought to be an instinctive behavior linked to self-soothing–similar to how humans might curl up into the fetal position when feeling overwhelmed.

Cats also like looking out of windows while moving, so tripping in the car can provide them with a change of scenery and help break the boredom. Unfortunately, as cats become more interested in their surroundings, they may start drooling due to increased excitement or stress levels.

One of the most common causes of drooling in cats is dental disease. Cats who experience inflammation and infection in their mouth, gums, and teeth may start to salivate excessively due to pain and discomfort. If this is the case with your cat, it should be taken to the vet immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

Another possible cause is gastrointestinal issues such as stomach ulcers or an obstruction caused by a foreign body or hairball in the intestines. This can cause pain, nausea, and increased saliva production as an adverse reaction.

Sometimes cats can also become stressed by stimuli such as loud noises or changes in their environment. When this happens, they may produce extra saliva out of fear in anticipation of something bad happening to them. Allowing ample time for your pet to adjust to its new surroundings can help ease its anxiety levels significantly.

One reason why cats might drool while purring is that they are in a relaxed state. Cat’s muscles may relax enough when they purr that the mouth opens slightly, releasing saliva. Other cats may even start to knead and suckle on blankets or fabric, which can also lead to drooling.

Simply put, cats drool because they’re happy. A purring cat with a lolling tongue can be one of the most comforting sights and sounds a cat owner can experience. That’s because when they’re feeling relaxed and content, cats may involuntarily secrete saliva. Other reasons for cats drooling include feeling anxious or being in pain. And in some cases, the act of grooming can induce salivation in cats too.

Another factor behind why your feline companion drools could be just plain ol’ thirst. Cats, in particular, tend to overproduce saliva, and if your fur baby isn’t properly hydrated, she might show excessive salivation as a tell-tale sign of dehydration.

Drooling could be a sign of an injury to the roof of the mouth. If a person sustains an injury to this area, tissue can become inflamed, leading to pain, inflammation, and increased salivation.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this veterinary website is intended for general educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a licensed veterinarian for any concerns or questions regarding the health and well-being of your pet. This website does not claim to cover every possible situation or provide exhaustive knowledge on the subjects presented. The owners and contributors of this website are not responsible for any harm or loss that may result from the use or misuse of the information provided herein.

Similar Posts