Why do cats drool – and is it dangerous?

It’s not a particularly common sight, but it can happen: cats drool. Sometimes because they are completely relaxed. But sometimes there can be pain or nausea behind it.

Most cats don’t drool often or a lot. Nevertheless, there is usually no need to worry if your pussy’s chin is damp with saliva or if her spit leaves a dark stain after getting up. In many cases it is perfectly normal for cats to drool too. If there is excessive salivation, there can also be medical causes behind it.

Usually, the causes of cats drooling can be broken down into three categories, writes veterinarian Dr. Mike Paul. These are:

  1. pathological complaints that lead to inflammation, pain or difficulty swallowing
  2. Irritations that the cat wants to “flush out”
  3. emotional stimuli

Relaxed cats drool

If your cat drools for emotional reasons, the triggers can be positive as well as negative feelings. For example, you can sometimes see cats saliva while they purr and ” knead ” their paws . That shows how relaxed the kitties are.

The same thing can happen when your cat is sleeping. Even then, she is very relaxed and may drool. You probably know that from yourself: Sometimes you take a nap – and when you wake up there is a wet stain on the pillow.

“Drooling is normal when your cat is relaxed, calm and satisfied,” explains veterinarian Dr. Alison Gerken opposite “The Dodo”. “If your cat is drooling while you’re with you, take it as a huge compliment that your cat is enjoying this interaction.”

Cats see their humans as parents, a study has now shown.
Photo: unsplash.com/Severin Demchuk (symbol photo)

When cats drool from stress

But stress and fear can also lead to cats drooling more often. For example, when driving a car, at the vet or when it is louder than usual at home. You can tell that your cat is stressed by the fact that it is panting and breathing with its mouth open in addition to drooling.

If the stress drooling only occurs occasionally, there is usually no need to worry. If your kitty seems to be stressed regularly, you should seek veterinary advice.

Is drooling a sign of hunger?

Do cats drool when they see food? Unlike dogs, this is not the case with most cats, but it can happen. Sometimes the drooling is also a reaction to what is eaten. “If your cat starts drooling immediately after you give her a drug, it is likely a sign that the medicine is bitter,” said Dr. Gerken.

When is cat drooling a sign of illness?

Excessive drooling in cats can be a sign of illness, injury, or foreign objects. “Cats are great at hiding illnesses for too long until they are very sick, so any change in your cat’s behavior, including drooling, should be viewed as a potential health problem and quickly examined by the vet,” warns Dr. Gerken.

One of the most common disease-related causes is dental disease or gum problems. In this case, your cat’s saliva may contain blood or smell unpleasant. Possible problems in the oral cavity include: inflammation of the roots of the teeth, inflammation of the gums, inflammation of the oral cavity, mouth ulcers or tumors, tooth injuries, and infections.

In addition, wounds or injuries in and around the oral cavity can cause your cat to salivate more than usual. For example, from broken jaws or burns. The main reason for this is that they are very painful for cats. Your velvet paw will then avoid swallowing as much as possible, which causes the saliva to accumulate.

Often times, drooling in sick cats is accompanied by other symptoms, such as bleeding, bad breath, difficulty chewing or swallowing, or because food falls out of the mouth and the cat frequently touches its face with its paw.

Other reasons for drooling in cats

In addition to problems in the oral cavity, gastrointestinal problems or kidney disease can cause your cat to suddenly drool a lot. Because these often cause nausea – and that can lead to drooling. Your cat may also vomit and have diarrhea.

And: Sometimes cats drool when a foreign body is stuck in their mouth or esophagus, for example. Often it is, for example, a long hair, a blade of grass or even pointed objects such as a fishbone. In such cases, you should never take action yourself, but go to the vet immediately, who can remove the foreign body in a species-appropriate manner.

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