We all have seen dogs drool excessively, so it shouldn’t be a big deal with cats right? Unfortunately, cats should not drool as much as dogs do. It’s important to find out why your cat is drooling. Excessive or abnormal drooling is often a sign of oral and gum disease, but sometimes it can be caused by heatstroke, poison exposure, fear, or injury. However, there are instances where drooling is absolutely normal for your cat such as when they are kneading or relaxing. It’s important to understand the difference between normal drooling and excessive drooling. This will help you figure out if you should go to the vet or not.
Is Drooling Normal for Cats?
It is not typical for cats to drool, however, some felines will drool while they are kneading or purring. Cats do not usually drool when they smell something delicious or see food, as dogs do. But, if your cat does salivate before a meal, or when a delectable smell lingers in the air, there is nothing to worry about.
Drooling can also occur when your cat is ultimately relaxed or content. This is connected to how cats nurse. Whey they are kittens, felines will knead their paws on their mother’s stomach to signal that they are hungry. The kneading helps the release of milk from the mother as well. As kittens get older, they start kneading in their environment while relaxing. Because that reflex was originally tied to nursing, some cats will salivate when kneading.
Just like we salivate when we get nauseous, a cat might salivate before it regurgitates a hairball. It’s not a pretty sight but it is normal for cats to spit up hairballs from time to time. If you notice your cat is drooling before or after it hurls up a hairball don’t be alarmed. However, if your cat is having trouble passing a hairball or experiencing pain from it you should be concerned and may need to go to the vet.
Want to learn some hairball home remedies and preventative tips? Or do you want to know when a hairball is normal, or if you should be concerned? Check out this article next: Cat Hairball Home Remedies [Top 12 Tips]
When is Drool not Normal?
If your cat is constantly drooling, there may be a problem. This is especially true if the drooling does not appear to occur around joy or eating. Owners should contact their vet if they believe their cat is excessively drooling. Once again, your cat should not drool with the same frequency or intensity as dogs.
Drooling can also be a sign of a medical ailment. Dental disease or irritation in the mouth can lead to excessive drooling. If you lift your cat’s lips and notice brown and yellow teeth with red or inflamed gums, that could be the cause of the drooling. Another sign you will surely pick up on if your cat has dental disease is foul breath.
A cat’s bad breath can also signal respiratory issues, which is another reason your cat may drool. Some respiratory disease and oral cancers also cause excessive drooling in cats, but if this is the case you will need to get professional advice and confirmation from your veterinarian.
Stress and fear can also cause a cat to drool abnormally. Although stress can be a common problem amongst cats it is not normal. Just like with us, prolonged stress in cats can lead to a multitude of medical issues.
As we know cats are curious, some love toys and hunting. Sometimes a cat will get a piece of a chew toy or prey stuck in their teeth or throat. Naturally, they will salivate to try and “wash” away the lodged item.
Symptoms of Abnormal Drooling in Cats
Abnormal drooling in cats can be identified as salivation that doesn’t appear connected to relaxation, joy, food, or an occasional hairball. Random, seemingly unnecessary, and consistent drool can leave your cat’s chin soaked.
Often times excessive salivation is the symptom to a much bigger issue. Take your cat to the vet if you believe your pet is excessively drooling. If you do not brush your cat’s teeth or provide them with dental cleaning of any kind, the abnormal drooling is most likely caused by oral or dental disease.
Why is my Cat Drooling?
There are many reasons why your cat may be drooling. Abnormal drooling can be a sign of oral and dental disease. Toxin exposure, stress, a lodged foreign object, and heat stroke are also common causes of excessive drooling.
Cats are known to be experts at dealing with pain, and will not show that they are suffering until the situation is dire. Many times, drooling is a way for owners to identify that their cat is in pain, although they are not showing it.
Oral and Dental Disease
Gum disease, infections, tooth injuries, ulcers in the mouth, and tooth resorption can all lead to abnormal drooling. Animals are great at hiding their pain. This is because evolution has caused animals to feel like showing pain is displaying weakness to predators.
Drooling is something that can’t be hidden though. Painful ulcers or tooth resorption cause drooling and inflammation. If you believe your cat has oral or dental disease, please visit the vet immediately. They have several methods to assist from professional cleanings to tooth removal.
If a foreign object becomes lodged in your cat’s mouth, it can cause abnormal drooling. The remnants of chew toys often get stuck in the mouth. Blades of grass, animal carcass, and string can all be culprits as well. If you open your cat’s mouth and find a foreign object lodged somewhere, do not pull it out. Inspect the object first.
A string that is coming from the throat can be wrapped around an organ, and pulling it could cause painful damage. Immediately take your cat to the vet if you are in this situation. If the object is just lodged in the teeth or gums, you can use a toothpick to try and pry it free. Be careful not to knock the object back into your cat’s throat.
Ingesting or licking poisonous material can cause your cat to drool abnormally. Poisonous materials can range from insect sprays to toxic plants. Flea and tick preventatives made for dogs can be toxic for cats as well. Exposure to poison can be deadly, and owners should take their cat to the vet if they believe toxins are the cause of drooling.
Trauma to the mouth can cause your cat to salivate excessively. For example, a can with a broken jaw will drool abnormally. Chewing electoral cords, eating or biting prey that is spiked, and accidental tooth removal are all injuries that cause excessive drooling. Many times, owners will not be able to see the injury in the mouth prior to noticing the drooling.
Has your cat sustained a recent injury? Do you suspect it is in pain? Check out this article next regarding what you can give a cat for pain relief.
Vomiting and nausea can lead to abnormal drooling. The root of the vomiting and nausea should be the owner’s main concern. Gastrointestinal ailments, kidney disease, and diabetes can all cause feelings of nausea in your cat. The best thing to do if your cat is vomiting or nauseous is to see the vet. Nausea in cats can be identified by excessive meowing which typically accompanies the abnormal drooling.
Heatstroke is more common in cats with flattened faces, such as Persian cats. Dehydration and heatstroke can lead to abnormal drooling. Make sure you are supplying enough water for your cat, and it is drinking regularly. Also, give your cat a space where there is some shade to escape the sun.
Stress or Fear
Did you know that stress and fear can cause excessive drooling? Stress can be caused by the introduction of a new pet to the environment, moving apartments or houses, getting a new roommate, loud noises, separation fear, or flashing lights.
A cat’s fear can be caused by a long list of factors such as car rides, vet visits, a perceived predator being introduced to the home (like a dog), and excessive noise.
Typically, drooling in these circumstances is temporary and stops once the stress or fear factor has been removed from the environment. Your cat should become acclimated to a new roommate or a new dog over time.
When Should You go to the Vet?
Owners should take their cat to the vet for regular checks ups. Vets can help you diagnose issues before they become serious.
If your cat has started to drool excessively, check their gums. Look to see if there is inflammation or an object lodged in their mouth. If it is something you can deal with at home, such as a piece of grass lodged in the gums, there is no need to call the vet.
If you notice swollen gums, blood, string coming from the throat, or any of the other causes listed above. it is best to contact your vet immediately.
Remember, it is natural for your cat to drool when pleased, relaxing, or eating. The real concern should only arise when drooling becomes excessive, random, or constant.
Final Thoughts About Cat Drool
We understand that owners are concerned about the health of their pets. Moderate drooling is normal though, and owners should have no worries if their cat is doing it. If you observe your cat drooling without stimulation, then it’s time to check in to see what’s up.
Your cat should not have a drooling pattern that is similar to a dog’s. If you notice excessive drooling, the cause can be linked to oral and gum disease. Always check your cat’s mouth and try to brush your pet’s teeth regularly. Stay up to date with vet visits and pay attention to your pet, those two things alone can help prevent most of the causes of abnormal drooling.
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Written by Joe Farber at www.holistapet.com