Cats are known for their impeccable cleanliness, so it’s natural for a pet owner to be concerned when their cat starts to drool. This can be due to a variety of causes, from something as simple as a hairball to a more serious medical issue. Understanding what might be causing your cat to drool can help you determine the best course of action to take and ensure that your pet is as healthy and happy as possible.
Why Is My Cat Drooling?
There are a few possible reasons why your cat may be drooling. These can include dental problems, motion sickness, fever, nausea, a foreign object stuck in the mouth, an abscessed tooth, an allergy, a reaction to a medication, heat stroke, poisoning, or an infection. If your cat is drooling excessively, it’s best to have them seen by a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Is Drooling Normal for Cats?
Yes, drooling is normal for cats. In some cases, cats may drool due to the release of endorphins when they are content or happy. However, if your cat is drooling excessively or if there is an accompanying smell or discharge, it could indicate a health issue and you should take your cat to the vet for a checkup.
How to Tell if Cat Drooling is Normal
There are a few signs to look out for that can help you distinguish normal from abnormal drooling:
- The amount of drool: Normal cat drooling is usually minimal and won’t leave a puddle of saliva on the floor. Abnormal drooling is usually excessive and can be accompanied by a wet chin or wet fur.
- Color of the drool: Normal drool is usually clear or light pink in color. Abnormal drool is usually thicker, foamy, or tinged with blood.
- The cause of the drool: Normal drooling is usually caused by excitement or pleasure (such as when cats are petted or given treats). Abnormal drooling is usually caused by pain, nausea, or something stuck in the mouth.
- The frequency of the drool: Normal drooling is usually occasional and not excessive. Abnormal drooling is usually frequent and can happen at any time.
Is Cat Drooling an Emergency?
No, cat drooling is usually not an emergency. However, if your cat is drooling more than usual, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue and you should take them to the vet to have them checked out.
Could Drooling Be a Sign of Nausea in Cats?
Yes, drooling can be a sign of nausea in cats. If a cat is drooling excessively and displaying other signs of nausea such as loss of appetite, vomiting, or lethargy, it should be seen by a veterinarian.
Could Drooling Be Related to Stress in Cats?
Yes, drooling can be related to stress in cats. It is common for cats to drool when they are anxious or feeling uncomfortable. This is because they are trying to produce saliva to help them cope with the stress they are feeling. Other signs of stress in cats include hiding, excessive grooming, and changes in vocalization.
Could Cat Drooling Be Related to Pain?
Yes, cat drooling can be related to pain. Signs of pain in cats can include changes in behavior, vocalizations, drooling, or licking at a specific area of their body. If your cat is drooling excessively, it is important to take them to the vet to identify the cause of the pain.
Are Certain Breeds of Cats Prone to Drooling?
No, drooling is not a typical trait in any breed of cat. However, cats may occasionally drool when they are particularly relaxed or content.
How Is Cat Drooling Diagnosed?
If your cat is drooling more than usual, it is important to take them to the veterinarian to get a proper diagnosis. Your vet will likely recommend a physical exam and may order laboratory tests such as a complete blood count, biochemical profile, urinalysis, and thyroid profile. In some cases, imaging tests such as X-rays or ultrasounds may be recommended. Depending on the results, the veterinarian may refer your pet to a specialist for further testing or treatment.
What Signs and Symptoms Accompany Drooling in Cats?
Common signs and symptoms of drooling in cats include increased salivation, wet fur around the mouth, loss of appetite, and pawing at the mouth. In some cases, cats may experience breathing difficulties, paw at their face excessively, or have a foul smell emanating from their mouths. Drooling can also be accompanied by other signs of illness, such as vomiting or diarrhea. If your cat is experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, it is important to bring them to the vet for an evaluation.
What Are the Common Causes of Cat Drooling?
- Nausea: Drooling can be a sign of gastrointestinal upset in cats. If your cat is drooling in addition to other signs of nausea like vomiting, loss of appetite, or lethargy, it may need to be seen by a veterinarian.
- Oral Pain: If your cat has an injury or infection in their mouth, it may drool excessively.
- Heat Stress: Cats can become overheated and may drool when they are too hot.
- Dental Disease: If your cat is suffering from dental disease or has a foreign object stuck in their mouth, it may drool.
- Stress: Anxiety or fear can also cause cats to drool.
What Medical Conditions Cause Cat Drooling?
Common medical conditions that can cause cat drooling include dental disease, gastrointestinal issues, kidney disease, liver disease, poisoning, and heatstroke. Other less common causes include cancer, hormonal imbalances, and foreign bodies lodged in the mouth.
Could Certain Foods Cause Cat Drooling?
Yes, certain foods may cause cats to drool. Cats are generally not prone to drooling, but certain foods such as fish, chicken, and dairy products may cause them to drool. Other foods such as fruits and vegetables, as well as certain treats, can also lead to excessive salivation in cats.
What to Feed Your Cat to Help Reduce Drooling
- High-quality wet food: Feeding your cat high-quality wet food can help reduce drooling. Look for foods that are rich in protein and low in carbohydrates.
- Canned food: Canned food is an excellent option for cats that drool excessively. It is high in moisture and packed with nutrients, making it a great option for cats with digestive issues.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce drooling and improve your cat’s overall health. Look for canned or dry food that contains these healthy fats.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help support digestion. Look for wet food or treats that contain probiotics to help keep your cat’s digestive system running smoothly.
- Water: Make sure your cat has easy access to clean, fresh water. This can help reduce drooling and keep your cat hydrated.
What to Avoid Feeding Your Cat to Reduce Drooling
- Milk: Although some cats may enjoy drinking milk, it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and other digestive issues.
- Grapes and Raisins: These can be toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure.
- Raw Meat: Raw meat can contain bacteria that can make your cat sick.
- Onions and Garlic: These can cause anemia in cats if ingested in large quantities.
- Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to cats.
- Caffeine: Caffeine can cause rapid heart rate, restlessness, and seizures in cats.
- Sugary Treats: Cats don’t need the extra sugar and it can lead to dental problems.
What Can I Do to Prevent My Cat From Drooling?
Check your cat’s mouth and gums for signs of dental diseases, such as yellow-brown tartar buildup, bad breath, redness, swelling, or bleeding. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your cat to the vet for a professional dental exam and treatment.
Make sure your cat is eating a nutritious, balanced diet and that they have access to plenty of fresh water.
If your cat enjoys playing with toys, make sure to provide them with ones that are safe for cats and won’t cause any injury to their mouth or gums.
Gently massage your cat’s gums and teeth with a clean finger or a soft toothbrush and cat-friendly toothpaste at least once a day. This can help keep their gums healthy and reduce drooling.
If your cat uses a plastic water bowl, switch to one made of stainless steel. Plastic bowls tend to retain bacteria and can lead to drooling.
Keep your cat’s environment stress-free and provide plenty of opportunities for them to relax.
Are There Any Home Remedies for Drooling in Cats?
Yes, there are some home remedies for drooling in cats. First, you should make sure that the cat is well-hydrated. Try offering the cat a bowl of fresh water and make sure it is easily accessible. Additionally, you could try offering the cat some wet food or treats that have a high water content as this can help keep the cat hydrated.
How Can I Help My Cat Stop Drooling?
There are a few steps you can take to help reduce your cat’s excessive drooling. First, make sure to keep your cat hydrated by providing fresh, clean water at all times. You can also try brushing your cat’s teeth regularly to discourage plaque buildup and reduce drooling. If you suspect the drooling is caused by a health issue, make an appointment with your vet. Your vet may be able to identify the cause of the drooling and provide treatment to help reduce the problem.
Treatment Options for Cat Drooling
- Check for a medical problem: If your cat is drooling excessively, it is important to take them to the vet to rule out any underlying medical issues. This could include dental problems, kidney or liver disease, poisoning, or even an abscessed tooth.
- Address anxiety: Some cats drool when they are feeling anxious. If this is the case, it is important to identify the source of their anxiety and address it. This could include providing a safe, quiet place for them to retreat to when they are feeling overwhelmed, providing them with toys and activities to help relieve stress, or using pheromone diffusers to help calm them.
- Change the food: If your cat’s drooling is due to an aversion to the food they are currently eating, you can try changing their food to see if that helps. You should also consider adding moisture to their diet with wet food or canned food.
- Try medication: If the drooling persists, your vet may suggest anti-anxiety medication or anti-nausea medication to help reduce the drooling.
How to Monitor Your Cat’s Drooling
- Observe your cat’s drooling patterns. Look for any changes in the amount of drool or how often your cat is drooling.
- Monitor the area around your cat for signs of drooling. Check for wet spots on the floor, furniture, or walls.
- Check your cat’s face and mouth for signs of drooling. If your cat is drooling excessively, it may cause the fur around the mouth to become wet or matted.
- Talk to your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your cat’s drooling patterns. This could be a sign of a health issue that needs to be addressed.
- Make sure your cat is getting enough water. Cats that don’t have access to fresh, clean water may drool more than usual.
- Monitor any changes in your cat’s behavior or appetite. These could be signs of a health issue that could be causing your cat to drool more than usual.
In conclusion, drooling in cats can be caused by a variety of reasons, including excitement, pain, and illnesses. A cat that is drooling should be examined by a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and to provide appropriate treatment. In some cases, the drooling may be caused by something simple, such as a hairball, while in other cases, it could be a sign of something more serious. Regardless of the cause, it is important to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible to ensure they receive the best care possible.