We might want to take another look at the saying ‘Cats rule, dogs drool.’ Cats drool too, but for different reasons. One might wonder, for a cat prone to overgrooming, why is she drooling? Or worse, why is my cat excessively drooling?
There are things to consider when to worry or not. At times, a drooling and purring cat is a content and happy little furball. Other times, she may be suffering from underlying diseases, and cat drooling is one way to tell her owners.
What is cat drooling?
Known also as dribbling, drooling is the course of saliva from the mouth. Saliva is constantly secreted into the oral cavity, which is the function of the salivary gland. This is to prevent dryness and aid ingestion when eating. Saliva in cats has antibacterial agent that helps to keep their body clean and heal their wounds faster.
Cat drooling is perfectly normal. In fact, there are felines that are naturally-born dribblers. However, when a cat is drooling along with other symptoms, it may be alarming. Decipher the following three categories on why your cat is drooling:
- Emotional reaction: This behaviour is precisely normal, therefore there is nothing to worry about.
- Irritant reaction: This is a sign of discomfort in your cat. However, the condition is mild and certainly curable when the suspected cause is detected.
- Alarming condition: Seek for a veterinarian’s assistance in handling these conditions.
Cat drooling when purring is usually a happy sign.
- When your cat is purring whilst being petted, it means she is relishing the touch and attention.
- When your cat is drooling whilst you’re petting her, you should take it as a compliment. She reminisced the feeling of security and comfort when she was a little kitten with her mommy cat. This could also result in your cat drooling whilst sleeping.
- When your cat is drooling and purring altogether whilst you’re petting her, you should congratulate yourself. You just sent your furball to a cloud of happiness. She feels soothed and relaxed that swallowing was out of her priority.
- It might be her way of saying, ‘I’m feeling good.’ It is usually accompanied by rolling over on her back and giving you access to her belly.
- It can be a sign of excitement especially when she is about to be fed.
- This is common for stray cats that are starved for attention. When rescued and adopted into a new home, she feels happy and relieved to finally have the security and attention she is longing for. It can be accompanied by purring and kneading as well.
- Catnip exposure: catnip can give a sense of excitement that would cause them to lose tension in their mouths, resulting in drooling. This is due to hormones and is commonly seen in females rather than males.
- When a cat sniffs a scent of another cat in heat, it may trigger your feline to drool.
This is a sign of discomfort that your cat is trying to get rid of something. It can be some dirt, sand, a strip of grass, and so on that can be bothersome on the mouth. As such, washing and brushing her mouth might be the simplest thing to do.
Observe carefully if her drooling becomes excessive and the saliva is thick as it may be a serious irritation. It can be a bone or foreign object stuck in your cat’s mouth. In this case, you may see your cat pawing her mouth or throat, or attempting to vomit. Ease your cat’s pain with professional help.
Whilst it could be a happy sign, it can also be an alarming condition that needs to be tended right away. Nonstop excessive drooling is no longer typical for cats. It can indicate a more serious problem than irritation.
- Dental problems This is one of the most common causes of cat drooling. It can be easily triggered by poor dental care, which can manifest in gum disease, feline odontic resorptive lesions (FORL), and related ailments.
- Kidney malfunctionThis is a leading disease most cats suffer from, which can either be an acute or a chronic case. It can manifest due to infection of kidney tissues, kidney stones, damage to kidney functions, cancer, and hereditary.
Symptoms: Increased thirst, increased urination, drooling, weight loss, and bad breath.
- Corrosive poisons This can be accidentally acquired from household products such as laundry detergents and other cleaning chemical products. These products are not just toxic but also corrosive, which can lead to mouth ulcers and burning in the mouth, oesophagus, and stomach.
Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhoea, and severe drooling.
- Neurological disturbances Minimise the risk of traumatic experiences (street accidents, attacked by dogs, and the like) by only letting your cat explore outside when it is safe to do so. It can also manifest when the cat is suffering from crucial conditions.
Symptoms: Aggressive behaviour, behavioural changes, drooling, seizures, and loss of coordination.
- Cancer In the oral activity of cats alone, it can already develop numerous types of cancer. In general, cancer can grow anywhere in the body.
Symptoms: Bad breath, drooling, loss of appetite, weight loss, and the inability to close its mouth.
When in doubt or if you have suspicions, consult a veterinarian and let your feline undergo a physical examination and diagnostic tests.
Learn more about pet health to initiate early preventive measures.