What Causes A Cat To Drool?

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

In this post, we’ll explore the most typical causes of cat drooling and what you can do about it. 

Have you ever noticed your beloved feline companion with an excess of saliva dripping from its mouth? While normally a curious sight, you may be left wondering – what causes a cat to drool in the first place? As caring pet parents, it’s important we understand what may be behind this sometimes puzzling behavior. In this post, I’ll explore some of the most common reasons for drooling in cats and help shed light on when it may be cause for concern. By learning what triggers this reaction and identifying any potential underlying issues, together we can ensure our furry friends stay happy and healthy for many years to come.

What Causes A Cat To Drool?

Cats may drool for a multitude of reasons, some of which are normal, while others may indicate underlying health problems:

  • Dental Disease: Issues like gingivitis, tooth decay, or oral infections can cause excessive drooling in cats.
  • Foreign Objects: If a cat has a foreign object stuck in its mouth or throat, it may drool excessively.
  • Nausea or Gastrointestinal Upset: Similar to humans, cats may salivate more when they feel sick or nauseated.
  • Toxic Plants or Chemicals: If a cat ingests certain toxic plants or substances, it may start to drool. 
  • Heat Stroke: Cats can start to drool excessively if they are overheated or suffering from heatstroke.
  • Certain Medications: Some drugs can cause increased salivation as a side effect.
  • Nervousness or Stress: Cats may also drool when they are anxious or stressed.
  • Pleasure Purrs: Some cats may drool when they are extremely relaxed or content, such as during petting or purring.

Read more: Why Does My Cat Cough When Purring?

Can Certain Breeds Be More Prone To Drooling?

Yes, certain cat breeds can be more prone to drooling than others. For example, the Persian cat, known for its flat face and long, luxurious coat, is often more susceptible to dental diseases due to the shape of its mouth, thus leading to increased drooling. Similarly, the Maine Coon, a large, sociable breed, is known for its affectionate behavior and may drool more when content or excited. However, it’s important to remember that excessive drooling, regardless of breed, can be a sign of underlying health concerns and should always be checked by a veterinarian.

How Can I Tell If My Cat’s Drooling Is A Sign Of A Health Issue?

Drooling | Greg Walters | Flickr

Detecting whether your cat’s drooling is a sign of a health issue can be challenging as cats are experts at hiding their discomfort. Here are a few signs to consider:

Change in Appetite or Drinking Habits: If your cat only eating a little bit or showing difficulty while eating, it may be a cause for concern.

Lethargy or Decreased Activity: A decrease in your cat’s usual activity level such as walking slowly or an increase in sleep can be a sign of underlying health issues.

Bad Breath or Oral Discoloration: Bad breath or changes in the color of your cat’s gums could indicate oral health issues.

Changes in Behavior: If your cat is acting out of character, appearing more anxious, or showing signs of discomfort, it could be a symptom of a health problem.

Physical Changes: Check for changes in weight, coat condition, or any unexplained lumps or bumps.

Excessive Drooling: While some cats naturally drool more than others, sudden and excessive drooling, especially if accompanied by any other symptoms, should warrant immediate attention from a vet.

What Are Common Health Issues Associated With Excessive Drooling In Cats?

Excessive drooling in cats might be a symptom of several common health issues:

  • Oral Diseases: Dental diseases like periodontitis, gingivitis, tooth decay, and oral infections are often associated with excessive drooling. Oral tumors can also cause increased salivation.
  • Foreign Body Ingestion: If a cat ingests or chews on a foreign object, drooling can occur as a result of pain or discomfort.
  • Upper Respiratory Infections: Cats suffering from upper respiratory infections may exhibit symptoms like excessive drooling, nasal discharge, and sneezing.
  • Rabies: Though rare, rabies is a serious condition that can cause extreme behavioral changes, difficulty swallowing, and excessive drooling.
  • Kidney Disease: Advanced stages of kidney disease can cause ulcer formation in the mouth leading to drooling.
  • Heatstroke: Overheating can lead to panting and drooling in cats as they try to cool themselves down.

If your cat is drooling excessively and it’s not in response to pleasure or stress, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.

How Can I Manage Excessive Drooling In My Cat?

Managing excessive drooling in your cat primarily involves identifying the underlying cause and addressing it appropriately. Here are a few strategies that may help:

Vet Consultation: If the drooling is sudden, excessive, or accompanied by other symptoms like loss of appetite, lethargy, or changes in cat eating habits, seek immediate veterinary care. Your vet can perform a thorough examination and identify any underlying conditions that may be causing the drooling.

Oral Hygiene: Regular brushing of your cat’s teeth can help prevent oral health issues that often cause drooling. Use vet-approved toothpaste and a suitable cat toothbrush.

Proper Diet: A balanced and nutritious diet can prevent health issues, including ones that cause excessive salivation. Special dental diets can also help maintain oral health.

Heat Management: Ensure your cat’s environment is cool and well-ventilated, especially during hot weather, to prevent heatstroke, which can cause drooling.

Safe Environment: Eliminate potential hazards like toxic plants, chemicals, and small objects that your cat might ingest, leading to drooling.

Stress Management: Minimize changes in your cat’s environment and maintain a consistent routine to reduce stress-induced drooling.

Remember, while these general strategies can be helpful, it’s important to consult with your vet to develop a tailored management plan for your cat’s excessive drooling.


After researching and discussing the various reasons why a cat drool, it is important to remember that every cat is unique and there is no one definitive answer. Whether it is due to dental issues, stress, or simply being happy and content, drooling is a common yet mysterious behavior among cats. However, as responsible pet owners, it is crucial to keep an eye on any excessive or abnormal drooling in our furry companions and seek veterinary care if necessary. By understanding the potential causes of drooling and actively monitoring our cats’ behaviors, we can ensure their health and well-being.