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Cat Drooling

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Cat Drooling (Excessive Drooling in Cats)

Excessive Drooling in Cats

If a cat suddenly starts drooling, without any obvious explanation, it is time for owners to start searching for probable causes. There can be many causes for this excess salivation (officially known as ptyalism) and pinpointing the exact one can be a bit like figuring out the plot of a mystery novel. Although uncommon, some cats actually drool due to pleasure at seeing their owners after being away from them for quite a while. But it is safest to rule out more serious causes of excess drooling and not assume that it is a benign condition.

Signs and Symptoms

To help understand why cats drool too much, it is useful to understand what normal drooling is - as well as its purpose. Just like humans, cats have salivary glands and they play an integral role in starting the digestive process. Saliva is normal and even an occasional bit of excess saliva is no reason for concern. Owners of felines will know their cat's normal patterns and are likely to notice when their cat’s drooling intensifies.

It is also helpful to notice the circumstances under which the drooling occurs. Is it all the time or just in certain situations? For instance, it is not uncommon for cats to drool when offered a treat or their favorite cat food. Humans do the same thing when presented with an especially tempting meal. As noted above, drooling can also be a sign of happiness, perhaps when the cat is given catnip and goes into a state of blissfulness.


If your cat does not have a regular habit of drooling when it is given its favorite food or after you return home, it is certainly time to consult a vet. Animal doctors know how to figure out the reasons why drooling in cats occurs excessively. Changes in metabolism, aging, digestive problems and Cat Cancer can all affect a cat’s salivation. There can also be simpler reasons for drooling, including food caught in the teeth or throat thereby causing the cat's body to try and get rid of it.

Pay attention to the weather, too. Is it especially hot outside? Are there any city warnings to take precautions to avoid overheating? If so, a cat may be suffering from the heat and need protective measures. Excess drooling can be caused by heat and can quickly lead to dehydration. Put your cat in a much cooler area, provide her with lots of cool, fresh water and keep an eye on her for any signs of overheating. If your cat’s heartbeat seems rapid or if she appears to be suffering, even after taking protective measures, get her to the veterinarian - and quickly.

Precautionary Measures

Common household objects are often the culprits when it comes to intense drooling. Cats are particularly drawn to rubber bands, string, plants that have very thin or frond-like leaves and such similar items. Some even swallow shredded paper or cellophane. This can lead to a throat or intestinal blockage as well as excess saliva. Depending on the location of the obstruction, veterinary care may be required to give the cat relief from excessive drooling. Antibiotics may be needed for possible infections and even special food until your cat’s intestinal and digestive system returns to its normal state.

To reduce the chances of having a cat adversely affected by serious causes of excess drooling, take some simple steps. Cat proof your home by making sure tempting plants, string, rubber bands, paper clips and other objects aren't in reach of your cat’s nose and claws. Notice your cat's routine and what is attractive to her. Some cats can be trusted around plants while others cannot (but it is best to keep any poisonous plants out of the home).

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