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Why is My Cat Drooling?

Posted: 04/11/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Behavior , Cat , Pet care

Why is my cat drooling? It’s a question many cat parents have. Cats are mysterious and a little bit weird. Sometimes the things they do are completely normal and sometimes… not so much. If your cat is drooling often, you might find it concerning. 

In this blog post we’ll go over the most common reasons cats drool so you know when it’s perfectly normal and when it requires a visit to the vet.

Why is My Cat Drooling?

Is There Any Time When Drooling is Perfectly Normal for a Cat?

Absolutely! There are those cats that often drool when they are happy, content and relaxed. These fur babies may drool when you are petting them or when they are being groomed by their cat companion. But it should be noted that this is a behavior that would be exhibited early in life. It would not be usual at all for an older cat to start drooling when they were calm and happy. In this case the drooling would indicate another underlying health condition.

5 Health Conditions That Can Cause a Cat to Drool

If your cat is not known for drooling when they are happy or relaxed and this is a new behavior, you’ll want to pay close attention to notice any other symptoms. The following are some of the most common reasons a cat may begin drooling:

Dental Disease

Drooling is often one of the first signs of a dental disease including gingivitis (gum inflammation), stomatitis (oral inflammation), tartar, and cat cavities.

In addition to drooling, a cat with dental disease may:

  • Have a difficult time eating  
  • Chew with their head to the side
  • Drop pieces of food
  • Prefer soft food over hard kibble
  • Have bad breath
  • Have blood-tinged saliva

If your cat is drooling and showing one or more of these other symptoms, you’ll want to take her to the vet. Your vet will perform an oral exam to check for dental disease. If dental disease is found, your vet will recommend the right dental treatment. It may be your cat needs a simple cleaning or your cat may need to have one or more teeth removed. Either way, a dental treatment will require x-rays to be taken and general anesthesia.

Why is My Cat Drooling?

Upper Respiratory Infections

Cats with a long history of developing upper respiratory infections can develop oral ulcerations. This, in turn, causes drooling. If your cat has a history of…

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Eye discharge
  • Not eating/drinking normally

… it may be that they have developed one or more oral ulcers. Your vet will need to perform a full exam to make the right diagnosis.


Cats drool when they feel nauseous. If your cat is not only drooling but is suddenly not interested in eating, there’s a good chance they are nauseous.

There are several underlying health issues that can cause nausea:

A GI Blockage

Do you have one of those cats that likes to eat weird things? Bits of string? Part of a plastic bag? If so, there’s a chance your cat may have developed a gastrointestinal (GI) foreign body blockage. This can definitely lead to drooling. If you believe there is any chance your cat may have ingested something she shouldn’t have, take her to the vet immediately. Should your vet be closed, take her to the nearest emergency vet clinic. If not treated in time, blockages can be fatal.

why do cats drool?

Underlying Health Conditions

There are quite a few diseases that can cause our fur babies to feel nauseous. A partial list includes liver (hepatic) disease, renal (kidney) disease, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism, and diabetic ketoacidosis. IBD is another common health issue that causes physical changes to a cat’s stomach or intestinal walls. This can cause your baby to feel nauseous and drool.

Neoplasia (Cancer)

Sadly, many cats will develop cancerous masses involving the tongue or back of the throat. Cats with oral tumors will drool in addition to:

  • Having a difficult time eating/swallowing
  • Having bad breath
  • Bleeding from their mouth
  • Not being able to fully close their mouth


Different accidents can lead to drooling. For instance, a fracture of the jaw or skull can cause a cat to drool. Should a cat accidentally chew on an electrical cord and have burns in their mouth, they may also experience drooling. 

Neurological Disease

Some poor fur babies develop neurological diseases that interfere with their ability to move food around in their mouth and swallow. Cats with this type of disease would have other neurological signs, such as:

  • Difficulty picking up food
  • Problems with chewing
  • Difficulty moving their tongue
  • Balance issues
  • Whole-body weakness

When Should You Call the Vet About Cat Drooling?

Call your vet if your cat has been drooling and showing any of the following symptoms:

  • Bad breath
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Upper respiratory signs (sneezing/nasal discharge)
  • Lethargy
  • Possible GI Obstruction (your cat has a history of eating things she shouldn’t)

Your vet will perform a full physical exam and may also take x-rays, as well as conduct a possible blood/urine/fecal test to determine what is going on.

Pet Insurance – Because Life Can Suddenly Throw You a Curveball

One day your cat is fine, the next day she’s drooling. Is it a little health issue or a big health issue? And are you able to afford her care, no matter what it entails? 

These days, not many people have the kind of disposable income that makes it easy to pay for vet bills in the thousands of dollars. That’s why so many pet parents are signing their fur babies up for health insurance. Because don’t you want the peace of mind knowing no matter what accident or illness may come your way, you can financially handle it?

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  1. Why is My Cat Drooling?
  2. 6 Reasons Why My Cat Might Drool
  3. Cat Drooling: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment



The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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