Why Do Cats Drool? Is it Normal?

June 14, 2018

Why Do Cats Drool? Is it Normal?

Has your kitty been drooling?

One thing that you should note is that drooling isn’t normal in cats. If your feline friend has been drooling, the chances are that there’s something wrong with her and I advise you to take her to the vet to get a complete medical evaluation.

Occasional drooling, on the other hand, doesn’t mean that there’s anything serious.

In this blog post, I will answer the questions, “Why do cats drool?”in as much detail as I possibly can.

So, without further ado, let’s get started, shall we?

Here we go.

Why Do Cats Drool?

As I mentioned earlier, drooling is highly abnormal in cats. So, you need to get your kitty checked out by the vet. Cats drool due to underlying medical problems  which include:

  • Dental disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Corrosive poison
  • Plant poisonings
  • Trauma
  • Foreign bodies
  • Cancer

In this section of the blog, I will go through each of these causes so that you have all that you need to know about this abnormal symptom.


Let’s take a look.

Dental disease

Feline resorptive lesions which are also known asfeline odontoclastic resorptive lesion or FORL are one of the most common causes of dental disease in cats. These also result in significant oral pain and drooling.

FORL or cavities, neck lesions, and external or internal root resorptions may even occur at the level where the gum line meets the tooth and FORL can often be seen as a red line along your cat’s gums.

However, if your kitty has a lot of tartar buildup, it may hide the gum lesion.

FORL is painful and can even result in fractures of the teeth, mouth sensitivity, a foul smell from the mouth, inappetence, and drooling.

Kidney failure

Kidney failure is one of the top reasons for death in cats and can be seen in either acute or chronic conditions.

Chronic renal failure or CRF results in clinical signs of weight loss, increased thirst, increased urination, dilute urine, halitosis, and drooling.

Normally, a cat’s kidneys filter creatinine and BUN out which are two waste products. However, when these levels build up in the bloodstream, they result in uremic ulcers in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach.

It is important to take your kitty to the vet if you see any symptoms of CRF. Your vet may treat the condition with the following:

  • IV fluids
  • Blood work monitoring
  • Medication
  • A low protein diet
  • Stomach protectants

Corrosive poisons

When compared to dogs, cats have an altered liver metabolism which is also known as glucuronidation. This means that cats aren’t able to metabolize drugs or chemicals as well as dogs are.

Common household products such as liquid potpourri, cleaners, and laundry detergent can be corrosive in cats and can result in burns in the mouth, on the tongue, and in the esophagus and stomach.

Accidental poisoning can result in severe drooling.

Poisonous plants

Poisonous plants that contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals and can cause your kitty to have intense burning in the mouth when accidentally ingested. These plants include:

  • Calla lily
  • Peace lily
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Elephant ear plant
  • Umbrella plant
  • Mother-in-law’s tongue

The good thing is that insoluble calcium oxalate plants are minimally poisonous to cats but can result in severe drooling.

Trauma

Physical trauma to the mouth such as jaw fractures, a luxated temporomandibular joint, etc. can cause your kitty to drool more than normal. This happens only if your cat has taken a bad fall or has been injured.

You will have to seek immediate veterinary attention and have an oral exam conducted or even get x-rays to be sure if that’s the case.

Foreign bodies

While this is rare but, cats do accidentally swallow things they aren’t supposed to which can cause drooling if the foreign object gets caught in the tongue, soft or hard palate or back of the throat.


This can cause excessive drooling and inability to close the mouth. In this case, too, a veterinary exam is essential.

Cancer

Cats that are white with lack of pigmentation are at risk for developing malignant, aggressive cancers including squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). This type of cancer usually develops in the eye, mouth, and ears and the clinical signs can include:

  • Drooling
  • Halitosis
  • Not eating
  • Dropping food from the mouth
  • Weight loss
  • Inability to close the mouth

Final Words: Why Do Cats Drool?

Drooling in cats is not normal behavior and is something that you need to get checked out as soon as possible. There are several reasons why your kitty might be drooling, and these include the following:

  1. Dental disease
  2. Kidney failure
  3. Corrosive poison
  4. Plant poisonings
  5. Trauma
  6. Foreign bodies
  7. Cancer

In this blog post, we went through all the reasons why cats drool. When in doubt, it is always a good idea to get your kitty checked out by the vet to ensure everything’s okay.

Do you have questions? If so, leave them in the comments, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.


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