Have you ever noticed your cat drooling and wondered what on earth is going on? Our canine friends are supposed to be the slobbery furballs of our homes, right? Well, not always. Even though cats aren’t widely known for drooling, it’s not uncommon. And there are many possible causes too – from harmless contentment, to underlying health problems. So here are a few reasons why cats drool and when it may be time to see a vet.

Normal drooling in cats

Cats most commonly drool when they’re relaxed and content. You may notice drooling while your cat is kneading, or purring on your lap. Cats often drool while petted by their favorite humans, while others drool when they’re sound asleep. All circumstances are perfectly normal. It’s a simple yet weirdly adorable sign your cat is happy and comfortable. If the drooling is short-lived and happens while your cat is relaxing, there’s usually nothing to worry about.

When is cat drooling a cause for concern?

However, there are situations when drooling isn’t normal and should be investigated by a vet. If the drooling is persistent and your cat doesn’t seem right in themselves, there could be something more sinister going on.

Dental disease

Pain from dental issues can cause a cat to drool excessively. The salivating becomes a way of trying to soothe the irritation in the mouth. Gum disease affects 85% of cats over three years of age, so it’s something cat owners should always keep in mind. The saliva may also be blood-tinged and have an odor. Other common types of oral problems in cats include, mouth ulcers, tooth injuries, infections and resorptive lesions.

Foreign bodies

If your cat has something stuck in their mouth or throat, this can cause excessive drooling. For example, this could be a blade of grass, a toy or a fish bone. If it is a foreign body, you may also notice your cat paws at their mouth or will try to vomit. Swallowing will be very uncomfortable for your cat until the object is either vomited up, or removed by a professional.


If your cat has eaten or chewed on a toxic substance, this can cause drooling. This could be anything from a poisonous plant, toxic chemicals or toxic foods. If you suspect your cat has eaten something poisonous, take your cat to the vet immediately.


Cats are naturally independent and most love exploring outdoors. But if your cat experiences trauma to the mouth when out and about, this can cause drooling. For example, this could be due to a jaw fracture from being hit by a car, or being attacked by a dog. Injuries can sometimes make it difficult for the cat to close their mouth, which then causes the drooling.

Oral cancer

Oral cancers in cats are much less common than dental disease, but cancer often results in excessive drooling too. And it can occur anywhere from the back of the throat to the tip of the tongue. Additional symptoms may also include loss in appetite, weight loss, halitosis, dropping food from the mouth, and an inability to close the mouth. If you notice any of these symptoms, always have your cat examined by a vet.

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