FunNature & AnimalX reasons why a cat can drool

X reasons why a cat can drool

Cats drool in different situations, some pleasant and others that should make us think about taking them to the vet.

This drooling is due to two possible causes:

  • excessive saliva production
  • inability to retain saliva within the oral cavity, for example in the case of trauma, fractures or neuromuscular weakness.

Why can saliva production increase?


  1. Pleasure
    Although it is not the most common, you may have noticed that your cat drools when you pet it. Or even when he got up from your lap, he left a speck of slime on you.

    This is because at the moment when the cat is relaxed, while you are petting it or taking a relaxing nap, it is receiving pleasurable stimuli and as a consequence a positive reflex is produced that results in drooling.

  2. Stress
    On the contrary, in stressful situations, we can see how drops of saliva fall on our cat. And this happens suddenly. At one moment the cat is “normal” (we already know that the procession is inside) and the next second drops of drool are falling .

    Let’s remember that cats are vulnerable to stress and their way of showing it can be different in each cat.

  3. intoxications
    Cats are very sensitive to toxins . And not only to toxic substances that we can think of logically, such as household cleaning products. If not, they are very sensitive to some products commonly used for dogs, and they can be deadly for cats.

    In some cases, they can only produce an increase in salivation and drooling, but we must not forget that not all products for dogs are suitable for cats.

    When in doubt, ask your vet.

  4. Medicine administration
    Some medications or nutraceuticals have an unpleasant taste for our cats. And they will prove it to us by forming a thick, white slime and even shaking their heads to try to remove that horrible taste from their mouths.
  5. Foreign body in the mouth
    Cats are very nosy. They love to investigate and many times they do it through their mouths.

    For this reason, there are times when different objects or foreign bodies can remain in their mouth, such as a sewing needle or a piece of chicken bone that they have stolen from the garbage.

  6. Dental problems.
    One in 3 cats over the age of 3 have dental problems. These problems cause a lot of pain, and one of the consequences of pain is hypersalivation or increased saliva formation.

    We know that cats are masters at hiding all their symptoms. So much so that they even have diseases “hidden” to the human eye. Having alterations in the teeth below the gum that are not visible to the naked eye and that require X-rays to diagnose them, as in the case of tooth resorption.

    This pathology is tremendously painful, and can cause the cat to drool and stop eating.

  7. Esophageal obstructions due to trichobezoars (hairballs)
    An increase in the production of saliva has been described in these cases, probably as a mechanism of the body to help this ball of hair to pass through the obstructed esophagus, together with the pain and discomfort that this obstruction produces.
  8. Gastrointestinal disorders
    If you see that your cat is drooling and vomiting , it may have a digestive problem. Drooling may be the only sign we see and it may be the tip of the iceberg. And that it is a consequence of the presence of nausea, for example.

    These digestive problems can be esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux, inflammatory diseases, tumors, etc.

  9. Systemic diseases.
    Liver, kidney, neurological diseases can cause an increase in salivation by different mechanisms and this is the only sign we see.

What to do if my cat is drooling a lot?

The first thing we must see if it has been something punctual or has been doing it for a long time.

If we confirm that it is something punctual, after administering a medication, when caressing him or in a stressful situation, such as taking him in the car, we can think that it is due to that.

If, on the other hand, it takes longer and is not related to any of the above, you should go to a veterinarian to have your cat thoroughly checked.


Kook, P. H. (2013). Ptyalism in dogs and cats-a short review.

Woerde, DJ, Hoffmann, KL, Kicinski, A., & Brown, NL (2019). Oesophageal obstruction due to trichobezoars in two cats. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery Open Reports, 5(1), 2055116918823581.

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