What Is Drooling in Cats? Causes and Symptoms

What Is Drooling in Cats? Causes and Symptoms

September 20, 2011 | Healthy Cat | |

Although drooling in cats is a normal sign when they feel relaxed and contented, excessive salivation can be an indication of a more serious health condition. This medical problem is termed as ptyalism. More often than not, excessive drooling or salivation is brought about by a certain stimuli like the odor of particular foods. Also, this can be due to humid or hot temperature, nervous excitement, or nausea.

Other cats can experience drooling when they suffer from motion illness.

Nevertheless, if this excessive drooling condition continues for a considerable long period, then the cat might require a thorough examination.


Though most cases of cat drooling is short term and benign, if the problem keeps on for almost an hour, this indicates a serious medical concern. Some of the reasons why cats drool excessively are:

  • Oral and dental problems: Gum and dental diseases can lead to salivation in cats. These include gingivitis, eosinophilic granuloma lesions, oral ulcers, foreign object trapped in the teeth, or broken tooth. Inflammation of the salivary glands can also cause excessive drooling. In some cases, oral trauma result to this salivation along with odorous hair and halitosis in cats.
  • Liver shunts: It is a congenital problem where blood bypasses the liver, instead of circulating over it. When this happens, the detoxification process of blood is not done as it does not pass through the liver. Various symptoms including drooling in cats arise.
  • Toxic substances: Certain substances found in household solutions can trigger unwanted symptoms such as drooling when these accidentally come in contact with cats.
  • Some drugs and chemicals: One side effect of the excessive use of tick or flea products and other pet medication is cat drooling. Also, ingestion of drugs with unpleasant taste and odor makes cats drool severely. Some of these include sulfa antibiotics, as well as chlortrimeton and metronidazole. Moreover, contact with venomous spiders or toads can make cats salivate excessively.
  • Certain plants: Plants that are often grown inside the house, such as ceriman and laurel, contain toxic substances that have negative effects on cats. Other plants and trees like diffenbachia, poinsettias, and philodendrons can also result to instant allergic response in house pets. Among the immediate allergic reaction of cats is excessive drooling when they get in contact with toxic substance found in these plants.
  • Rabies: This medical problem is not quite common in cats. However, cats can still acquire this disease. Among its symptoms are foaming in the mouth and excessive salivation.

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