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4 Reasons Why Cats Drool & What to Do About It

cat drooling
Image Credit: Ling_Chen, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams

Cats are much less likely to drool than dogs are, which is one reason that the phrase, “Cats rule and dogs drool,” is so well known. In fact, some cats never drool in their lifetime. However, other cats might do so frequently. There are a few different reasons that a cat might drool. Some are nothing to worry about, while others require the care of a veterinarian. Here are four reasons that cats drool and what to do about it.

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The 4 Reasons Why Cats Drool

1. They Are Happy

cat playing
Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

Many cats will drool when they are feeling happy and relaxed. You might find that your cat drools when they are kneading or while they are getting petted. They might drool when their toys or playmates excite them. Cats learned this behavior while young kittens, when they would nurse from their mother. They would drool and knead their mother’s belly to ensure a good flow of milk. The behavior does not carry on into adulthood with all cats, but many will revert to their kittenish ways whenever they are feeling content.

  • What to Do About It: No solution is necessary because everyone wants a happy cat in their life!

2. They Have Been Injured

Vet looking for swelling in cat paws
Image Credit: Motortion Films, Shutterstock

Drooling is common in cats that have been injured in the mouth area. If they cut their mouth, scrape their tongue, or slash their cheek, their mouths might drool to keep things lubricated while they heal. Some injuries will heal on their own, while others may need medical attention. It is important to check your cat’s mouth daily to see if their injury is noticeably healing. If the injury seems to be sticking around, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible to find out whether antibiotics or even stitches are needed.

  • What to Do About It: Monitor the injury, and offer wet food instead of dry. It may be necessary to see a veterinarian.

3. They Ate Something That They Didn’t Like

khao manee cat
Image Credit: DenKara, Shutterstock

If a cat chews on something that they do not like the taste or texture of, drooling may occur as the body’s natural defense to help clean out their mouth. The drooling should be temporary and should not be accompanied by any other symptoms. Your cat might head to their water dish for a drink to quell the drooling. If the drooling lasts longer than a few minutes and is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, your cat may have eaten something poisonous, and an emergency trip to the veterinarian should take place.

  • What to Do About It: Try to determine what it is that your cat ate, and keep it away from them in the future. Chances are that your cat will not try to eat the item again after the bad experience with it, though.

4. They Have Health Problems

maine coon cat lying on table playing with wooden roller toy
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

If you cannot figure out why your cat is drooling and they continue to do so for more than a day, there may be an underlying health problem that must be addressed. The drooling may be caused by a respiratory problem, a viral infection, or even oral cancer. Dental problems, such as gum inflammation and gingivitis, could cause drooling. There is no way to be sure until a veterinarian is consulted.

  • What to Do About It: Make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

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Final Considerations

Luckily, drooling is not something that your cat should do regularly unless they are prone to drooling whenever they are feeling euphoric. If your cat seems to drool off and on for no reason, it points to the need for a vet visit. Your veterinarian can provide you with peace of mind if nothing else. Have you noticed your cat drooling before? If so, what were the circumstances and what was the outcome? Share your experience with us by leaving a comment.

Featured Image Credit: Ling_Chen, Shutterstock

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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