Why Does My Cat Drool?
Facebook Pinterest Twitter

Why Does My Cat Drool?

Est. read time: 4 min.

Your cat may let a little bit of saliva dribble out when very comfortable or very nervous. However, significant cat drool can be a sign of a potentially serious health issue. WebMD is here to help keep us informed on what some of these issues may be, and how we can keep an eye open and check for drool-inducing health problems.

Oral/Tooth Disease

Excessive cat drool may be caused by a number of diseases that can occur within your cat’s mouth or around the teeth. If tartar has built up along your cat’s teeth and gums, it can irritate the inner lips. This, in turn, result in uncontrollable drooling. A quick peak under the lips can reveal signs of tooth decay or oral hygiene deficiency. It will present itself in the form of brown or greyish teeth or swollen, red or even bleeding gums. If you find anything alarming, bring your cat to the vet for a cleaning and a check for gingivitis, mouth ulcers or tumors, then proceed with regular brushing at home.

Difficulty Swallowing

Whether your cat has a physical impediment that is preventing regular swallowing, or even just a foul taste stuck on its tongue, the difficulty in swallowing can result in excessive drooling. Take a look and see if there’s anything that you can remove.  Otherwise just keep a close eye on your cat and check regularly on the drooling. It may just be a matter of washing out an unpleasant taste with a few drinks of water.


Another possible cause of heavy drooling can be heatstroke. Though cats are generally less susceptible to heatstroke than other animals with heavier coats, they can fall victim after long exposure to the sun, a lack of proper hydration or simply too much exercise on a hot day. Keeping your cat indoors, offering plenty of water, and minimizing exercise are the best ways to avoid heatstroke. Your cat should be taken to the vet at the first sign of any possibly heat-induced illness.


Although your cat probably doesn’t take too many car rides, you may find that, between the motion and the likelihood that your cat is aware that you’re probably going to the vet for some kind of unpleasant treatment, your cat’s not going to enjoy the ride. Anxious panting and mouth-breathing can also cause your cat to drool. Trying to acclimate your cat to this particular experience, through increased time in the carrier and then in the carrier in the car, and then in the car and driving around, can slowly diminish the anxiety that leads to this type of drooling.

Organ Disease

An unfortunate truth of pet ownership is that your pet gets older and, as it does so, its health begins to deteriorate. Kidney and liver disease become increasingly common in older cats, and these illnesses can lead to excess drooling. Consult your veterinarian right away if you suspect that this may be the cause of your cat’s drooling. The earlier you catch it, the better.

Poisonous Plant Ingestion

Another possible cause for your cat drooling excessively can be the ingestion of plants that are poisonous to felines. Tulips, azaleas and chrysanthemums, amongst many other types of plants, can irritate your cat’s digestive system and cause drooling. Making sure that your cat stays out of these plants is a good way to avoid drooling as a result of plant ingestion.

Upper Respiratory Infections

Finally, your cat may drool more than normal if it has developed an infection in the nose, throat or sinuses. Extensive contact with other animals can lead to these types of infections, as well as the kind of carsickness-induced anxiety that was previously discussed.

So, keep an eye open for any excessive drooling, take some basic preventative measures to help avoid the kind of issues that may lead to heavy drooling, and, if drooling presents itself, consider all of the possible circumstances that may be contributing to your cat’s salivary response. Consultation with your vet is highly recommended for any instance of excessive drooling.