Why Do Cats Drool?

Cat drooling

Drooling  is when someone has saliva coming out of their mouth. Sometimes, it is harmless. Other times, it is cause for serious concern. This is true for humans. Similarly, this is true for cats as well. As a result, it is impossible to say what is going on when a cat drools without knowing the context in which this is happening.


For starters, there are some cats that drool as a sign of happiness. This isn’t something shown by every single cat that can be found out there. However, this behavior shows up in enough cats for it to be a relatively well-known phenomenon. Unfortunately, this means that if interested individuals do something nice for their cat, they might be smeared with cat saliva. Still, that is better than a lot of the other possibilities. After all, a bit of inconvenience from time to time is a normal part of the pet owner experience. The real issue is figuring out whether happiness is the real cause of the drooling or not. It is hard for interested individuals to be make sure on their own. Even so, if their cat consistently drools after experiencing something that makes them happy while not drooling under other circumstances, it seems pretty reasonable to speculate that their cat is one of the ones that drool as a sign of happiness. This is particularly true if the cat shows other signs of happiness such as purring, kneading, and playfulness. Of course, if interested individuals are still unsure, there is the option of consulting their veterinarian, who should have the tools and the training needed to make further confirmation. In any case, it isn’t clear why some cats drool when they are feeling happy. Often-times, their drooling is combined with them kneading and purring. As a result, there is speculation that this is connected to their kittenhood. Essentially, a kitten will knead their mother to stimulate the release of milk, which is a very comforting experience for them. It is possible that the connection between these things is what causes some cats to drool when they are feeling happy even as adults, though scientific investigation would be needed for any true confirmation.

Fear and Stress

Moving on, it is possible for a cat to drool for the exact opposite reason as the one that has just been mentioned. Simply put, some cats drool when they are feeling either fearful or stressed-out. Once again, it is difficult to distinguish this kind of drooling from other kinds of drooling, which is why interested individuals will need to pay close attention to the context. For instance, they should check to see if their cat are drooling when their cat has been exposed to a situation that can make a lot of cats feel either fearful or stressed-out. One example would be car rides. Another example would be some kind of loud occurrence going on around them. Similarly, interested individuals should also check to see if their cat is showing any of the signs of fear or the signs of stress when their cat drools. Generally speaking, a scared cat is pretty blatant. They might freeze; they might lose control of their bladder and bowels; and they might show signs of aggression such as growling, hissing, and hair standing up. If interested individuals notice these signs, they should stay away until their cat calms down because scared cats tend not to react well to forced interactions. Meanwhile, stressed-out cats can be more subtle. Sometimes, they become more withdrawn than normal. Other times, they might either eat more or eat less. Other indications of stress include but are not limited to becoming less tolerant of people, becoming hesitant to engage in once-routine behaviors, an excessive level of meowing, growling, hissing, and looking tense seemingly out of nowhere. If a cat is drooling while also showing these signs, it seems very possible that the cat is drooling because they are feeling either fearful or stressed-out.


It isn’t unknown for cats to drool when they either see or smell food. This isn’t as common for our feline companions as it is for our canine companions. Still, it is very much something that can happen. Please note that a cat that drools because of food won’t necessarily drool at the sight or the smell of food every single time. Instead, it is perfectly normal for them to sometimes drool and sometimes not drool. Something that can complicate efforts to find out exactly what is going on. As for why cats start salivating when they sense food, well, it is worth mentioning that their saliva assists in digestion. One of the numerous things that cats and cat owners have in common.


If a cat is feeling nauseous, that could cause them to start drooling. Similarly, vomiting can lead to much the same outcome. As for what is causing the nausea, that isn’t a question with a simple and straightforward answer. The fundamental problem is that nausea is such a common symptom. For example, there is a whole range of gastrointestinal issues that can cause nausea. Similarly, everything from parasites to kidney issues are capable of causing nausea as well. Thanks to this, chances are very good that interested individuals won’t be able to figure out what is going on with their cat on their own because they lack the relevant expertise, experience, and equipment. Never mind coming up with a suitable treatment for their cat. Under these circumstances, the best choice would be seeking out a veterinarian who can figure out what is going on before coming up with a suitable treatment. Swifter intervention can make for better outcomes, so it is a good idea to seek out professional assistance sooner rather than later.


It has been said that drooling can be a sign of poison. Cats and cat owners are a lot alike, meaning that there are a lot of things that are poisonous for both. Unfortunately, cats are also quite different from humans, meaning that there are things that they can’t eat even though humans can eat them and vice versa. This is the reason that cat owners are recommended to be very careful when introducing any new foods to their cat. Even if cats in general are fine with something, there is no guarantee that a particular cat will be fine as well, meaning that caution is well-advised. If people suspect that their cat has been poisoned, they should seek out emergency assistance as soon as possible. There are a lot of poisons that will continue doing damage so long as it remains unchecked, meaning that swifter intervention can make the difference between life and death.

Dental and Oral Issues

Cats can develop issues with their teeth as well as the rest of their mouth in much the same manner as other animals. These might not seem particularly problematic at the start. However, they are like every other kind of medical problem in that they can worsen a great deal with time. Something that can result in a lot of pain for cats, thus causing the latter to start drooling. Under ideal circumstances, interested individuals will be able to prevent the development of dental and oral issues in their cat through good dental care. There isn’t a single measure that can ensure the desired outcome. Instead, interested individuals are going to need to do a number of things that include feeding their cat the right foods, brushing their cat’s teeth on a regular basis, and checking to make sure that their cat hasn’t developed any clear issues in this regard. They cannot count on their cat’s pain to tell them that something is wrong. Cats are predators that get predated upon themselves. As such, they have an instinctual desire to avoid looking sick and otherwise incapable because that will get them targeted by other animals. Even if cats are in pain, there is a very good chance that they will hide it. In any case, prevention is much better than treatment when it comes to dental and oral issues. If the cat is unlucky, they might need tooth extractions and other serious procedures that will require general anesthesia. For that matter, it is very common for a problem in one part of the mouth to increase the chances of other problems showing up elsewhere.

Something Is Stuck

Speaking of which, disease isn’t the only kind of problem with a cat’s mouth that can cause them to start drooling. Sometimes, a cat is drooling because they have something stuck in their mouth, which will need to be removed for them to return to health. Interested individuals might be tempted to remove this on their own. However, that is a bad idea because they don’t know why it is stuck, meaning that they could cause unintended harm to their cat if they choose to rush in. Furthermore, cats tend to be less than enthused about people peeking into their mouth, particularly if they are either in pain or otherwise agitated. As such, trying to see what is going on could very well get interested individuals either bitten or scratched in the process. Instead, the safest option is to visit a veterinarian so that they can get whatever it is that has been lodged in the cat’s mouth unstuck without hurting the cat in the process.


Trauma to a cat’s mouth is capable of causing a cat to drool as well, which makes sense because trauma can prevent a cat’s mouth from working the way that it is supposed to work. For example, a broken jaw can interfere with the cat’s ability to close their mouth properly, thus letting some of their saliva escape as a consequence. Similarly, burns can also affect a cat’s ability to keep their saliva in their mouth by affecting various things about the way that the latter is supposed to work, whether through pain or some other complication. Frustratingly, cat owners may or may not be able to pick up on a trauma just by looking from the outside, particularly since as mentioned earlier, a lot of cats have a strong preference for concealing their injuries. That can make it hard for them to figure out what is going on, which is why they should always take their cat’s unexpected drooling seriously because that might be the only sign that they will get of something being wrong for quite some time.

What Should You Do About This?

Interested individuals should be bringing their cat to their veterinarian on a regular basis anyways. By doing so, they can ensure that their cat is provided with preventative healthcare, which can do a lot to keep their cat’s health on the right course. Furthermore, it is also possible for veterinarians to pick up on potential issues that can be solved before the cat comes down with something serious. Something that can greatly increase the chances of a positive outcome. Having said that, interested individuals should also be prepared to bring their cat to their veterinarian if they notice something wrong that they can’t figure out on their own. Medical issues don’t just show up based on a convenient schedule. As such, even if cat owners are scheduling regular veterinary visits, it is possible for something serious to show up at some other time. There are a lot of medical issues that seem minor but can have major consequences for the worse, whether because they were always that way or because they can become that way. Thanks to that, a bit of caution can do much to protect their cat’s well-being. Indeed, the same principle is true for humans as well, meaning that interested individuals might want to think about whether they are getting the preventative healthcare that they should be or not.

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