13 min

Why Is My Cat Drooling?

If you notice your cat drooling, you likely have questions about what caused it and if they’re okay. Read the top answers to both of those questions.

Bridget Reed

Updated December 01, 2022 • Published September 01, 2021

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Why Is My Cat Drooling?

Whether you are a first-time cat owner or a new pet parent, chances are, from time to time, your animal exhibits some behavior that you have questions about. If you notice your cat drooling, it is certainly normal to be concerned.

There are a variety of reasons that your cat might be experiencing this physical symptom. They range from safe to more severe. Of course, if you have any apprehensions about your cat’s wellbeing, the best thing to do is to reach out to a vet that you trust. That way, you can get peace of mind about your cat’s health.

Today, Pawp is going to discuss why your cat might be drooling. This article will explore whether there are any instances where drooling is normal for cats as well as times that drooling might be abnormal. Then, the article will dive into the reasons why this might be occurring to your pet. Finally, it’ll share how you can stop your cat from drooling.

It’s important to err on the side of caution, so if you’re apprehensive in any way that this is indicative of a more serious health issue, you should certainly act soon and get a professional’s opinion. That’s why Pawp can help you no matter what time it is. Pawp’s digital vet clinic is unlimited, accessible, reasonably priced, and open anytime, day or night, so you can get the answers you deserve. 

When is drooling in cats normal?

There certainly are instances where it’s quite common for cats to drool. Some activities that you might notice your cat drools during include purring or kneading. For cats, drooling is often the way that they show they’re relaxed and content. Often, this habit can actually be traced all the way back to kittenhood.

During kittens’ nursing phase, kittens can knead their paws on their mother. This will assist in stimulating milk to be released. Not only does this provide a kitten a comforting meal, but it also enriches the bond that the cat has with their mother.

When a cat becomes an adult, you’ll notice that your cat often kneads when they feel happy or content. This can then stimulate drooling due to the connection this exercise has to nursing. This, for example, is a perfectly acceptable, normal reason why cats begin to drool.

If you have a dog, maybe you have noticed that they sometimes drool when they smell or see food. This isn’t super common with cats, but it can occur. If your cat drools due to food, but not in other cases, you shouldn’t worry about it unless they’re acting differently otherwise.

There are also some circumstances that could cause your cat to begin drooling. Those will be discussed in greater detail later, but just know that if your cat drools during a time of stress, this can be relatively normal. However, if you notice that your cat is extremely stressed much of the time, you should bring it up to your vet. 

What is abnormal drooling in cats?

Just like there are plenty of normal reasons why cats drool, there are also some things that you should keep an eye out for. If you notice that your cat is drooling incessantly, it’s definitely time to consult a professional. This is because there might be an underlying health problem going on.

If the drooling isn’t associated with food or contentment, it’s time to look into possible reasons why your cat is doing this. No matter what, your cat should pay a visit to the vet at least once a year for a wellness checkup — regardless of how healthy they might seem on the outside. This is because of the fact that a vet can sometimes pick up on health conditions before your cat shows symptoms.

But what do you do if your cat’s drooling occurs in between the time of your routine checkups? You should definitely contact a vet and have them examine your pet. This is because, in addition to contentment and food, there are some medical reasons why cats begin drooling. 

5 reasons why your cat is drooling

Let’s discuss the five reasons why your cat might be drooling, if not due to contentment and food. Some of these illnesses sound scary, and that’s why it’s important to get your pet checked out as soon as you notice they’re drooling. Your vet can take appropriate action to help your pet begin to feel better again. 

Your cat has dental or oral disease

Did you know that it is possible for cats to develop several dental and oral problems? The problem is that oftentimes these illnesses aren’t detected until they cause your pet significant pain or distress. 

A lot of times, if your cat is dealing with dental or oral disease, the pain that they are experiencing can cause the animal to salivate in excess. If you’re noticing that your cat is drooling, it is definitely worth the time to look into this as a potential cause. 

Gum disease, tooth injuries, resorptive lesions, infections, and mouth ulcers are just some of the things that could lead your cat to drool.

Dr. Laura Robinson, a Pawp veterinarian, says one potential sign of dental/oral issues is “bad breath (and) decreased appetite.” Ultimately, Dr. Robinson recommends, “If your cat is drooling for a good chunk of the day, then it is worth getting him/her checked out by a vet. Constant, regular drooling is not normal.”

In this case, you will have your cat examined for signs of problems. If dental disease is found, there will be a recommended route for dental cleaning. This can sometimes include tooth extractions if the situation is severe enough. 

The procedure itself must be done when your pet is under anesthesia. In the meantime, the vet might give your pet antibiotics to help treat your cat for their dental problems. 

A foreign object is stuck

Another potential reason for your cat drooling is if they have something stuck in their mouth. String is an extremely common foreign object that could get caught, but there are other possibilities, too. Your cat could have ingested toy parts or grass. 

Here’s something important to keep in mind: If you notice a string hanging out of your cat’s mouth, don’t pull it out. Instead, leave it until you can get to a trusted vet.

This is because it could be wrapped around part of your cat’s stomach or your cat’s intestines even. If you pull, you can cause tremendous damage. Get to the vet as soon as you can. Beware: this visit might be pricey

Exposure to toxins

One possible scary reason why your cat might be drooling is that they chewed on, ingested, or licked a substance that is toxic. This can make them salivate in excess.

Some items that could potentially poison your cat include plants, chemicals, and foods. In addition, if your pet got some pesticides that weren’t meant for them, they might start drooling.

If you fear that this could even possibly be the cause, you should reach out to a vet that is open nearby as soon as you can. Again, if you see something in your cat’s mouth, don’t try to take it out yourself. Leave that to your vet. 


If your cat has been puking a lot or is nauseated, they might drool a lot. This can have a variety of causes, including gastrointestinal conditions, internal parasites, or kidney disease. If you are observing that your cat’s nauseated, puking, and has a loss of appetite, bring them to the vet. 

The vet might recommend that you get lab work done. This can help you get a better look at what’s going on in regards to their blood cells, organs, and even urine. The results of these tests will vary and will help the vet decide what to do next to treat the conditions.  

Trauma to the mouth

The last reason cats sometimes drool is if they have experienced a trauma to the mouth. For example, if your cat got into something that they shouldn’t have, there might be trauma. This could make them salivate excessively. While you might not notice something’s wrong on the exterior, consider this your sign to talk to a vet.

How can I stop my cat from drooling?

This is definitely a multi-faceted question and one where the answer really does depend on what the culprit for the drooling is. The most important thing that you can do as a pet owner is to find out why your cat is drooling. Once you do this, you can take appropriate action. These actions will often help you stop your cat from drooling.

In the instance that your cat is drooling simply because they are happy or hungry, think of drooling as a way for your cat to express themselves.

In other instances where drooling is related to medical problems, you certainly want to fix it. Some vets might prescribe medication for the cat.

Concerns about cats

As a pet owner, you always want to do what is right for your pet. Making sure that you’re taking care of your cat when they’re drooling is an essential part of that. If you even remotely fear that the drooling is due to something serious, you should talk to a vet. You’ll have peace of mind, and your cat can go back to sun-bathing and getting pets.


Reasons Why Cats Drool and What to Do About It | The Spruce Pets  

Why Do Cats Knead? | Live Science

Common Cat Dental Problems | VCA

Drool, 6 Reasons Why My Cat Might Drool | Pet Health Network 

Why Is My Cat Drooling? | PetMD 

Harmful Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat: Tuna, Milk, Raw Fish, and More | WebMD

Dental Disease in Cats | VCA Animal Hospital 

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