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Do cats drool when they are sick?

As cat owners, we’re always on the lookout for any signs that our feline friends might not be feeling their best. Seeing our cats struggle with illness can be heart-wrenching, and it’s natural to want to know what’s going on. One common question that many cat owners ask is “Do cats drool when they are sick?”

Well, the answer isn’t straightforward. While drooling isn’t always a definitive sign of sickness in cats, it can indeed indicate certain medical issues. For instance, drooling could mean that your cat is having trouble swallowing due to an underlying problem. Alternatively, it could be a sign that your kitty is in pain or discomfort.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the various reasons why cats might drool when they’re feeling unwell. We’ll explore some of the illnesses and conditions that may cause your cat to drool and other symptoms you should look out for alongside drooling.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of when drooling is something to worry about and when it’s not – so you can give your furry friend the care they need to feel better ASAP.

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What Causes Cats to Drool When They are Sick?

If you’ve noticed your cat drooling excessively, it’s time to investigate. While cats don’t typically drool like dogs, excessive drooling is a warning sign that something is wrong. In this article, we’ll explore the different factors that can cause cats to drool and what you can do about it.

Dental Problems

Cats with dental issues may drool because their mouths are painful or they have difficulty eating. Common dental issues in cats are gingivitis and tooth decay. If your cat is drooling excessively, pay attention to their dental health and seek veterinary care if you notice any signs of trouble.

Gastrointestinal Issues

If your cat is nauseous or has an upset stomach, they may produce excess saliva as a result of their condition. If you notice your cat drooling excessively and also vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, it may be time to take them to the vet.

Respiratory Infections

Upper respiratory infections such as feline herpesvirus or calicivirus can cause inflammation of the nasal passages and throat, leading to excessive salivation in cats. If your cat has a runny nose, sneezing, or coughing along with excessive drooling, they may have an infection that requires medical attention.

Toxic Substances

In some cases, drooling in cats can be a sign of poisoning from toxic substances like pesticides or household chemicals. If you suspect that your cat has ingested something toxic, seek immediate veterinary care.

Neurological Conditions

While less common than other causes of drooling in cats, neurological conditions such as seizures or brain tumors can cause excessive drooling. Pay attention to any changes in your cat’s behavior and seek veterinary care if you notice anything concerning.

Nausea or an Upset Stomach

When your cat starts drooling excessively, it can be a sign that something is off. One common cause of this symptom is nausea or an upset stomach.

When a cat’s digestive system is not functioning properly, it can lead to vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. Excessive drooling can also be a sign of more serious medical conditions, so monitoring your cat’s symptoms closely is crucial.

To ease your cat’s discomfort, consider offering frequent small meals instead of one large meal. This will prevent their stomach from becoming too full and causing further discomfort. Bland foods such as boiled chicken or rice can help soothe the stomach, while ensuring that your cat stays hydrated by providing plenty of fresh water.

While most cases of nausea or an upset stomach can be easily treated with proper care and attention, it’s important to seek veterinary care if your cat’s symptoms persist or worsen. These symptoms may be a sign of a more serious underlying issue such as kidney disease or liver disease.

Dental Problems

One of the most common issues cats face is dental problems. If you notice your cat drooling excessively, this could be a sign of such problems.

Cats can suffer from various dental issues, including gingivitis, periodontal diseases, and tooth decay. These problems can cause discomfort, inflammation, and infection in the mouth, leading to excessive drooling. In addition to drooling, other symptoms may include bad breath, reluctance to eat or play with toys, pawing at the mouth, and bleeding or inflamed gums.

It’s essential to take dental problems seriously as they can lead to more severe health issues for your cat if left untreated. Bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and affect vital organs such as the heart and kidneys. Therefore, it’s crucial to monitor your cat’s behavior and habits closely and schedule regular veterinary check-ups.

To prevent dental issues from occurring in the first place, you can take preventive measures such as brushing your cat’s teeth regularly, feeding them a healthy diet, and providing them with chew toys. By doing so, you’ll help maintain good oral hygiene practices and reduce the risk of dental problems.

Respiratory Issues

Excessive drooling in cats is never a good sign and may indicate underlying respiratory issues. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the various respiratory issues that can cause excessive drooling in cats and how you can prevent them.

Upper respiratory infections are the most common respiratory issue that leads to drooling in cats. These infections can trigger severe symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. It’s not uncommon for a cat with an upper respiratory infection to drool excessively. If you notice any of these symptoms accompanied by excessive drooling, it’s time to visit the vet promptly.

Asthma is another chronic respiratory condition that affects a cat’s airways and makes it hard for them to breathe properly. Cats with asthma may struggle to breathe, which can cause them to drool excessively. If you observe your cat wheezing or coughing while drooling, take them to the vet immediately.

Allergies can also cause respiratory issues in cats, leading to sneezing, coughing, and excessive drooling. Identifying the allergen causing the reaction is crucial for managing the symptoms effectively. It’s essential to eliminate the allergen from your cat’s environment to avoid future reactions.

Lastly, pneumonia or bronchitis can also cause drooling in cats. These respiratory disorders require prompt veterinary care as they can be fatal if left untreated. If your cat shows signs of respiratory distress such as panting, open-mouthed breathing, or blue gums while drooling excessively, seek veterinary attention right away.

Other Possible Causes of Drooling in Cats

Cats are known to be clean creatures, but they can drool excessively due to several reasons apart from sickness. This article will delve into the other possible causes of drooling in cats, providing insight for cat owners to identify and address the issue.

Dental Problems:

Dental problems are one of the most common causes of drooling in cats. Gum disease, tooth decay, and broken teeth can cause your cat to drool excessively. Besides drooling, these issues can also lead to difficulty eating or pain while chewing. It is essential to monitor your cat’s dental health and seek veterinary care if you notice any problems.

Ingestion of Toxic Substances:

Cats may also drool due to the ingestion of toxic substances. Poisonous plants like lilies and household chemicals like cleaning products, insecticides, and antifreeze can cause drooling in cats. If you suspect your cat has ingested a toxic substance, seek immediate veterinary care to avoid severe health issues.

Motion Sickness or Anxiety:

Cats can experience stress related to motion sickness or anxiety, leading to excessive drooling. Car rides and unfamiliar environments are known stressors for cats, causing them to drool. Similarly, separation anxiety can lead to excessive drooling in your feline friend. If you notice your cat drooling in these situations, it’s best to try and make them as comfortable as possible.

Happy Drooling:

Cats can also drool when they are feeling relaxed and content. This type of drooling is often referred to as “happy drooling” and is not a cause for concern. However, if you notice any other symptoms along with excessive drooling, it’s best to consult with your vet as it could be an underlying health issue.

Signs of Illness or Discomfort in Cats

They’re masters at hiding their discomfort and illness, which makes it crucial to recognize the signs that something might be wrong. Whether it’s drooling or other symptoms, you need to be vigilant in monitoring your cat’s health and behavior.

Drooling is one of the most common signs of illness in cats, but it’s not always present. Other symptoms to look out for include changes in appetite, lethargy, hiding, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, and discharge from the eyes or nose. Keep in mind that cats may only display one or two of these symptoms, or none at all until their illness has progressed.

Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are critical to catching any health problems early on. Cats can be particularly adept at masking their symptoms, so it’s important to stay on top of their health care. Your vet can also ensure that your cat is up-to-date on vaccinations and preventative care.

If you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior or health, it’s essential to take them to the vet as soon as possible. Don’t wait until their condition worsens before seeking help. Remember that early detection and treatment can make a significant difference in your cat’s quality of life.

Prevention and Treatment for Cat Drooling

While it’s normal for cats to drool on occasion, excessive drooling can be a sign of a medical issue that requires attention. To help you prevent and treat cat drooling, here are some tips and tricks to keep your cat healthy and happy:

Dental Care:

Prevention is key when it comes to dental care. Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help prevent dental diseases that can lead to excessive drooling. In addition, brushing your cat’s teeth regularly can also help prevent dental issues that cause excess drooling.


If your cat is suffering from medical conditions such as gingivitis, stomatitis, or kidney disease, this can cause excessive drooling. Your vet may prescribe medication or antibiotics to treat these conditions.


Dehydration is another common cause of excessive drooling in cats. It’s important to make sure your cat has access to clean water at all times. You can also encourage them to drink more by providing wet food or adding water to their dry food.

Stress Reduction:

Stress is a common cause of excessive drooling in cats. To reduce stress, provide your cat with a calm and comfortable environment. You can also give them plenty of attention and affection to help keep them calm.


In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to treat the underlying cause of excessive drooling in cats. This is usually only considered when other treatments have failed or the condition is particularly severe.

When to Seek Veterinary Care

It can be tricky to tell when something is amiss with your kitty. One possible red flag is excessive drooling, but how do you know when to seek veterinary care?

Excessive drooling can be a sign of dental issues like tooth decay or gum disease, oral infections, lodged foreign objects, or even neurological problems. If your cat experiences this symptom persistently, it’s time to consider a vet visit.

But drooling isn’t the only indication that your cat may require medical attention. Keep an eye out for changes in appetite or behavior, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty breathing as well. These symptoms could be harbingers of something more serious.

It’s never a bad idea to err on the side of caution when it comes to the health of your pet. Even if you’re uncertain if something is amiss with your cat, it’s always better to have them examined by a professional. Seeking veterinary care early on can help catch potential problems before they escalate into more severe and life-threatening conditions.

To guarantee that your feline companion remains healthy and content, make sure to schedule regular check-ups with your vet. This will not only detect potential issues early but also allow for preventative measures to be taken.


As cat owners, we all want our feline companions to be happy and healthy. One question that often arises is whether cats drool when they are sick. While excessive drooling may not always indicate illness in cats, it can be a sign of underlying medical issues.

Dental problems, gastrointestinal issues, respiratory infections, toxic substances, and neurological conditions are just a few of the potential causes of excessive drooling in cats. However, it’s worth noting that not all drooling is cause for alarm – contented cats may drool happily.

Cats are experts at hiding their discomfort and illness, so it’s crucial to remain vigilant for any signs of trouble. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help catch any health issues early on. Preventive measures such as maintaining good oral hygiene practices and reducing stress levels can also help keep your furry friend feeling their best.

If you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior or health, it’s essential to seek veterinary care promptly. Early intervention can prevent minor problems from escalating into more severe conditions that could endanger your pet’s life.

In conclusion, while excessive drooling can be a sign of medical issues in cats, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s cause for concern.