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Why Does My Cat Drool?

family-footerDrooling might be commonplace for dogs, but it’s never normal in cats. A little dribble while purring, before being fed or when feeling anxious at the vet is nothing to worry about, but consistent, heavy drooling – or hypersalivation – could mean your furry friend is sick. Here are six possible reasons why your cat is drooling.

Reasons Your Cat Might Be Drooling

Tooth Decay or Gum Disease

Tartar buildup, swollen gums, mouth ulcers and tumors can all cause your cat to drool. Check out her teeth and gums to see if they appear healthy. If not, have your cat’s teeth professionally cleaned, and then adopt a habit of daily brushing. Switching your cat to dry food can help prevent future tooth decay and gum disease.

Upper Respiratory Infection

Nose, throat and sinus infections can cause drooling in cats. High stress and uncleanly environments increase your cat’s risk of infection. If hypersalivation is accompanied with abnormal behavior – such as poor appetite and the decreased desire to play – call the vet for advice about a potential upper respiratory infection.


Flat-faced, long-haired cats, such as Persians, have a particularly high risk of heatstroke. This may cause your cat to pant and drool. Give your kitty plenty of water, keep outdoor cats inside on hot days, and never leave your furry friend in a parked car. If you think heatstroke is the reason your cat is panting, get her into the shade, offer water and call the vet.


Many common items are poisonous to cats, such as antifreeze, insect bait and toxic plants (including tulips, azaleas and lilies, among others). In addition to making your cat sick, ingesting toxic substances can make her drool. If you think your cat has eaten something dangerous, bring her to the vet immediately to potentially have her stomach pumped.


By law, your cat should be vaccinated against rabies. If your cat isn’t vaccinated, spends time outside and starts drooling heavily one day, she could very well have rabies. Unfortunately, this condition has no treatment and euthanasia is necessary.

Organ Disease

Drooling is a common side effect of a portosystemic (liver) shunt and renal failure (kidney disease). If you notice other symptoms of organ disease such as weight loss, poor appetite, increased thirst and vomiting, take your cat to the vet for a diagnosis.

How to Diagnose Your Cat’s Drooling

When you bring your cat to the vet to have the reason for her drooling diagnosed, expect the vet to conduct a complete physical exam. Accompanying symptoms, whether visible at the moment or explained by you, can help narrow down the cause.

Sometimes the diagnosis is relatively easy, such as if gum disease readily visible or your cat’s temperature indicates heatstroke. Other times, the vet must conduct blood and urine tests for a complete picture of your cat’s overall health. If the animal has an infection, organ disease or dehydration, these tests will reveal it. Ultrasounds and X-rays may also be performed to check on the status of your cat’s liver and kidneys.

Call Germantown Vet to Treat Your Cat Today

Whether treatment is as simple as cleaning your cat’s teeth or she needs to go on medication for renal failure, you can find all the answers to your concerns at Germantown Vet Clinic. Our expertly staffed and well-equipped vet hospital can diagnose and treat whatever is causing your cat to drool. And of course, the dental plan packages offered by Germantown Vet can help keep your kitty’s teeth strong and healthy!

To schedule your cat’s visit, please contact Germantown Vet today. In an emergency, don’t worry about scheduling ahead of time – just call (240) 252-7467 to let us know you’re on your way!

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