Sometimes cats produce excessive amounts of saliva: this is called hypersalivation, hypersialorrhea or ptyalism. If some cats drool when they are happy, a hypersalivation is most of the time a sign of call of an affection of the oral cavity, a intoxication, etc... We propose you to know more about the causes of hypersalivation in the cat.
Is it normal for my cat to drool?
Sometimes cats drool when they are happy. Some cats, for example, show hypersalivation every time their owners pet them. No other symptoms are associated and the hypersalivation is a one-time occurrence.
But most of the time hypersalivation is abnormal and there are several causes to consider:
- Oral pain (injury, ulcer...)
- Taking certain medications: this is a side effect described in the product's instructions. This concerns oral medications but also some ophthalmic medications. Cats can also present hypersalivation if they lick themselves after having been given an antiparasitic pipette
- Inflammation (gingivo-stomatitis of the cat)
- Tartar: it can be responsible for a bacterial gingivitis at the origin of salivation. When the teeth are too scaled, a scaling is necessary. There are also measures to slow down the formation of dental plaque and tartar. Please read our fact sheet on tartar in cats for more information.
- A viral infection such as calicivirus, herpesvirus, etc. Cats suffering from coryza can present hypersalivation
- Nausea or gastritis
- A metabolic cause such as chronic renal failure
- Poisoning: ingestion of chemicals (organophosphates for example) and toad venom envenomation can lead to hypersalivation
- Consumption of plants: beware, some plants are toxic for cats, they can lead to the appearance of digestive disorders when cats chew them
- Oropharyngeal tumors
- Oropharyngeal or esophageal foreign bodies
- A condition that prevents the cat from closing its mouth properly or swallowing (e.g., neurological condition)
What should be done in case of hypersalivation?
Hypersalivation in a cat should most of the time lead to a consultation with a veterinarian, especially if the animal presents other symptoms (slaughter, abnormal behavior, digestive disorders, etc.).
If the hypersalivation follows the ingestion of a product by your cat, you can contact a veterinary poison control center to find out if it is toxic and what steps to take.
If your cat is drooling after taking a medication or applying an antiparasitic treatment, it is advisable to contact your veterinarian to inform him or her of the problem, even if this side effect is mentioned in the product insert.