Why Is My Cat Drooling?

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionMy cat has started drooling like water, why? (Farrah Farhang - California)


Ptyalism is the term used to describe excessive drooling. Animals might have increased salivation associated with certain stimuli, for example the smell of food, but when its onset is sudden and it persists, it is usually associated with illness or injury.

There are a whole host of possible causes why your cat might be drooling excessively. Here are just a few: Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums); Dental disease; Tongue injury; Mouth ulcer; Oral or esophageal tumor; Nausea and others.

You need to take your cat to the vet for a thorough examination, and normally this will include just the oral cavity unless this fails to find the solution. In the meantime, look out for vomiting, loss of appetite or difficulty breathing. Any of these symptoms might suggest there are complications that require immediate attention.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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Junior Member
Added on July 17th, 2009
I have a DSH male part tabby part russian blue. I've had him since he was 2, he's now 5. He drools (not a huge amount) when I'm petting him and he rubs against me. I always thought some male cats had scent glands in their mouth and drooled to mark territory. That's what I thought mine was doing since he only drools when interacting with me.
New York
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Junior Member
Added on March 6th, 2009
I have a cat who only drools when he's getting petted & purring. Not as bad as having a dog that drools though. He awad checked by our vet.