Why Does My Cat Drool?

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Cats. They’re cuddly, cute balls of fluff that provide companionship and love. They have many odd quirks such as toy hoarding, sleeping in strange positions, and…drooling? That’s right – some cats drool. But when does this oddity become a genuine concern? At PetPlace we know that you want to keep your kitty happy and healthy, that’s why we’ve put together this quick reference guide for all things drool.

  1. They’re Happy!

Sometimes a little drooling is nothing to worry about. If your cat has ever been snuggled in your arms on a cold night, perfectly content, you may have looked down at your bundle of joy only to discover a small damp soft on your sweater from drool. There’s no reason to panic; this simply means that your cat is in cat heaven. The act of finding your cat drooling while purring can be compared to finding a small damp spot on your pillow in the morning after you wake up – usually it just means that you had an excellent night’s sleep.

Cats can also drool when sleeping if they feel completely relaxed and comfortable. The act of drooling is prompted by the same pleasure triggers that are responsible for cats purring and kneading. If your cat starts to get a little slobbery while cuddling or sleeping it may just be a sign that they’re happy! Each cat is different and may slobber different amounts. If you’re concerned about the amount in which your cat is drooling while happy, we recommend that you consult with your vet.

  1. Feline Rhinotracheitis Virus

Sadly, the rest of this list will not be as pleasant as “They’re Happy!” Some respiratory conditions can cause ulcers in your cat’s mouth which may be responsible for their drooling. One of the most common respiratory conditions for cats is the Feline Rhinotracheitis Virus, or more commonly known as Herpes-1, or Feline Herpes. Feline Herpes is spread through contact with bodily fluids between cats, usually by coming in contact with the eye discharge that is a common symptom of Feline Herpes.

Most cats who become infected with Feline Herpes will recover, but they will remain chronic carriers. Being a chronic carrier means that while your cat is no longer exhibiting signs and symptoms of Feline Herpes he or she can still spread it to other cats. There are several vaccinations that are popular to help prevent cats from contracting Feline Herpes. If you suspect your cat has Feline Herpes or if you wish to discuss vaccinations for your cat contact your vet.

  1. Cancer

While more uncommon, drooling can be a sign of cancer in your cat. Most commonly, if your cat is drooling due to cancer it is being affected by Gingiva Squamous Cell Carcinoma, also referred to as just Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). SCC usually develops either in the eyes, mouth, or ears in cats. When present in the mouth SCC can lead to the formation of tumors which can cause your cat to drool, refrain from eating, drop food from its mouth, or be unable to close its mouth.

Typically seen in older cats of ages 10 and up, cases of SCC have been reported in cats as young as three years old. As of now, there is no direct cause for SCC. Most cases of SCC are treated through surgical intervention or radiation treatment. If you suspect that your cat is suffering from SCC contact your vet immediately.

  1. Dental Disease

Did you know that approximately 68% of cats over three years of age have some degree of dental disease? The two most common culprits in the feline dental disease realm are Periodontal Disease and Gingivitis. We can not understate the importance of proper dental care for your cat; you wouldn’t let your child go years without brushing its teeth so why would you let your cat?

Gingivitis: You’ve probably heard of Gingivitis, it’s the thing that your dentist says will happen to your teeth if your don’t brush and floss; but did you know that your cat can get it too? Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that starts at the back of your cat’s mouth and moves forward. If your cat is drooling it may be due to Gingivitis, and it may be time for some teeth and gum cleaning.

Periodontal Disease: If Gingivitis is left unchecked it can lead to Periodontal Disease. Periodontal Disease is the next progression in Gingivitis and can result in the destruction of the bones and ligaments that support the teeth. This process can lead to loose teeth and even tooth loss. Periodontal Disease has the ability to spread down into your cat’s tooth socket to cause severe problems. If you cat’s Gingivitis has progressed to the Periodontal Disease stage veterinarian intervention is vital.

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