Ptyalism (Hypersalivation or Drooling) in Cats

Feline Ptyalism (Hypersalivation or Excessive Drooling)

Ptyalism is the term used to describe excessive salivation or drooling in cats. Ptyalism may be normal in certain animals but is relatively uncommon in cats. Come cats have increased salivation associated with certain stimuli, for example the smell of food, excitement or hot and humid environment. However, when it is a sudden event that persists for an extended period of time, it is usually associated with illness or injury.

General Causes of Hypersalivation in Cats

What To Watch For

Diagnosis of Ptyalism (Hypersalivation) in Cats

Often the diagnosis can be made by just the initial physical exam, including a thorough oral and dental exam and a complete history, including the likelihood of toxin exposure. Additional tests may include:

Treatment of Ptyalism (Hypersalivation) in Cats

Depending on the primary problem that is causing the ptyalism, there are various treatments. Some treatments may include:

Home Care and Prevention

If there is an acute episode of ptyalism, a quick visual inspection may reveal a foreign body, mass or other oral trauma. Care should be taken not to place ones hands in the animal’s mouth to avoid being bit.

Observe your pet’s attitude and behavior for any deterioration. If there is no vomiting, you may offer water to drink. If your pet’s behavior is normal and the signs resolve within a few hours, emergency care may not be needed; however report the event to your veterinarian.

There are some things you can do to try to prevent ptyalism. Vaccinate all animals for rabies. Practice routine dental hygiene (e.g. brushing teeth). Periodic oral examinations should be done by your veterinarian. And, prevent exposure to caustic or toxic compounds.