Having been a dog person all my life, I was somewhat confused when my little Miss Socks began to drool one warm morning. I was totally confused by the sight of my cat drooling non-stop.
At first, I thought she was sick, but she ate and drank water like normal, even though the drooling continued.
Finally, after quite some time of this drooling going on, I was desperate for answers and phoned a friend who was a vet tech. This is what my pal told me, and I think it saved my cat’s life!
Cat Drooling But Acting Normal
When cats drool from the mouth, it’s known as hypersalivation. Younger cats may salivate more while playing, but this is rare. Hypersalivation is usually tied to an injury, illness, bacterial infection, or dehydration. Rarely, a cat trying to eat a lizard or frog may also experience drooling.
Causes for Hypersalivation in Cats
After speaking with my friend, I loaded my little furball in the travel carrier and headed to the vet for a check-up. My motto in life is always “better safe than sorry,” and with my cat, I’m not taking chances.
The vet ruled out the following conditions and explained each to me.
There are various causes for cats to drool, and most of them are not good news. You need to take action if your cat drools for any of these reasons:
Reason One: Dehydration
When the weather turns extremely hot, cats may dehydrate if they don’t have enough water to drink. While you would think this may cause their mouths to dry out, it can lead to drooling instead as the salivary glands overreact.
One of the first things to do when you suspect that your cat may be dehydrated is to touch its nose. Their noses should be cool and slightly damp.
If it is warm and dry, your cat may have a fever or may be dehydrated.
Offer them water, monitoring their breathing at the same time. If they seem to drool less and eagerly drink the water, then you’re pretty safe in your assessment that it was dehydration.
I would still recommend that you take your cat to the vet to have them check if your cat can recover on their own or if they need intravenous hydration with an IV drip.
Reason Two: Injury
Cats fight, and they may bite each other on the tongue or lips. When this happens, they may suffer a nervous reaction that is in response to the injury.
They may start to drool from the mouth.
Your cat may still try to drink and eat like normal, but the drooling can continue. This is when you require a vet to check out your cat’s mouth in detail.
If there is a serious injury, your cat may require stitches and antibiotic treatment to ward off any secondary infections.
Reason Three: Illness
There are some cat illnesses and viral infections that can cause drooling as a side effect.
If your cat is not acting oddly, chances are they are at the start of the illness, and you may be missing some vital signs that could help you assess them correctly.
In this case, visit the vet ASAP. The vet may decide to do a blood smear to look for parasites in their blood, or they may send your cat’s blood to a lab to test hormone and enzyme levels.
This can all help you determine what is really wrong as drooling isn’t normal for a cat.
Reason Four: Bacterial Infection
Cats eat any manner of animals and even bugs that they can find and hunt. Whether they actually devour their prey or simply toy with them, your cat will be placing strange animals in their mouth.
This habit of theirs can ultimately cause them to harbor both bacterial and fungal infections.
Drooling can be a symptom of this. Initially, you may not believe your cat to be sick as drooling can be the only side effect, but over time, this will likely worsen, and your cat can contract secondary infections.
The best option is to have your vet do a swab test and rule out any nasty lurking infections. Some vets will prescribe a preventative course of antibiotics just to be safe.
Reason Five: Neurological Disorder
Believe it or not, cats can also suffer from epilepsy and stroke. Other neurological conditions are rare, but there have been documented cases of an infection starting in the ear and penetrating the brain cavity.
Older cats can also show signs of dementia and disorientation. All these conditions can lead to bodily function loss.
It may start with something as strange as drooling, which can be caused by a weakened swallowing action.
In a young cat like mine, degenerative neurological conditions would be rare, but it may be a good bet to rule out this with an enzyme test to check for normal brain chemistry.
Reason Six: Allergic Reaction
If your cat is as big a hunter as mine, then chances are they will be trying to catch and eat any number of inappropriate prey.
Bugs, lizards, and frogs can all trigger a salivatory reaction as these can secrete defensive chemicals and they may also be carriers of fungal spores.
Your cat can easily be reacting to these allergens, and while there may be no other signs (not even swelling), the drooling can prove your cat is not okay.
A vet can help you with a prescription for a cat-friendly anti-allergen that will help sort out the allergic reaction before it causes tissue damage.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cat Drooling But Acting Normal
Is drooling normal for cats when they’re happy?
Some cats will drool slightly, almost spitting, when they are happy. This is an excitatory reaction, and it is quite normal. It will also abate quickly.
When should I worry about my cat drooling?
Cats can have any number of reasons for drooling, and most of these are not good. You should consult your vet when you notice your cat drooling for more than a few minutes at a time and if this happens frequently. Prolonged drooling necessitates an emergency vet visit.
The Final Drool
My dearest little kitten was fortunate, and she had simply tried to eat a lizard, and this had triggered an allergic reaction.
I was cautious, so I took her for a quick check-up with the vet, who helped me with the correct prescription.
Now, I am careful to keep an eye that my cat doesn’t eat things that aren’t safe, as we don’t want another case of the drools.