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Why does a cat drool?

Siamese cat with blue eyes advice
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A dog isn’t really a dog without a healthy dab of drool now and again. But cat drooling is more rare. If you notice your cat drooling excessively or more than normal, it could be serious.

By G. John Cole

Dribbling can be caused by a number of different things. Some things are more worrying than others. And some cats are droolier than others. Let’s put on our plastic macs and take a closer look.

Why is my cat drooling?

Your cat’s salivary gland constantly pumps saliva into moggy’s mouth to keep it lubricated and aid digestion. Cat saliva also helps a cat keeps its body clean and its wounds to heal. But that saliva should either stay in the cats mouth, or be distributed purposefully via the creature’s tongue.

If a cat starts to drool, it is either producing too much saliva, losing control of its mouth, or a combination of the two. Some cats are just kind of born this way. Others should be watched carefully, as dribbling can be a symptom of illness.

Cat drooling: Losing control

Sometimes cat drooling is an emotional reaction. When you pet your cat, the creature may become more comfortable and relaxed. It may even get emotional flashbacks to being a kitten with its mother. Being over-relaxed or infantilised might make the cat forget itself. Indeed, he forgets to swallow.

Other cats drool in anticipation of food. It’s a reaction we more commonly associate with dogs, but cats are animals too. A cat needs to salivate to swallow and digest its food. But if he gets excited watching the food being prepared, it might experience premature salivation.

Cat drooling: like spitting in slow-motion

When your cat eats or accidentally ingests an irritant, he will provoke one or more reflexes to try to eject the substance from the body. This can include sneezing, coughing, and retching. But he can also include drooling.

If you saw your cat eating or sniffing around something weird before he got dribbly, this could be the case. You might be able to help the creature by writing out your last will and testament and then washing the cat’s mouth out with water.

If you survive this process but it doesn’t work, your cat could be suffering from a more serious irritant such as a fishbone or something stuck in its throat. This might especially be the case if the saliva becomes thick or the cat continues to retch as well as dribble. Get that cat to a vet!

Cat drooling: a problem in the piping

More serious cat drool problems can originate anywhere from its teeth to its kidneys.

Dental hygiene is important, cos kitty’s gotta eat. But quite often, a cat’s mouth becomes a hideous wasteland where only the bravest soul would dare risk a finger. Unfortunately, it’s up to you, the owner, to maintain your cat’s oral hygiene so things don’t end up this way.

Gum disease and other teeth problems can cause a cat to over-salivate in order to pump more antibacterials into the mouth, keep it hydrated, and sooth the pain. If your cat has difficulty eating, weight loss, bad breath, or other mouth issues at the same time as its drooling problem appears, it is likely a dental issue behind the dribble.

Cancer is another issue that can directly affect the mouth and cause excessive drooling.

Outside occurrences can also cause your cat to start dribbling more than is strictly reasonable. This can include the swallowing of foreign objects as noted above. But it can also result from poisoning. Poisoning is usually the result of your cat foolishly helping itself to a serving of cleaning product from your house or pesticide from your garden. Or it could be a murder attempt by a rival cat. Anyway, poison like this can damage your cat’s mouth at the same time that it is damaging its stomach and kidneys, so even if it doesn’t look too serious you should get such an incident checked out.

Finally, kidney problems can also be responsible for cat drooling. The kidneys control your cat’s plumbing, so when something is awry all bets are off in the salivary gland. There are many problems a cat can have with its kidneys, including cancer, infections, and kidney stones. If this is the cause of the drooling, you might also see symptoms such as an increase in thirst, weeing, and bad breath.

In any case, if your cat drools more than usual and checking it for irritants doesn’t work, you should probably take the thing to see its vet.

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