Why is My Cat Drooling?

At some point, you may notice that your cat starts to suddenly drool when they have never done this before. Cats can drool for several reasons. In this article, we will discuss those reasons and what it means when your cat drools.

Sleeping cat

Drooling Since Birth

From the time your cat is born, the salivary gland of your cat has a job to do. Baby kittens knead their mothers as they nurse. Occasionally, you may notice a bit of drooling as they nurse, especially when mom’s milk is beginning to dry up and they are starting the weaning stage.

The kitten has an instinct to knead their mothers to help stimulate milk production. Many cats, as they age, continue to knead as a sign of comfort, and some of those cats may continue to drool when they knead.

Excitement over Food

Another more common form of your cat’s happy drooling is stimulated when they smell their favorite wet or dry food. Maybe a ham or turkey is roasting in the oven, a steak or ground hamburger is prepping for the grill, or maybe they see a bird enticing them at the window. Some cats will drool with joy and excitement for what they are about to (or would like to) eat.

A few cats may not necessarily salivate at the excitement of the scent; instead, they may drool as they eat. Perhaps your cat may salivate more as they eat dry food.

Stimulation and Relaxation

Plants like valerian root, silver vine, and catnip can stimulate your cat and their salivary glands which may make them drool. Even if you have a toy sprayed/filled with catnip or if you give your cat dried catnip, your cat may drool from the stimulation. The chemical makeup of these plants stimulates your cat. It may have them rolling around, rubbing, and drooling because their sensory neurons are excited with the scents and taste.

As cats relax, they may drool. Others may only exhibit their drool when they are asleep. As cats settle into your home or even as they age, you may notice them drooling during a good sleep.

Occasionally, the breed of your cat may have them drooling any time they are happy or content. Siamese and Bengal are two breeds of cats that are known for drooling. Also, the age of these breeds can play a role in the amount they are drooling. As kittens, they may drool a lot then seem not to drool anymore. Then suddenly, as seniors or older cats, you may notice the drool has returned.

Cat Trauma

If your cat has been in a fight and was scratched near the mouth by another creature, this could cause your cat to drool. However, there are other types of traumas your cat can experience that will have them drooling.

Cats love to play with strings, but they can get pieces of string caught in their mouth. This will cause your cat to drool. They can also swallow pieces of string, and if it’s caught in an uncomfortable area inside their body, they may drool quite a bit to help get it out.

If your cat suffers from cat acne (the overproduction of keratin, a protein found in the outer layer of skin), this alone can make it appear as if your cat is drooling, especially if they are trying to clean it away. However, if the blackheads transform into pimples, your cat may drool because of the irritation. Oral antibiotics may be needed if your cat has an infection, but most of the time, special shampoo and fatty acid supplements are the cures for cat acne.

Cat Dental Issues

If your cat has never been a drooler and you suddenly notice that they are, you may want to get a good look inside their mouth. While bad breath is often the first recognized sign that your cat may be suffering from a dental or gum issue, excess salivation or drooling is often overlooked as a problem inside your cat’s mouth.

Everything from a simple gum irritation to advanced gingivitis can cause a cat to suddenly drool.

Sometimes, cats need a tooth removed, and as they adjust, even after an infection has cleared up, they will drool, getting used to the new space in their mouths. At the same time, they may just need some medicine to get the issue under control and may drool during the healing process.

Cat Colds

Just like their human parents, cats get colds and stuffy noses. Your cat will drool more when they are sick. Cats do get upper respiratory infections, which can cause them to drool. If you ever think this is a possibility why your cat is drooling, it is time for a vet appointment.


Long-haired cats are known for dealing with hairballs, but all cats get sick for various reasons. Sometimes cats eat or drink too fast. For whatever reason, they also may eat grass and occasionally other plants.

You should be aware that some plants and other elements in your cat’s environment are poisonous to them. If your cat gets sick, you want to pay attention. If your cat is experiencing excessive vomiting and appears not to feel well, you’ll want to take them to a vet right away.


Suppose your cat has been to the vet and received anesthesia or some medication. In that case, your cat may drool in response to the medication. While this may cause you to feel concerned, the best thing to do is speak with your vet and make sure it is just a side effect.

Reactions to Scents

Cats are more sensitive to aromas than we realize. Air fresheners, soaps, candles, and perfumes can irritate your cat’s senses and cause them to drool.

Cat smelling plant


Overall, cats may drool for a variety of reasons. Contact your vet if you’re ever unsure of why your cat is drooling.