Cat Questions
why do cats dribble

Why Do Cats Dribble? - 5 Reasons Why

Written by Ryan Gliozzo


Wondering why your feline friend is suddenly drooling more? Have no fear, the Waggel guide to cat dribble is here to help. In this article we're discussing the top 5 reasons why cats drool.
a cat sitting outdoors and drooling


Cats have long captivated us with their enigmatic behaviour, leaving us wondering about the secrets hidden behind those mesmerising eyes. One behaviour that often baffles cat owners is dribbling.

Have you ever wondered why your feline friend suddenly starts to dribble, leaving tiny wet patches wherever they go? Is it a health issue or a normal behaviour?

In this article, we will dive into the mysterious world of cat dribble and uncover the reasons why this happens.

By understanding the health implications behind this behaviour, you can gain insights into your cat's needs and provide them with the best care and attention they deserve.

Key takeaways:

  • Discover the natural causes of cat dribble and why some cats are more prone to it than others.

  • Learn how stress and environmental changes can lead to excessive drooling in cats.

  • Explore the impact of dental issues and foreign objects on feline salivation.

  • Investigate the underlying medical issues that can cause cats to drool and recognise the warning signs.

  • Find out when it's time to seek veterinary care for your dribbling cat and how to ensure their comfort and health.

a white cat laying on a bed drooling

Decoding your cat's drooling: normal behaviour or cause for concern?

When it comes to our feline friends, their peculiar behaviours can sometimes leave us puzzled. One behaviour that often raises questions is drooling.

In this section, we will delve into the world of cat drooling to unravel its mysteries and determine whether it's a normal part of feline behaviour or something that requires our attention.

Understanding the natural causes of drooling in cats

Cats have their reasons for drooling, and it's not always a cause for concern. In fact, drooling can be a sign of happiness and relaxation in cats. Some cats are naturally more prone to drooling due to their individual personalities and temperament. We will explore these natural causes and shed light on why some cats may drool more than others.

While exploring the reasons behind your cat's drooling, it's important to recognise that some cats are naturally more prone to this behaviour. For a deeper understanding of feline behaviours and their meanings, consider reading about
why cats wag their tails, which provides insight into their emotional expressions.

Stress and environmental changes

Stress and sudden changes in their environment can also lead to excessive drooling in cats. Cats are known for being sensitive creatures, and stress can manifest itself in various ways, including excessive salivation. We will discuss how stress affects cats and the link it has to drooling, helping you understand if your cat's drooling is a sign of stress or something more serious.

The impact of stress and sudden environmental changes on your cat can be profound, often leading to symptoms like excessive drooling. To help manage your cat's stress levels, learning about
cat calming plug-ins and their effectiveness can be a great place to start.

Dental disease and its impact on salivation

Dental disease is a common cause of drooling in cats. Issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, or oral infections can lead to increased salivation. We will explore the impact of dental problems on salivation and how it can result in excessive drooling.

Recognising the role of dental health in a cat's drooling can help you take appropriate measures to address the issue.

Foreign objects and the feline oral cavity

Cats are naturally curious creatures, and their exploration can sometimes lead to encountering foreign objects in their mouths. When a cat comes into contact with a foreign object, it can cause irritation, discomfort, and excessive drooling.

We will take a closer look at how foreign objects in the feline oral cavity can trigger drooling and what steps can be taken to prevent such situations.

Cats are naturally curious, which sometimes leads them to chew on or swallow foreign objects, which can cause drooling. Understanding the broader scope of cat health can be beneficial, including insights from our cat insurance guide that covers various aspects of care and the peace of mind for health issues.

The surprising effects of diet on cat dribble

Believe it or not, a cat's diet can also play a role in their drooling. Certain foods or dietary issues can contribute to excessive salivation in cats. We will examine these surprising effects, providing insights into how dietary choices can impact a cat's drooling behaviour. Understanding the relationship between diet and drooling can help you make informed decisions about your cat's food.

For those interested in optimising their cat's diet, consider learning about
the best dry cat food options available in the UK, which could help reduce health-related drooling.

a sleepy cat laying down on white tiles

Why do cats dribble: investigating underlying medical issues

In addition to natural causes, drooling in cats can also be a result of underlying medical issues. Understanding these conditions can help cat owners recognise the warning signs of excessive drooling and seek appropriate veterinary care.

When excessive drooling is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it's crucial to seek professional advice. To prepare for any potential health care costs, familiarising yourself with the
average costs and coverage of pet insurance can be incredibly helpful.

Here are some common health conditions that can cause cats to drool:

  • Dental problems: Dental issues such as gum disease, dental infections, or tooth abscesses can cause discomfort and excessive salivation in cats.

  • Respiratory infections: Cats with respiratory infections, such as feline upper respiratory infection (URI), may experience drooling as a symptom.

  • Kidney disease: Cats with kidney disease may have increased drooling due to dehydration or the build-up of toxins in their bodies.

  • Oral cancer: Oral tumours or cancers can cause drooling in cats. If you notice persistent drooling along with other oral abnormalities, it's important to have your cat evaluated by a veterinarian.

It's crucial to remember that drooling can be a warning sign of an underlying health problem. If you notice excessive or persistent drooling in your cat, it's recommended to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Understanding the health implications behind excessive drooling is critical. If you suspect your cat's drooling is due to an underlying issue, it might be beneficial to read up on
other common cat health problems and their symptoms, as early detection can make a significant difference in treatment outcomes.

a cat laying on a bench and drooling


Distinguishing between innocent drooling and drooling that indicates a health issue is crucial for cat owners. By understanding the signs and symptoms, you can ensure the well-being of your feline friend.

If you notice any of the following signs, it may be time to seek veterinary care for your dribbling cat:

  • Excessive drooling that is persistent and prolonged

  • Changes in appetite or weight loss

  • Difficulty eating or swallowing

  • Bad breath or oral discharge

When you visit your vet, they will conduct a thorough examination to identify any underlying health issues. They may perform dental check-ups, blood tests, or imaging studies to determine the root cause of the drooling.

To ensure the comfort and health of your cat, it's important to promote good oral hygiene and manage stress. Regular dental cleanings, providing appropriate toys and scratching posts, and creating a calm and safe environment can all contribute to your cat's overall well-being.

Quick answers to your questions

Why do cats drool?

Cats can drool for various reasons, including natural causes such as happiness and relaxation. Stress, environmental changes, dental disease, and encounters with foreign objects can also lead to excessive drooling.

What are the natural causes of drooling in cats?

Cats may drool when they are happy, relaxed, or enjoying a pleasant experience. This drooling is usually harmless and a sign of contentment. It can be considered a Pavlovian response to certain stimuli that they associate with positive experiences.

Can stress cause cats to drool?

Yes, stress and environmental changes can contribute to excessive drooling in cats. When cats are stressed, their bodies may produce more saliva as a physiologic response.

How does dental disease affect a cat's salivation?

Dental disease is a common condition of drooling in cats. Inflamed gums, tooth decay, and other dental issues can lead to excessive salivation. If you notice your cat drooling more than usual, it's essential to have their oral health examined by a veterinarian.

Can foreign objects in a cat's mouth cause drooling?

Yes, cats are curious creatures and may encounter foreign objects in their mouths, leading to excessive drooling. If you suspect your cat has ingested a foreign body or toxin ingestion, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

How does diet impact a cat's drooling?

Certain foods or dietary issues can contribute to excessive salivation in cats. If your cat experiences sudden drooling after eating a particular food, it may be worth considering a diet change or consulting with your veterinarian.

How do underlying medical issues cause cats to drool?

Cats may drool excessively due to various underlying health conditions such as dental problems, respiratory infections, kidney failure, oral cancer, and more. The drooling can be a warning sign of these conditions and should prompt a visit to the veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

How can I differentiate between harmless drooling and drooling that indicates a health issue?

Differentiating between harmless drooling and drooling that signifies a health issue can be challenging. If your cat's drooling is sudden, excessive, or accompanied by other clinical signs such as bad breath, difficulty eating, or changes in behaviour, it is wise to consult a veterinarian for an evaluation.

When should I seek veterinary care for my drooling cat?

If you notice sudden or excessive drooling in your cat, it is best to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Drooling can be indicative of underlying health issues that require medical attention.

How can I ensure the comfort and health of my cat?

To ensure the comfort and health of your cat, it is essential to promote good oral hygiene, manage stress, and provide regular veterinary care. This includes scheduling routine check-ups, maintaining a healthy diet, and creating a calm and safe environment for your cat.

Waggel Pet Insurance

Need more help? You're in luck if you're a Waggel Pet Insurance member. Along with our excellent coverage, we offer access to a 24/7 online vet to answer all your sticky questions, especially if you need grooming assistance.

Not a member? Why not get a quote now and cover your furry friend for a range of illnesses, all while enjoying our amazing perks and rewards.

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