Q: I have a five-year-old cat. Recently, she started drooling while playing and sleeping. Why is this happening and how can I stop it?

A: Excessive drooling in felines is a common problem cat owners face, regardless of their kitty’s age. As you are probably aware of this, happy cats would purr, knead their paws and head butt you. And occasionally, when they are really comfortable, they may start drooling.

Unfortunately, in veterinary medicine, excessive drooling in cats is seen as pathological and not behavioural in origin. More than often, it is directly related to pain. In your case, if the drooling has only surfaced recently in your furkid, I would recommend that it should be addressed immediately. 

Periodontal disease is the most common cause of drooling for cats, which involves gingivitis (reddening of gums) and periodontitis (loss of bone and soft tissue around affected teeth). Other less common causes of drooling may include oral masses (i.e mouth cancer), foreign bodies lodged in the oral cavity, kidney or liver disease, toxins and nausea.

Does your cat have one or more of such symptoms?

  • Bad breath
  • Loose/ discoloured teeth
  • Teeth covered in tartar
  • Bleeding
  • Dropping food from mouth
  • Resistant when oral region is approached
  • Loss of appetite

If yes, your cat is likely to have a dental disease that needs to be addressed immediately by your veterinarian. 

The underlying cause of drooling must first be determined. I would first recommend that you conduct a simple oral examination on your cat at home. Any symptoms noted may help narrow down the cause of the drooling. Next, speak to your veterinarian about your concerns, and he/she will perform a full physical and oral examination on Puss. Further diagnostics such as blood tests or X-rays may be required depending on the overall condition of your cat and examination findings.

 

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