What Does It Mean When Your Cat Drools?

If his drool smells bad, expect a bad tooth.
If his drool smells bad, expect a bad tooth. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

When Milo leaves a puddle of drool behind him after a time spent curled up on your lap, it's not just gross. It can be a warning sign of a health issue. Rather than dismiss your pal’s slobber as normal -- which it might be -- take him for a checkup to rule out problems.

He Ate Something Funky

If your fuzzy comrade strolls in after a romp in the grass, drooling like crazy, he may have eaten something he doesn’t like. Cats tend to drool profusely when they have some kind of foreign flavor in their mouths, explains Dr. Lauren Brickman, a New York-based veterinarian. If Milo never gets to go outside, put up houseplants, lock up chemicals and thoroughly dry any cleaning products you work with. Not only can they make him drool, they can be fatal if he ingests too much.

An Object Is Stuck

Maybe your kitty gets very excited about mealtime and eats too quickly. In such a case, after the majority of his meals, a piece of kibble may stuck in his teeth or up in the roof of his mouth. Sometimes, no matter how much water he drinks, he just can’t get it to dislodge. Drooling can be a side effect of a foreign object lodged in his mouth or throat. Pieces of cat toys, carpet fragments and leaves are a few of the things that can get stuck, causing drooling. If he’s coughing or gagging while drooling, you’ll know he’s choking and needs an emergency trip to the hospital.

He Has a Bad Tooth

A broken tooth, an impacted tooth or extreme tartar buildup can cause a cat to become a drooler. Bad breath and smelly saliva, along with red gums and pawing at the face, are indicators that something is awry along your kitty’s gum line, Dr. Daniel Carmichael, a practicing veterinarian in New York, told Cornell University. Sadly, by the time your mischievous chum starts showing these symptoms, it may be too late to fix the issue; he may have to undergo surgery to remove bad teeth.

He's Just Contentn

Drooling isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some felines simply produce excessive saliva when they’re very relaxed, according to WebMD. If your fur-covered pal is snuggled up next to you, purring away in a semiconscious kitty slumberland, he may drool in the process. Think of it as a sign that you’re doing a good job of keeping him happy, as long as you've ruled out any health concerns. Keep a rag handy.

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