Hypersalivation syndrome in cats, or ptyalism, corresponds to the production of excess saliva which causes the animal to drool in a sometimes disturbing manner. This saliva can have different aspects: foamy, sticky, or very liquid. There can be many causes for excess salivation, and some cats simply drool when they are happy! But drooling can also be a symptom of a more serious problem, such as intoxication or pathology.
My cat is drooling because he is happy or stressed
Although this fact is more often attributed to the dog, it is not uncommon for a cat to drool to express his happiness. If your cat’s drool coincides with his purring, chances are this explanation is correct and therefore there is no need to be alarmed. Drool can also appear during states of stress and anxiety in cats, which may occur during travel, following a change in habit or environment … Hypersalivation is also common in suffering cats. Motion sickness and more particularly when they are sick in the car. It can then be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. To relieve these symptoms, do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian who can prescribe an anti-stress agent adapted to the situation.
My cat drools after taking medication
Another cause may be the side effect of certain medicines, in which case this should be mentioned in the package leaflet. Anti-parasitic products are also likely to cause abnormal salivation if the cat licks itself after administration of a pipette for example. Once again, nothing to worry about immediately but watch the progress: if the symptom lasts, it is better to consult the vet to make sure that your cat is not having a toxic reaction to the product.
My cat drools after poisoning
Poisoning by chemicals (household products, aromatic oils …) and by plants toxic to cats (philodendron, ficus, lily of the valley, oleander, digitalis, and many others) can be the cause of drooling in your cat. In this case, an emergency consultation is necessary because he could be in danger of death. Oral contact with certain animal venoms, including the toad and the processionary caterpillar, is another possible cause. The processionary caterpillar is particularly dangerous, its venom can cause serious lesions up to necrosis! The cat can also start to salivate profusely following the ingestion of a food or product with an unpleasant taste, or following the taking of a drug, without the latter being toxic for all that.
My cat drools after an oral problem
Discomfort in the mouth can lead to hypersalivation in cats, whether it is the presence of a foreign body causing pain, infection, or oral inflammation such as gingivitis. An accumulation of tartar can also be the cause of this symptom, it will then be necessary to have a complete descaling carried out by the veterinarian. Other oral pain may be involved in the presence of a lesion or ulcer. Check your cat’s mouth if you can and consult without delay, especially if he has bad breath. He may also be bothered by a cyst in his throat or esophagus preventing him from swallowing.
My cat drools due to a pathology
A viral infection such as coryza, calicivirus, or hepatitis can be responsible for ptyalism in cats. Several chronic metabolic causes, such as renal failure, as well as intestinal (gastritis) and neurological (encephalitis, facial nerve palsy) diseases can cause hypersalivation with or without nausea. We also note the possible presence of oropharyngeal tumors and stomach ulcers. All these pathologies being serious, the veterinarian should be consulted for an exhaustive exploration of the possible causes in the case of hypersalivation.
Hypersalivation in cats: what to do?
The first instinct to have is to try to identify a toxic cause: if you have plants that are dangerous for cats or if your pet has been in contact with household products, there is a risk of poisoning. In case of doubt, it is necessary to consult urgently, especially if the ptyalism is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, loss of appetite, cough, difficulty in eating and swallowing, signs of pain, etc. If you see traces of blood in the saliva or if the saliva is whitish and smelly, it is probably suffering from internal damage or an infection.