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What is Excessive Production of Saliva?

The causes of drooling are many, so when you notice a sudden change such as excess drooling, getting a proper diagnosis is essential. It’s best to take your pet to the veterinarian so he or she can conduct a proper investigation to discover the cause and give you an accurate diagnosis and timely treatment.

The salivary glands constantly produce and secrete saliva, but when there is an excessive amount, especially when your cat suddenly starts drooling, it may be a sign of a serious problem. Excessive saliva can indicate an infection, injury, inflammatory disorder or tumor in the mouth of the cat.

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Excessive Production of Saliva Average Cost

From 472 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,500

Average Cost

$850

Symptoms of Excessive Production of Saliva in Cats

Excess drooling is an important symptom by itself and is often not accompanied by other symptoms. In some cases, it can go together with behavioral or physical changes, such as: 

  • Excitement
  • Fear
  • Low or no appetite
  • Depression
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Bad breath,
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Approaching but then avoiding food
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Causes of Excessive Production of Saliva in Cats

Most reasons for excessive saliva secretion are non-threatening and short lived. However, there are many reasons for your cat’s excessive drooling, and even though many are simple, non-serious causes, some reasons could indicate a serious disease. For your peace of mind, err on the side of caution and take your pet to see your veterinarian. The causes of excess drooling in cats can include:

  • Exposure to toxic pesticides and insecticides or poisonous plants
  • Reaction to medications
  • A piece of a stick or bone stuck in the mouth
  • Rabies, heat stroke or oral cancer
  • Inadequate oral health and gum disease
  • Pain and swelling in the mouth
  • Wounds caused by self-trauma 
  • Ulcers

Diseases of the mouth that are not very common, but can cause drooling, include:

  • Salivary Fistula: Caused by trauma to the sublingual salivary glands as a result of a serious injury such as a bite.
  • Feline Stomatitis: A severe painful inflammation of the gum and upper throat. Caused by oral infections and some viruses and most often seen in adult cats.
  • Tumors in the Salivary Gland: Tumors are rare in young cats but can develop in cats over 10 years old.
  • Sialadenitis: Inflammation of the saliva glands caused by systemic infection. In such cases, symptoms also include swollen glands, fever, depression and pain.
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Diagnosis of Excessive Production of Saliva in Cats

Excessive production of saliva can be a symptom of a larger, more serious health issue, so your veterinarian will want to analyze every detail of your pet’s physical condition as well as understand behavioral changes. Your veterinarian will want to know the complete history of your cat’s health, including:

  • Vaccination status
  • Current medications
  • Possible exposure to poisons

Your veterinarian will ask you to remember all the details you can of how and when the drooling started and any other unusual symptoms or signs you thought were surprising for your pet.

The doctor will then conduct a thorough oral exam and continue with a full physical and neurological examination of your cat. The doctor may recommend an ultrasound or x-ray to eliminate the possibility of liver and kidney disease and any issue with other organs. 

Examining the blood lets the veterinarian have a clear idea of the cat’s overall health and allows him or her to quickly pick up signs of dehydration and infection. Medical tests the veterinarian may conduct include:

  • A complete blood count (CBC)
  • A biochemical profile
  • Urine analysis

If the veterinarian suspects the cause is related to the immune system, he or she will also conduct a biopsy of cells and tissues. 

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Treatment of Excessive Production of Saliva in Cats

Treatment for excessive drooling depends on the cause. Some common causes and their treatments include:

  • Poisoning: Pumping the stomach, administering activated charcoal and sometimes induced vomiting. Most patients will be hospitalised on a fluid drip and may require intravenous medicine such as ant acids and anti nausea drugs.
  • Poor oral hygiene: Dental cleaning, pulling out a tooth and antibiotics in cases of infection
  • Tumor: In cases of a tumor, surgical removal of the tumor is necessary. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy may also be discussed.
  • Respiratory infections: Antibiotics and supportive care such as oxygen and nebulisation.
  • Heat stroke: reducing body temperature, administering electrolytes and providing supportive care
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Recovery of Excessive Production of Saliva in Cats

Depending on the cause and the subsequent treatment, the recovery and management process will differ. If the cause is a serious disease, you’ll have to have regular checkups as your doctor will want to continue to monitor blood, urine, internal organs and any details specific to the cause. 


Many cats will have a reduced appetite so do ensure they are eating well and not losing weight. You may need to provide a soft diet that is highly palatable and easy to eat.


You’ll need to discuss feeding, environment, or activity changes required after treatment with your veterinarian. Each cat’s needs will vary, and to ensure your pet is on the right track for a complete recovery, you should follow the recovery plan your doctor provides. It’s important to stay in regular communication with your veterinarian so you can inform him or her of any new developments as quickly as possible.

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Excessive Production of Saliva Average Cost

From 472 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,500

Average Cost

$850

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Excessive Production of Saliva Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Cat

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3-4

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Greenish And Foul Smelling Drool

I have vet appointment for Kevin in 6 days. My question is, should I wait 6 days or try to have him seen sooner? Here’s the situation, Kevin was a stray cat I took in about 3 months ago. He is FIV+. A few days ago his chin became swollen. He’s still eating well and drinking. Today I noticed greenish drool coming out of his mouth. It has a terrible smell.

July 29, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It would probably be best to bump that appointment up for Kevin and have him seen earlier if that is the situation. If he is eating and drinking, and seems otherwise okay, he may be fine for the six days until the appointment, but he would probably be much more comfortable starting treatment before that. I hope that all goes well for him.

July 29, 2020

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Walnut

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Domestic shorthair

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10 Years

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Moderate severity

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4 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Diarrhea

I adopted my cat a week and a half ago. But I volunteered at the shelter for four months. At the shelter he was healthy. At home the first week he was okay and then he started having diarrhea. I switched his wet food from in gravy to patè. Then when it didn’t get better I just had him eat dry food. He still is having diarrhea. Yesterday night/morning he threw up three times but that could be because it was the only night he wasn’t with me. I noticed about a week and a ago that he has a lot of saliva in my his mouth. He’s always liked his face rubbed but now when I rub it, there’s spit on my hand as well as he’s swallowing a lot. He doesn’t drool though. I don’t know if all of this is from stress or something bigger. I took him to the vet yesterday and they gave him an injection for diarrhea and needed a fecal sample for anything else. I haven’t been able to turn that in because he hadn’t pooped since yesterday morning. Which concerns me as well. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Walnut means the world to me. He is my first pet that isn’t a family pet and I’ll do anything for him. I’m not sure what his condition would be so I put the middle one.

Aug. 25, 2018

Walnut's Owner

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4 Recommendations

Diarrhoea and excessive saliva production is most likely attributable to some gastrointestinal upset, however without examining Walnut I cannot narrow in on a specific cause; infections, parasites, poisoning, dietary intolerance, stress among other conditions may lead to similar symptoms. Wait for him to pass some faeces and have a test done to rule out parasites. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 26, 2018

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Excessive Production of Saliva Average Cost

From 472 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,500

Average Cost

$850

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

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