Jump to section

What is Hypersalivation?

Cats in general are not prone to drooling. Because it is uncommon, getting a veterinary assessment is the best course of action, to determine whether the hypersalivation is harmless or serious. The earlier that a health issue is detected, the more likely it can be successfully treated. Secondary bacterial infections can develop if mouth injuries are left too long. Saliva can also irritate the mouth and, in response, the immune system will cause the body to section the excess saliva off in a cavity. If the drool has a foamy appearance, the situation may prove to be fatal.

A cat may salivate or drool for many different reasons. While drooling is a normal body function, excessive drooling, or hypersalivation, can be cause for concern. Normal drooling is usually accompanied by excitement or pleasure in the cat. Abnormal drooling appears suddenly, and can last for hours. A cat who has overheated may begin to hypersalivate. Certain diseases, injuries, and viruses can also cause a cat to drool excessively.

Hypersalivation Average Cost

From 270 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$350

Symptoms of Hypersalivation in Cats

While most signs of drooling are associated with the mouth, many underlying issues will create multiple symptoms throughout the body. All of these secondary symptoms should be noted, as they can make identifying the health problem easier. Symptoms are as follows:

  • Excessive drooling (sometimes lasting for hours)
  • Blood in the saliva
  • Bad breath
  • Inability to eat or drink
  • Swelling or masses in the mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Labored breathing
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Hypersalivation in Cats

The cause of the excessive drooling may be local to the mouth, or may be a symptom of an internal problem. Sudden onset is often linked with more serious issues. While cats may drool for numerous reasons, the following are the most common.

  • Excitement
  • Nervousness
  • Being near appetizing food
  • Poisoning (from a variety of sources)
  • Medication side effects
  • Foreign body stuck in mouth tissue
  • Teething (in kittens)
  • Injury to the tongue or mouth
  • Insect stings
  • Gingivitis and other gum disease
  • Abscessed tooth
  • Stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth and lips)
  • Acid reflux
  • Rabies
  • Pseudorabies
  • Cancer of the mouth
  • Nausea
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Liver shunt
  • Chronic kidney failure
  • Heat stroke
  • Viruses (such as feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus or feline herpesvirus)
arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Hypersalivation in Cats

When bringing your cat to a veterinarian, be sure to provide the cat’s full medical history to help sort out potential underlying causes of excessive drooling. The veterinarian will perform a complete physical and oral examination. The cat may need to be sedated for the oral examination to be successful. All symptoms will be noted to see how they match with possible health problems. The vet will look for obvious injuries, abscesses, foreign objects, or masses within the mouth.

Full blood work will be run, including a complete blood count to help detect anemia or the presence of cancer, and a biochemical profile to find signs of metabolic disease. Urinalysis can help to assess how well the kidneys are functioning. A bile acid blood test will indicate the function of the liver. Cultures of the urine may identify bacterial infections present in the body. X-rays or ultrasounds may be used to assess organ health or to locate tumors or lesions in the mouth or body. A biopsy may need to be collected from any masses found.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Hypersalivation in Cats

The best course of treatment will be based on the underlying issue that has been identified. Treatment is only necessary if a health problem is present.

Poisoning 

If your cat has been poisoned, the stomach may need to be emptied either by a pump or by inducing vomiting. Certain medications may be administered to counteract the effects of the poison and activated charcoal may be given to stop toxin absorption in the body.

Dental Issues 

Dental surgery may be necessary if abscesses have been found. Singular or multiple tooth extraction may also be needed. Any wounds should be cleaned, and antibiotics may be prescribed to eliminate infection.

Cancer 

If malignant tumors have been found, surgical removal may be attempted. This is only possible in certain locations of tumor growth. Both radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be used to fight cancer on a microscopic level.

Upper Respiratory Infection 

Many URIs are the result of viral infections, which have no curative treatment. Supportive care can greatly assist in recovery. This includes intravenous fluid administration, humidifier use, appetite stimulants, and feeding tubes.

Kidney or Liver Issues 

These complications may require surgery and/or ongoing care and medication application for the remainder of the cat’s life. Special diets may need to be followed to help alleviate these organ problems.

Foreign Body Presence 

To remove a foreign body causing salivation, the cat may need to be sedated. Certain cases may require surgery.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Hypersalivation in Cats

If surgery has been part of your cat’s treatment, you will need to follow all at-home care guidelines provided by the veterinarian. This will include monitoring your cat for signs of infection near the incision site. Painkillers, medication or antibiotics may need to be administered daily. Your veterinarian will have you return for follow-up appointments to see how the surgery site is healing and to assess the overall health of the cat. 

The prognosis greatly depends on the type of health issue that has been diagnosed. Dental issues generally resolve with surgical repair, cleaning, and a good oral health routine. Recovery from being poisoned greatly depends on how fast the the poisoning was identified and what substance has been consumed. Kidney and liver disease prognoses are guarded, and often require lifelong treatment. Usually, a cat will recover from an upper respiratory infection. If the underlying cause of the infection is a virus, it may stay in the cat’s system permanently. Cancer prognosis depends on how soon it is treated and how aggressive the cancer is. If your cat is diagnosed with rabies, it will have to be euthanized. Vaccines to prevent rabies should be a part of your annual vet visit. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Hypersalivation Average Cost

From 270 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$350

arrow-up-icon

Top

Hypersalivation Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Male Domestic medium hair cat

dog-age-icon

One Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Urinating, Drooling, Tongue Sticking Out, Acting Distant

I came home to my cat sitting in a puddle of his own urine. He was acting fine after I cleaned him up. Them about an hour later he started drooling with his tongue slightly out. He has also been acting a bit distant since I cleaned him up

July 22, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Ellen M. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1 Recommendations

Hello, thank you for your question. I am sorry to hear that your cat isn't feeling well. Without examining your cat, it is very hard for me to know for sure what might be going on. What you describe could be consistent with a toxicity of some sort. Marijuana toxicity can cause excessive urination and drooling, but a lot of other toxicity types can as well. It could also indicate kidney damage causing nausea and increased urination. I recommend treating this as a potential toxicity, as depending on what could be causing the suspect toxicity, it could be serious. I recommend having your cat seen at an emergency veterinary clinic right away in order to be as cautious as possible and it's better safe than sorry. I hope that your cat starts feeling better soon!

July 22, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Cat

dog-age-icon

One Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Excessive Licking, Pawing At Mouth, Throwing Up, Lethargy, Tired Eyes

I’m extremely worried about my cat. He’s a domestic longhair male, neutered and he recently started throwing up and pawing at his mouth while licking aggressively, I thought he was choking and then he looked like he was trying to get something out but nothing is there. He’s very tired and looks unwell :( please help

July 21, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. He may have a tooth infection or something causing pain in his mouth. Since I cannot examine him, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible, as he sounds like he is not doing well. They will be able to see him, look in his mouth and assess what might be going on, and let you know what can be done to make him feel better again. I hope that all goes well for him!

July 21, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Ragamuffin

dog-age-icon

8 years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Excessive Drool, Lethargic, Hiding In Corner, Wont Eat

I cant afford a $300 visit at the vet clinic. Is there something I can do at home?

July 11, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, without being able to see your pet, I can't say what might help to give at home. Those signs are very worrisome in an animal, and having him/her seen by a veterinarian is probably necessary. The initial visit should not be $300, and they will be able to give you an idea as to what might be going on and what can be done. Most clinics also take Care Credit and ScratchPay to help with unexpected expenses. I hope that your pet is okay.

July 11, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Meko

dog-breed-icon

British Shorthair

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Salivating
Salivatiing

My 2 year old cat suddenly started salivating white foamy drool and running round leaving little drops round the flat. Lasted about 10mins max and then it suddenly stopped and he laid down beside me and now sleeping quite heavily. He won't let me look in his mouth.

Sept. 9, 2018

Meko's Owner

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Neko

dog-breed-icon

Himalayan

dog-age-icon

4 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Sometimes Playful Sometime Tired

I have a cat, half persian half siamese. Who has been having excessive cat saliva. Sometimes for 30mins, and he drools when he's sleeping. And it has a bad breath too.

Aug. 31, 2018

Neko's Owner

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

xena

dog-breed-icon

American

dog-age-icon

3 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Drooling

got kitten drooling like crazy her drool drenched her arm and face took her to the vet several times very worried lost a tooth recently usually very playful but has been very ify very scary please on any insight lmk

dog-name-icon

Arlo

dog-breed-icon

European Shorthair

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Drooling

Hello, my cat is a relatively healthy little guy. He’s usually sleeping but loves to play and eat. But this morning I noticed he was salivating like crazy and had it all over him so I gave him a bath. Few hours pass, he’s still salivating so I began to worry.. though now, he’s not salivating and only has a runny nose a bit. He’s acting like his normal self though. Still playful, eating and drinking normal.. but I’m still worried.. should I be? Please help so I know if my baby is okay..

dog-name-icon

Maomao

dog-breed-icon

DOMESTIC

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Drooling
Loss Of Appetite

We brought our cat in an out of town trip for a week.. he started to eat less and sleep alot, he is also scared of new surrounding and other people. When we get back home he still doesnt eat much and wasnt active as before. He looks so tired and sleep all day. He also drink water less than he used to, i also notice some watery in his mouth. Can you help me find what can i do for him

dog-name-icon

Onyx

dog-breed-icon

Bombay

dog-age-icon

7 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Drooling

My cat is 7 years old this October and seems to salivate from the side of her mouth when we cuddle. I thought it was a runny nose at first. The saliva is clear and lacks a scent. She acts completely normal, however, she has to be fed small portions at a time or else she vomits. Could her gobbling and salivating be related? I'm starting to wonder if she has acid reflux problems like myself.

dog-name-icon

Lucky

dog-breed-icon

long hair

dog-age-icon

10 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Heavy Breathing
Drooling,
Not Walking Strait

I don't know if this is the right thing. But I woke up to my dog barking at my 10+-year-old cat. He was walking like he was drunk and looked like he was having trouble breathing. Upon closer examination, I saw that he was drooling from the mouth excessively. I quickly went to the vet and they asked me if he was hit by a car. I told them no because my cat is very car smart and knows when to not get close to a car. I don't know if this is because of his age or if his body has something going on. Still waiting on a call from the doctor, they told me he is in critical condition.

Hypersalivation Average Cost

From 270 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$350

How can we help your pet?