Cats are fascinating creatures that have been living with humans for thousands of years. They are known for their independent and aloof personalities, but they are also capable of great affection and emotional attachment. As a cat owner, you may have noticed that your furry friend drools when you pet them. This behavior can be a bit concerning, especially if you’ve never seen it before. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why cats drool when being petted, and whether or not it’s something to worry about.
What Is Drooling in Cats?
Drooling is the excessive production of saliva that flows out of a cat’s mouth. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including pleasure, stress, and illness. In some cases, cats may drool because they are feeling happy and relaxed, while in other cases, drooling may be a sign of pain or discomfort. Understanding the reasons behind your cat’s drooling can help you determine whether or not it’s something to worry about.
Why Do Cats Drool When They’re Happy?
One of the most common reasons why cats drool when being petted is because they are feeling happy and relaxed. Just like humans, cats have certain physical responses to pleasurable stimuli. Scratching your cat’s chin or petting them in a certain way can lead to endorphin release. This release can cause your cat to feel relaxed and happy. Sometimes, this pleasure can be so intense that it triggers excess saliva production. Excess saliva production may cause your cat to drool.
When cats are happy, they may drool for various reasons, including the association of being petted with feeding. As kittens, cats drool when nursing due to the stimulation of their salivary glands. As they grow up, cats continue to associate the act of being petted with a feeling of comfort and satisfaction, which can also trigger drooling.
This association between being petted and feeding is thought to be related to the grooming behavior of cats. Cats groom themselves and others to maintain hygiene and establish social bonds. The act of being petted may trigger similar feelings of comfort and bonding, which can result in drooling.
Drooling in cats is usually linked with pleasure and contentment. However, excessive drooling can indicate stress or illness. If your cat drools excessively and appears anxious or in pain, it’s necessary to take them to a vet. The vet can check for any underlying medical problems.
Why Do Cats Drool When They’re Stressed?
While drooling is often associated with pleasure and contentment, it can also be a sign of stress and anxiety in cats. If your cat is feeling stressed, it may drool as a result of increased heart rate and respiration. In some cases, cats may also drool if they are feeling nauseous or experiencing motion sickness.
If you notice that your cat is drooling excessively and seems anxious or stressed, there may be something in their environment that is causing them to feel this way. Common stressors for cats include changes in routine, loud noises, and the presence of unfamiliar animals or people.
Why Do Cats Drool When They’re Sick?
Drooling can also be a symptom of various health issues in cats. If your cat is drooling excessively and it’s not due to pleasure or contentment, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any underlying medical issues.
One of the most common medical reasons why cats drool is due to dental problems. Cats can suffer from a variety of oral health issues, including gum disease, tooth abscesses, and stomatitis. These conditions can cause pain and discomfort, which can lead to excessive drooling.
Another possible medical cause of excessive drooling in cats is neurological problems. Cats can suffer from seizures, brain tumors, and other neurological conditions that can cause excessive drooling.
Other medical conditions that can cause drooling in cats include liver disease, kidney disease, and respiratory infections. If your cat is drooling excessively and it’s not due to pleasure or contentment, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any underlying medical issues.
Is Drooling in Cats a Cause for Concern?
Whether or not drooling in cats is a cause for concern depends on the underlying reason for the drooling. If your cat is drooling because they are happy and relaxed, there is usually no cause for concern. However, if your cat is drooling excessively and seems anxious, stressed, or in pain, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any underlying medical issues.
If your cat has never drooled before and suddenly starts drooling excessively, it’s also important to take them to the vet. Sudden changes in behavior or health can be a sign of an underlying health issue that requires immediate attention.
How to Help Your Cat Stop Drooling
If your cat is drooling excessively and it’s not due to pleasure or contentment, there are some steps you can take to help them feel more comfortable. The first step is to take them to the vet to determine the underlying cause of the drooling. Depending on the cause, your vet may recommend a course of treatment to help alleviate the drooling.
If your cat is drooling due to dental problems, for example, your vet may recommend a dental cleaning or tooth extraction. If your cat is drooling due to stress or anxiety, your vet may recommend behavioral modification techniques or anti-anxiety medication.
In some cases, you may be able to help your cat stop drooling by changing their environment. If your cat is stressed by loud noises or unfamiliar animals, for example, you may be able to help them feel more comfortable by providing them with a quiet, safe space to retreat to.
Drooling in cats can be caused by a variety of factors, including pleasure, stress, and illness. While drooling is often associated with pleasure and contentment, it can also be a sign of underlying medical issues that require treatment. If your cat is drooling excessively and it’s not due to pleasure or contentment, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any underlying health issues. By understanding the reasons behind your cat’s drooling, you can help them feel more comfortable and ensure that they receive the care they need.