Dribbling is drooling. It is hypersalivation. Here is a list of reasons for a cat dribbling. The most obvious or common causes are highlighted:
- If when purring it is probably in anticipation of receiving mother’s milk. No problems. It will a cat relating to his human as his mother.
- Drooling is a sign of poor cat oral health. This covers many conditions such as gingivitis (gum disease). Check his mouth or have your vet check his mouth for gum disease and/or any other oral health issues.
- Poisoning including drug poisoning, shampoos containing insecticides and poisonous plants often causes foaming and drooling at the mouth. If you suspect poisoning take him to the vet as a matter of urgency.
- Chewing on an electrical cable and getting a shock can cause drooling. There will be other signs.
- Heat-stressed cats dribble and drool as they produce saliva to lick over themselves to cool down via the ‘latent heat of evaporation’.
- Snake bites cause drooling (this is another form of poisoning but listed separately).
- Upper respiratory infections including rhinitis can cause dribbling.
- Rabies causes drooling.
- Foreign object stuck in the mouth can cause dribbling, gagging and choking.
- Cats sometimes dribble/drool when about to receive an unpleasant-tasting medicine or an injection.
- A young cat with liver shunts will drool. “Shunts” are anatomically speaking bad plumbing inside the body.
- Esophageal disease can cause drooling (and painful swallowing and regurgitation).
- Motion sickness (travelling by car or boat) can cause drooling.
- Liver failure through hepatic lipidosis commonly causes dribbling/drooling.
- A portosystemic shunt can cause drooling. This is a condition where a vein bypasses the liver.
- Facial paralysis is a cause of drooling because the mouth hangs open.
- Feline cancer of the mouth accompanied by difficulty eating and possibly a lump can cause drooling.
- Pain killers – analgesics – can cause drooling. One such drug is morphine. This is another form of poisoning but listed separately.
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