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Why Does My Cat Drool When I Pet Him? 8 Reasons for This Behavior

Have you ever showered your cat with love and attention only to discover that she’s showered you with saliva? Even though you may never expect this kind of behavior from a feline, many cats do drool from time to time.

A bit of kitty spittle from a good scratch could be an emotional or physiological response to stimulation. Other times, the drooling could signify a health problem. Here are eight reasons why your cat is drooling when you pet her.


The 8 Reasons Why Cats Drool

1. Dental Disease

If your cat is suffering from a dental dilemma, the oral irritation might cause her to drool. Drooling is her effort to sooth or remove discomfort from her mouth. In fact, 85% of felines over the age of three will develop gum or tooth disease. Although much less common than dental issues, some kitties can develop oral cancer, which can cause drooling.

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2. She’s Happy

hand petting cat
Image Credit: Pixabay

A kitty may drool when she’s happy. While not all cats do this, some will drool when they receive stimulation that makes them feel good. The drooling will be accompanied by other behaviors such as rubbing her face on yours, purring, and rolling around.

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3. Respiratory Issues

If your pet has developed a viral respiratory condition, she may drool. The saliva is caused by ulcerations in her mouth due to the infection.

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4. She’s Afraid

woman smiling by cage
Image Credit: Susan Schmitz, Shutterstock

Some cats drool when they’re afraid. If your cat is feeling upset, excited, or scared, she may drool. Motion sickness can also be a culprit behind the drooling.

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5. Nausea

Your feline may be drooling because she isn’t feeling well. If a cat is nauseous, it’ll lead to excessive salivation. Some toxins, such as flea medication, could cause your pet’s tummy to feel upset.

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6. Catnip

gray tabby resting on catnip
Image Credit: Kelly Magnuson, Shutterstock

In some instances, catnip can cause kitties to drool. While only a small number of felines have this type of physical response to catnip, it means she’s enjoying herself.

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7. A Foreign Body

Cat vomiting
Image Credit: Tunatura, Shutterstock

If your cat is drooling when you pet her, she may be trying to tell you something. Cats may excessively drool because of a foreign body in their system. A sewing needle, blade of grass, and other items could become stuck in the mouth or esophagus. Your cat may paw at her mouth or try vomiting to get the foreign body out. If you think your cat has something stuck in her throat, contact your vet right away.

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8. Trauma

cat with head bandage
Image Credit: Tuzemka, Shutterstock

Mouth injuries can cause a cat to drool. If your kitty chomped down on an electrical cord and got an oral burn, it could cause excessive salivation.

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Cat Drooling: The Bottom Line

Even though it may be a bit yucky to have your cat drool all over you when you’re petting her, chances are she’s doing it out of pure bliss. Other reasons for cat drooling include dental disease, fear, and respiratory issues. If you think your feline has a health problem, take her to the vet right away.

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Featured Image Credit: Ling_Chen, Shutterstock