Dear Doctor: Drools a lot


Q. My cat often drools. Is that normal?

Chantal Stuart
Reading, Massachusetts

A. Dear Ms. Stuart,

It depends. It is normal for cats to drool while they are purring or kneading on you. It’s a sign of how relaxed they feel in your company. Think of drooling in that situation as liquid love. Cats sometimes drool at the sight and scent of food, too — not as commonly as dogs, but it happens, and it’s also nothing to worry about.

Short-term stress can also cause drooling, for instance, during a car ride or a vet visit. We never like for a cat to show signs of stress, but sometimes it’s necessary, and it will pass.

The time to get concerned is if your cat drools constantly and it can’t be attributed to feeling relaxed and happy or anticipating a meal. In such cases, the drooling can signify any one of a number of health problems, such as dental disease or some other issue in the mouth; nausea (which might be indicative of something wrong in the gastrointestinal tract); exposure to something poisonous; or trauma (say, if a cat has hurt himself and remains in pain). Any of these situations is worth a call to the vet.


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