Excessive Drooling and Salivating in Cats
Is your cat left unattended for periods of time? Some irresistible item may have caught her eye, anything from a rubber band to a piece of discarded dental floss to a toothpick. After playing with the object, your cat might have swallowed it. Whether in cats, dogs, or humans, softens, digests, and lubricates food. It's not surprising that anything your pet connects with eating - a can being opened or the smell of dinner being prepared (yours or his), is going to prod his salivary glands to manufacture more of this sticky liquid.
Usually this saliva stays conveniently inside the mouth. There are instances, however, when it doesn't, and the cat drools. Vets called it ptyalism. Some cats slobber excessively when in a state of bliss - perhaps when sitting on your lap or having their ears scratched - but drooling also accompanies neurological conditions (such as motion sickness), gastrointestinal ailments, and metabolic disorders (like uremia). Because saliva helps cool the body, kittens who are overheated, due to either the temperature or over-excitement, often salivate heavily, as do animals who have ingested certain medicines or toxins. If a cat licks something that irritates his tongue or oral membranes, excessive salivation my be an attempt to flush the irritant from the mouth.
If the cat is otherwise healthy, has no history of "bliss-related drooling," has not digested irritating material, and exhibits no other symptoms, keep him calm and cool for 1 to 2 hours and see if the saliva production slows down. If the saliva keeps coming, call your vet for an appointment. If left unchecked, over-salivating can cause dehydration. Be aware that in some cases drooling has nothing to do with excess saliva production but is a side effect of swallowing difficulties.
Saliva may be tinged with blood and the jaw may appear propped open. The cat experiences difficulty swallowing, exhibit a swollen, bluish tongue, refuses food, and/or coughs. Is your cat left unattended for periods of time? Some irresistible item may have caught her eye - anything from a rubber band to a piece of discarded dental floss to a toothpick. After playing with the object, your cat might have swallowed it. The object may then have become lodged in his mouth, throat, or esophagus. This could have happened moments earlier or weeks ago. Take your cat to the vet. If an object isn't really visible, an endoscopic examination may help detect the offending object - an important precaution because the drooling and swallowing problems that accompany this condition can be easily mistaken for rabies.
If something is lodged in the mouth, throat, or esophagus, the vet will sedate your cat so that the object can be removed. Your vet will carefully examine the mouth for any resulting cuts, bruises, or abrasions. If infection has set in, your cat will be given antibiotics. After you return home from the vet's office, feed your cat a soft food diet for at least 48 hours to prevent irritating and painful areas in the mouth. If you suspect that your cat swallowed string, thread, or dental floss - or you actually see string or another long abject emerging from a cat's hind end. Do not attempt to pull it out! You risk seriously damaging the cat's intestines. Instead, take your cat to the vet immediately, who will offer the best advice on what to do. In some cases, it may need to perform surgery to remove the object.
Never give your cat cartilage, vertebrae, or chicken or fish bones to chew on. Be a thorough housekeeper and keep string, yarn, dental floss, rubber bands, paper clips, and other small objects off the floor and out of your cat's reach. Unfortunately, many cats learn how to open cabinets. so, when stashing your sewing supplies, fishing equipment, and other feline health hazards, make sure your stow-spot is kitty-proof.