Do Cats Drool When They Sleep? (5 Reasons)

Do Cats Drool When They Sleep

Cats do not typically drool when they sleep. If your cat is drooling, you should try and identify the reason why they’re drooling.

Some reasons are more serious than others, but it’s advisable you take action to find out why your cat is drooling to rule out any health issues or get them the help they need.

Here is a look at 5 of the most common reasons why cats drool in their sleep:

5 Reasons Why Your Cat Might Be Drooling in Its Sleep

Dental Issues

The most common reason why most cats drool is due to some kind of dental issue. I’ve seen this a couple of times with my own cats over the years, so it’s something I know well.

It’s not that uncommon, either. The Cornell Feline Health Center states that as high as 50-90% of all cats older than four years of age will suffer from some kind of dental disease.

This will often be something like an ulcer or swelling that will heal on its own in a relatively short period, and in the meantime, you’ll find a pool of drool where your cat sleeps.

It can, however, be a sign that your cat has a more serious dental issue, like; Gingivitis, Periodontitis, Tooth Resorption, or they’re simply missing a tooth for some reason.

You should be able to see most dental issues by looking in your cat’s mouth. They may also not be eating or drinking normally and showing other signs that they’re in pain.

Whether this is the case or not, you should seek the advice of a vet as dental issues can quickly escalate and become more serious.

Something’s Stuck in Their Mouth

Excessive drooling can also be due to something being stuck in a cat’s mouth or esophagus.

This can be something as small as a bit of food, a bit of plant (that kitty probably shouldn’t have been chewing on), a bit of toy that’s broken off and gotten caught up on a tooth.

Keep in mind that cats can’t just reach into their mouths like we can and pull foreign objects out.

They’re pretty well designed not to get food and other objects caught in their mouths, but sometimes it will happen and they might need a little help.

They’re Stressed or Anxious

One of the signs a cat is stressed or anxious is drooling or dribbling as it’s also referred to.

This is most obvious when your cat is dealing with a stressful situation, such as feeling threatened by another cat or being put into a carrier to go on a trip.

For some cats, stress follows them around if there is something bothering them. It could be to do with a health issue, their environment, mental health, or a number of things.

It’s certainly something you need to investigate and get to the bottom of if this is the cause. Much like us, stress can cause some serious health issues if left untreated.

It’s a Sign They’re Relaxed

For some cats, drooling can mean they have a health issue. While for some cats it’s simply something they do when they’re relaxed and content.

I had a cat called Loki who lived to the impressive age of 21. She would drool whenever she purred from an early age, and this got worse as she aged.

She didn’t have any health issues causing her to dribble, it was just a ‘quirk’ of hers I guess you could say.

She wouldn’t drool endlessly while she slept, but if I fussed her while she was curled up on my lap sleeping she used to leave a little wet patch behind!

There’s an Underlying Health Issue

Outside of missing a tooth or two and being anxious, there could be any number of health issues causing a cat to drool as it sleeps.

The best thing to do is to take a look inside your cat’s mouth. I know, that’s easier said than done – but you should try.

This will help you rule out something being stuck in their mouth, or reveal if there is a tooth missing, some swelling around their gums, etc.

If you can’t see anything amiss and your cat is drooling a lot while they sleep, your best bet is to get them checked out by a vet.

You’ll have better peace of mind having a vet rule out any underlying health issues that aren’t obvious.

If you have a cat that simply drools while they sleep, just as I did, then at least you know it’s just part of their personality.

Just don’t let them sleep on your pillow if you can help it!

In Summary

Seeing a cat drooling can be kinda cute, but it can also mean that the cat has a health issue or is dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety.

As cat parents, it’s up to us to notice changes in our cat’s behaviors and take note of anything that may be a sign something is not right.

It’s possible that your cat is just happy and salivating a little, so try not to panic. But it’s also possible that your cat is in need of some veterinary assistance.


Image credits – Photo by Aleksandar Cvetanovic on Unsplash

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