Drooling is not a behavior often seen in cats, so when you see it, it can be a sign of trouble. Cats drool during a variety of medical problems. However, some cats also drool when they’re happy and purring. What on earth makes cats drool when they’re purring?
Two of our cats drool a lot when they’re happy
Both Chase and Kali drool when they’re happy and purring (Chase also drools when he knows he’s about to get treats). Chase will drool extensively if he’s wool-sucking – that is, if he’s nursing on a blanket like he would have on his mother when he was a kitten. He purrs the whole time.
Kali drools when she purrs, and while she doesn’t engage in wool-sucking behavior, she does touch her muzzle to her favorite kneading pillow while she’s going at it, and she’ll soak that pillow. Two cats drool when they purr in this house, and it’s something that has always baffled me.
According to Canidae, it’s possible that cats drool when they’re happy because they’re so relaxed their mouths fall open just a little bit, and the drool machine turns on because they’re not swallowing like they should. However gross you may find it, this kind of drooling is a compliment.
The Nest agrees that cats drool when they’re happy because they just don’t think about swallowing when they’re in the bliss of cuddles, pets, strokes and scritches. Your cat may also be drooling because he’s being reminded of when his mama would feed him and wash him. Cats spend a lot of time reliving their kittenhoods through affection.
Cats drool when they have medical problems, too, though
Despite all that, a cat drooling is not always a good thing. When drooling is not accompanied with purring (or even if it is, but your cat seems distressed, rather than happy), it can be a sign of a serious medical problem. Cats drool when they’re suffering from dental disease and other problems of the mouth, and when they’re nauseated.
Cats drool when they’ve eaten something poisonous, or when they’ve got liver or kidney disease, too. If your cat is drooling and it’s not in response to affection (or food and treats), you should call your vet immediately.
Cats also drool in fear – Aria drools excessively when we put her in the car to take her to the vet. Sometimes she even vomits and soils herself, but usually, she just drools so much we have to clean her up with a paper towel when get to the vet’s office. Cats drool for a variety of reasons, but purring seems like an odd one. It turns out that, in that context, it just means they’re extra content.