Why Do Cats Drool While Purring?

by Naomi Millburn, Demand Media
    A drooling and purring cat is likely just very, very happy.

    A drooling and purring cat is likely just very, very happy.

    Although you may consider drooling to be an exclusively canine behavior, it most certainly is not. If you notice that your cat is drooling and purring at the same time, there's a good chance that you have a very, very content little fluffball on your hands -- aww.

    Purring and Drooling Together

    Purring sounds can be pretty darn cute, especially because they usually mean your cat is feeling good at the moment. If your cat is purring as you pet her, she probably is enjoying the touch and attention. The ASPCA indicates that when a feline drools during petting, she may be recalling comforting "feeding time" from when she was a wee kitten with mommy cat. If your cat is both drooling and purring -- even better -- then she feels soothed and relaxed in your presence -- how positively adorable. The relaxation just might be so intense that all thoughts of swallowing go out the door -- hello messy drool.

    Other "Happy" Signs

    A giddy cat might not only drool and purr simultaneously, she might also put on a full show of "feeling good" actions -- think rolling over on her back and showing you her belly and then perhaps headbutting your knees.

    Drooling Medical Conditions

    Do not always assume that drooling is necessarily a happy action, even if accompanied by purring. In some cases, drooling can be a sign of a medical problem in cats, including toxicity to certain plants, feline herpes, halitosis and various upper respiratory infections. If your cat's drooling seems excessive, take her to the veterinarian just to make sure everything is fine and that her drooling isn't health-related.

    Purring Due to Sickness or Fear

    Surprisingly, purring isn't always necessarily a happy thing either. The ASPCA states that a cat's purr could also be a sign that she isn't feeling well or is very frightened. The sound may be a means for the little one to cope and soothe herself -- poor thing. If you suspect that your cat's purring could be related to any type of sickness, get her checked out at the vet as soon as possible to be safe.

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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