It’s pretty gross: You’re chewing a mouthful of perfectly grilled steak and look over to see a string of drool hanging from Sophia's mouth. Appetite gone. If her drooling occurs only when meat's on your menu, you're fine. But drooling can be a side effect of allergies and a sign of something serious.
Causes of Feline Allergies
Kitties can be allergic to the same stuff humans can. Basic everyday things in her environment are peculiarly sensitive for her, causing her immune system to overreact. Grass, pollen, mold, strong perfumes, cigarette smoke, cleaning products, certain foods and even bug bites can make her have an array of uncomfortable symptoms.
Her allergy symptoms are most likely very similar to yours. You’ll see her eyes get watery, she’ll scratch her ears uncontrollably, paw at her face and tug at certain spots of her coat. What you might not notice is that she may also be feeling a little nauseated. This is where the drooling sets in.
Why She Drools
When allergies act up and nausea ensues, one thing the nausea might do is cause excessive saliva production. The saliva has to come out somehow, and kitties can’t spit. Instead, she’ll drool. The only thing you can do is keep up with her around the house with a tissue, wiping away the wet mess.
Other Drooling Health Concerns
Even though drooling may be a side effect of her nausea from allergies, if she’s slobbering nonstop, allergies may not be the primary cause. Watch for blood in her saliva. Losing blood can be a sign of severe dental problems, such as gum disease or a broken tooth. If she has some kind of dental disease, odds are her drool will have a nasty, foul smell. Sofia’s saliva abundance can also stem from a growth or obstruction in her mouth, abnormal jaw alignment or other health issues. Whether the drooling's allergy-related or caused by another health concern, the vet's your destination.
Harmless Drooling Behavior
Her drooling spells may have nothing to do with allergies or any sort of health problems. If she’s normally a food drooler – meaning she has strings of spit hanging from her mouth every time you walk into the kitchen – then salivating excessively when she gets excited about eating is just likely one of her personal traits. It’s nothing to worry about as long as she actually eats when you put her plate down in front of her. Some four-legged critters also dribble a lot when they’re overly stimulated, such as during an intense massage from you. As long as her appetite doesn’t change, she’s not losing blood and she doesn’t seem to be in pain, these episodes of drooling are probably normal. But check with your veterinarian just in case.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.