Please note that some posts contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links Find out More

Why Cats Drool During Petting

by | Apr 5, 2019 | Ask Amy Videos, Cat Behavior & Care | 17 comments

Does your cat DROOL during petting? What’s up with that? I’m fortunate that Karma-Kat doesn’t do this, but for some cats, petting ends up drenching the cat AND the person. You both end up needing a bath, not that cats enjoy bathing.

WHY DOES MY CAT DROOL, EWWW!

How many folks have experienced a drooling, bubble-blowing saliva-spewing kitty? Since they’re much smaller than dogs, the drool factor may not be quite the same level as, say, a St. Bernard. Lovers of drooly dogs invest in drool-resistant attire and regularly hose down walls, furniture, or anything else within drool-flinging range.

I exaggerate, but not by much.

Cats also can turn on the water works. Sometimes a drooling cat is a sign of dental issues or sore mouths. While the sight of something tasty can get my Bravo-Dog soaking wet with slobber-icity, the same thing rarely seems to happen with cats.

Cats (and dogs) do sometimes suck on weird objects, though. And when a cat feels stressed, excessive grooming may be a way he helps calm himself. That could require increased salivation, but I’m not aware of a direct link between drooling and stress.

drooling catsWhy Cats Drool During Petting

But some cats salivate when petted. The more they get petted, the greater the drippy flow. I really don’t know why some cats drool and blow bubbles while others don’t. They must simply be wired differently.

The mechanism to turn on the water works has to do with the same pleasure triggers that prompt petted cats to knead/tread in satisfaction. Cats’ impulse to knead hearkens back to the sensation they felt when nursing, and eating would trigger salivation. So it’s not a huge jump to attribute salivating and drooling to these same pleasurable sensations. Drooling when petted is one more way cats show us love.

Do your cats drool? What are the circumstances? I’m curious if cats in the same household might “copy cat” behavior and more than one do this or is it primarily an individual issue? What are some other ways your cats show you they LIKE something? What else have I missed in the Ask Amy video below? Please share!

YouTube Button

Subscribe to Amy’s YouTube Channel

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

17 Comments

  1. Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

    And here I am remembering that silly line from the remake of “The Incredible Journey”

    Cats Rule and Dogs Drool

    Didn’t know it was the other way around sometimes!

    Wayne

    Reply
    • amyshojai

      ROTFL! Lots of people ascribe to that notion, Wayne. But the cats would argue that they rule whether they drool or not.

      Reply
  2. Karyl Cunningham

    What does this kitty’s body language say? Look at the ears, the whiskers, the eyes…

    “That’s nice. Where is my treat bowl?” 😉

    Anubis, on the other hand, LOVES hugs. Hugs, kisses, whatever, as long as it comes from one of “his” people. He seems to adore even full-on snuggles, and apparently we invented a new Best Thing Ever when we created what we call the “snuggle sammich”, where I pick him up and hug him, and James hugs me, so it’s a big group hug with the fluffball in the middle. He purrs his fool head off, curls his tail in that way he does when he’s pleased, and just eats it up (unless he’s grumpy or his tummy isn’t feeling so good, then he just wants down).

    Simba it just weirds out. LOL She’d rather just lay next to you in bed. Or sit on top of your head when you’re napping on the couch. She does that one a lot.

    My parents used to have a cat (named Sharky because he was gray and white, circled like a shark, and ALWAYS pounced any bare toes he saw to lick them LOL) who drooled like a mastiff when he was happy. He would leave huge puddles of wet on your knee. Of course, this was the same cat we’re determined thought he was a dog. Played with the dog’s toys… once tried to chase down a deer… unfortunately he was one of our coyote victims. : Just glad I wasn’t the one who found him… it apparently was NOT pretty… they figure after being torn up he dragged himself back to the barn with whatever strength he had left… poor guy. I still miss him. Note, he was the only one of the cats that drooled, so it doesn’t seem to be a copycat behavior. In his case it seemed to be sheer relaxation causing it. I think we always just kinda left a tissue nearby when petting him.

    Reply
    • amyshojai

      Wow, Karyl, that “snuggle sammich” would make Seren go balistic!

      Reply
      • Karyl Cunningham

        It would make MOST cats I’ve known go ballistic, Simba included. LOL But Anubis, if he trusts you, is what I call a “marshmallow kitty” – he adores being picked up and cuddled. I’ve known a tiny handful of other cats like that. I blame the Main Coone in his lineage – I’ve known a lot of cuddly Maine Coons. It is a bit ironic, though, considering what we (and his vet) suspect the OTHER part of his heritage might be, but that would only account for about 1/4 of his makeup if we’re right. He displays wild behaviors in several aspects (which makes him quite the challenge to live with at times) and yet if you’re one of The Chosen Ones he’s an absolute cuddle-bug.

        He’s still no Chester – Chester belonged to my aunt and uncle down the road and was an absolute teddy bear. If you were touching him, giving him any kind of attention at all, it was great. Haul him around, flop him upside down and hold him like a baby – didn’t matter, he’d purr his head off and when you put him down he’d run right back for more.

        Reply
        • amyshojai

          Chester sounds very like a Ragdoll (not in looks necessarily but in temperament). Big fluffy lap-loving kitties that “forgive” a lot of handling, LOL!

          Reply
  3. leslieberry

    As a teenager my family had a St. Bernard (dry mouth, thank you very much) but she could still spray down the walls. The only drooly cat I’ve had let the waterworks loose after I returned from an extended absence. I always assumed she was happy to see me again. Such a sweet kitty.

    Reply
    • amyshojai

      Leslie, my last German shepherd could really spray the walls, too. *s*

      Reply
  4. Marcia

    Thanks goodness my Rocky doesn’t drool. 🙂 He does love my hugs, though only mine. He’ll rub on my hubs when hubs gets down on the floor to play or to find toy mice under the furniture for him. I can pick him up and hold him like baby and get all in his face and he loves it. When my hubs and I are sitting and talking after a meal, Rocky reaches out a paw to ‘ask’ if it’s okay to get up in my arms. He loves being held. Gives me a warm feeling, too. 🙂

    Reply
    • amyshojai

      It’s magic when they DO enjoy it, yes! Rocky sounds like a sweetheart. And they are very particular about who they grant the privilege.

      Reply
  5. Marcia

    One other thing, Amy. Don’t know if this is typical, but I’ve found that male cats are far more affectionae than females. Is that just my experience or is that ypically the way it is?

    Reply
    • amyshojai

      Ya know, I’ve heard other folks suggest that, too. But there’s really no survey to support the notion and I suspect it’s pretty equal between girl and boy cats. But the boys may show affection a bit differently, since they tend to be larger and maybe therefore not as concerned about being “man-handled?” That’s just a guess, though.

      Reply
      • Marcia

        Oh that would make sense, Amy. Rocky is a big boy. Thanks!

        Reply
  6. Nell

    Hello
    I love your article! And I love cats! I think drooling when a cat is kneading is a sign that the cat was taken from its mum too early and never had the chance to grow out of the habit naturally. My cat drools as well, only when he kneads, and he makes a lot of noise when he wants attention.

    Reply
    • amyshojai

      Thanks for visiting the blog. You certainly may be right about the kneading. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Jessica Beeson

    I’m wondering if you know why my cat drools all over me while I pet her but not on my husband. She was my husband’s cat first, had her for 2 years before I came along. We’ve been living together for 3 years and she started this like a year ago.. Thanks!!

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Feline salivation | Sheilahirt - [...] Feline Friday: Ask Amy~Why Cats Drool During Petting « Amy …Apr 13, 2012 … When a cat feels stressed,…
  2. Cat Aggression: 4 Kinds of Cat Aggression, and How To Keep the PeaceAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] Some cats, though, love petting so much they drool when petted. Learn more here. […]
  3. National Love Your Pet Day: 14 Ways How Pets Show LoveAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] Cats drool when they’re petted.  […]
  4. Pet Dental Problems: 9 Tooth Problems You Share With Pets!AMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] some cats drool when happy during petting, drooling cats and dogs point to dental problems. Hopefully, you won’t have that…

Leave a Reply

Categories:

Recent Posts

Safe Hot Weather Games for Pets: Keep Cats & Dogs Cool in Hot Weather

Yikes! It’s hot-hot-hot here in Texas. We’ve hit triple digits already. Shadow-Pup is NOT happy. He misses his ZOOMIES in the back garden, but I’m afraid to let him overdo too much. It’s time for hot weather games for pets and keeping cats and dogs cool in hot weather. This year, I’ve invested in more indoor fun for Karma-Kat and Shadow-pup, some with the help of pet products companies sharing neato-torpedo products. Here are some of my favorite pet hot weather games, including Tearribles, Purrini, and LifePro Dog Treatmill (giving some schtuff away!).

What kind of cat toys float your kitty’s boat?  Do your pets enjoy water fountains? Would your hot dog relish a cooling bed, or a wading pool? I offer some more hot weather games and tips in the ASK AMY video, below.

And for a flash from the past, enjoy the Magical-Dawg video of some water fun. I need to get that doggy tub out this year and see if Shadow might indulge.

How do your dogs deal with the weather? Please share your tips for keeping hot dogs cool customers!

Fearful Fido? Know the Signs of Dog Fear, Anxiety, and Stress (FAS)

June is Pet Anxiety Awareness Month. Do you have a fearful Fido? Do you need help with the fireworks and loud thunderstorms happening this time of year that makes dogs scared? It seems silly, but some dogs feel stress when their human wears a hat! I wanted to share some resources for recognizing and understanding signs of canine fear, anxiety, and stress.

While it’s normal for dogs to be cautious and not run head on into traffic, too much stress and anxiety isn’t healthy. Fear, anxiety, and stress (FAS) also affect the immune system, impacting both physical and emotional health.

Up to 20 percent of dogs will be born prone to introversion and fear. Proper socialization improves puppy confidence, but abuse or poor socialization can result in anxiety-ridden adults. Pain or illness also can cause anxiety so these dogs associate certain kinds of handling with discomfort. Ongoing anxiety, stress or fear may lead to fear aggression.

Extreme fear interferes with learning, making it even more difficult to help dogs overcome the angst. Fearful dogs quickly recognize that escape behaviors or fear aggression makes the scary situation go away, so they learn to repeat these behaviors…

Chewy Once a Year Blue Box Event: Pet Products Savings for Your Special Pets

Y’all may notice something different about my blog–yes, it’s been spiffed up, thanks to a fantastic web designer! Seems the perfect time to celebrate with some great opportunities for your pets. Once a year, Chewy price drops all kinds of pet goodies in their Blue Box Event–good from June 21 through June 24, so don’t wait. Stock up on all the must-have dog products and cat essentials, as well as pocket pet supplies. Oh, you’ll find way too many bargains for me to list simply by going to this Blue Box Event link. But here are some of my favorites. Shadow-Pup and Karma-Kat put in their orders. Shhh, keep it a secret or your fur buddies may swipe the credit cards and have a fun time!

Get a $25 eCard Gift Card when you purchase $75 worth of select pet products favorites.

Up to 50% Off Select Toys During Chewy’s Blue Box Event.

Up to 50% Off Select Disney During Chewy’s Blue Box Event

Up to 30% Off Once-a-Year Pet Parent Deals During Chewy’s Blue Box Event

Learn about more savings…

Small In Show: Calling All Pocket (and other ) Pets!

Why do dogs and cats get all the love? Well… they deserve it, but so do the #SmallInShow contenders, as Rainn Wilson says. “Small pets are truly overlooked. Everyone goes straight to dogs and cats. But Kaytee is out to show that these little creatures have big personalities and are just as worthy to be part of your family. That’s something that was easy to get behind,” said Rainn Wilson.

No, I’m not compensated to share this. It just tickled me, and we all need some giggles these days. Back in the day, I loved my hamsters Whiskers, Snowball, and Cinnamon, and the first pet article I ever sold (for real live dollar$$$) detailed the story of my rescue parrot, Venus, a spectacle Amazon. Pocket pets deserve the love, too.

Besides, I miss attending Westminster, and certainly understand where Rainn comes from in his disappointment. Enjoy this fun MOCK-umentary from Kaytee. The company is launching its inaugural #SmallinShow Award Show, inviting pet parents of hamsters, bunnies, mice, birds and other small companions to share images and stories of their mini heroes across social media. The #SmallinShow Award Show will culminate with the crowning of three winners who will each receive a one-year supply of Kaytee products….

Work Goes To the Dogs & Cats: PSI’s Take Your Pet To Work Week!

Today, it’s PSI’s TAKE YOUR CAT TO WORK DAY! At my house, every week is Take Your Pet to Work Week. This year, it falls on June 20-24, with the CATS’ day on Monday, and the DOGS’ day on Friday. For many folks who continue to work at home, they experience the joy–and challenges–of work with furry companions 24/7.

Created by Pet Sitters International in 1999 to help promote pet adoptions, this week celebrates the 24th anniversary of the event. I’ve written about this nearly every year, so you’ll recognize some of the pictures in the blog.

This year, of course, we have a new dog, Shadow, helping us celebrate. And we’re still navigating a new “normal” after losing our beloved Bravo following his cancer diagnosis. You’ll see some pictures of Bravo with Karma and Shadow, below, as I can’t bear to remove them just yet…after all, he’s still one of my Furry Muses…

Heatstroke Dangers: Pet First Aid for Hot Weather Play & Travel

These hot summer days, Shadow loves to run and play outside, but the hot weather can lead to heatstroke dangers in dogs as well as people. This week, we topped the thermostat at 101 degrees, and it will continue to hover near three digits all week long. Fun in the sun can quickly turn to tragedy if pet owners don’t take precautions to prevent cat and dog heatstroke dangers. Pet heatstroke is common because cats and dogs can’t effectively keep cool in hot summer weather. It becomes especially dangerous during summer travel in cars. Here’s how to save your pets’ lives if they overheat…

How to Prepare for a Disaster: Pet Preparedness & Tips

With the latest hurricane on the way, it's time to revisit your pet disaster plan. You do have one, right? After Katrina and Harvey, everyone should understand the importance of disaster preparation. June is National Pet Preparedness Month, and in the fall, September...

Check the Chip: All About Pet Microchips

It's Check Your Pet Microchip Day on August 15! It's early to check but everyone needs a reminder. Your cats and dogs are microchipped, right? When he was (ahem) neutered, Shadow-Pup got his microchip. Both Bravo-Dawg and Karma-Kat already had microchips so that if...

Our Pet Memory Garden: Honoring Furry Muses

Those who follow this blog know about our rose garden tribulations. We live on 13 acres, with lots of area to landscape. It remains a work in progress, and I had several ideas for pet remembrance and plants to honor pets like my Bravo, Magic, Seren and others....

Visit Amy’s Website

Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

On Demand Writer Coaching

AmyShojai.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com http://amazon.com/.

Awards

Memberships

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This