My cat is 15 now and was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma and it seems she may be on the last of her lives. While my family is very saddened about this news and didn't know about the risk factors early on in her life, we now have to just take care of her as best we can.

Unfortunately for my parents, who keep her in the house, she drools almost constantly because of the ailment in her mouth. This has resulted in having to constantly wipe her mouth; her legs become dirty from the saliva mixed with food, and the furniture and floors get dirty as well. While this may seem petty to worry about, my parents have to do a lot of extra work cleaning up everything, and it is sad to see her unable to control it.

We try to feed her soft, cold foods, clean her regularly, and give her Life Gold (this is not a plug for the product but it does seem to be helping), but the problem of her drooling still remains. Is there anything we can do to help stop this?

  • 1
    A distinct symptom of the disease is drooling. I can't find a treatment for it that would alleviate the drooling that isn't also a potential cure. Having said that, my information isn't as extensive as some others. Have you consulted a vet?
    – Joanne C
    Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 3:21
  • My mom took her to a vet which is how she was diagnosed and our options for treatment are very limited. She must have forgot to ask about the drooling problem, so to answer your question, yes and no, which is why I'm posting here. Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 4:09
  • I understand. I haven't found any information that would lead me to believe that you can do something, but I only have a vets quick consult book that I can use to seed my search on Google when it doesn't have a specific answer. Hence the reason I asked, a vet may have more information with a more detailed resource.
    – Joanne C
    Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 4:13
  • @starmandeluxe will see if I can find something. The only good thing is, her mouth is not dry, there are more problems associated with that and cancer sufferers :/
    – user6796
    Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 6:15

1 Answer 1


This is difficult and heart breaking.

From what you have told me, it would seem that she is not producing excess saliva, as perhaps having difficulty swallowing her saliva. (please advise if this is not the case).

Your parents could make up a saline solution, of warm water and salt, and use a syringe plunger to inject the solution across her teeth and gums after eating. This would help remove some of the food. By placing the syringe in the corner of the cheek (facing towards the front of the mouth and ensuring the cats head is no back, as we don't want her to choke on the solution), gently and slowly expel some of the saline solution from the inside of her cheek towards the teeth.

A warm water solution and cloths can be used to wipe her face, legs and chest to help her keep clean. Adding a cleaning substance to the water, may be too much for her to tolerate, the foreign smells and cause her further distress if she attempts to clean herself, so I recommend, just plain warm water.

I would consult the vet for any topical products that may relieve any pain in her mouth that may be preventing her from swallowing. If she is suffering, there may also be a systemic analgesic that may also help her.

Another possibility is to try her on increasing liquid substitutes. There are various liquid formulas that your vet can recommend. Many cancer patients end up having to supplement their diet with liquid nutrition. Also, this may not be viable, depending on how well she is able to drink, as if she cannot swallow her drool, this could be a problem. I don't know how she would go drinking from a baby bottle.

The only way, I can see, is for her to have this careful regime 3-4 times a day to help keep her as clean and comfortable as possible. It sounds like she may not have a long time in this state, as she will eventually be unable to chew and swallow food. So this can offset the difficulties of caring for her, knowing that it won't be for a very long time.

If she is unable to swallow properly, be sure to keep checking that she is not dehydrating, as this is a painful condition, and if these types of complications cannot be managed, it can sometimes be kinder to take the hard road of euthanasia.

I do not say this lightly, and hope she is able to have some comfortable months and your parents are able to enjoy her.

I have not recommended specific products, as I'd prefer to see her vet do this.

  • Let us know how she goes and you can visit us in chat chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/10964/the-litter-box
    – user6796
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 6:03
  • Thank you so much for the advice. We will try these things. I fear for when the day comes when she has to go... Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 19:01

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