I have a cat, 3 years old, female, spayed, mutt, indoor only, otherwise healthy and active who has been drooling excessively (a small bead on each corner of her mouth at any given time, small puddles when sleeping) for 2-3 days with no other changes (behavior, appetite, breathing, litter box, no change). She has no history of illness, and her only odd lifelong behavior is a strange love of playing in and drinking water (since she was 2 weeks old, so heavy water consumption is not a change for her) .

Normally I would take her to the vet for a dental exam as a first step.

However, at the moment, I am extremely short on funds, and would rather not make a trip to the vet unless there's nothing I can do.

So my question is: Under the assumption that it is not a life threatening condition (it at least does not appear to be urgent), what easy things can I check for on my own at home that also have solutions that I can try myself before taking her to the vet?

  • 2
    Does she drop her food or eat from one side? Does she appear to have difficulties eating? Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 0:25
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    Does she "favor" a side of her mouth for chewing her food? Can you look at her teeth and gums? Redness, swelling?
    – M.Mat
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 14:25
  • @RebeccaRVT I just watched her eat. It was normal. Does not drop food, does not favor one side. That said, she exclusively eats wet food, I will give her a bowl of dry food on Monday (when shipment arrives for other cat's new diet) and check again.
    – Jason C
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 18:04
  • If it turns your cat needs dental attention, check this website for info on ultrasonic scaling w/o anesthesia: avdc.org/dentalscaling.html You can call around your area and see if there are any monthly clinics at reduced rates. I saw ads for a business that did it once a month in a pet store I used to use.
    – M.Mat
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 18:28
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    @M.Mat. Dental scaling without anesthesia is unethical and quite frankly should be illegal. You absolutely cannot fully examine an animals mouth while awake. You get preanesthetic Bloodwork done and the entire procedure you're anesthetic levels are low as the dental team will give local analgesics. Problematic teeth will then be radiographed and correctly assessed. Scaling excess tarter only to reveal bifurcations/exposure of roots will cause infection and more pain, these teeth would need to be removed. This cat is drooling for a cause we are unsure of. Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 19:13

2 Answers 2


A drooly cat should be seen by a vet, since she is otherwise acting normal do it at your earliest convenience. There are low-cost vet clinics that you can check-out, there are also lines of credit you can get access to (ex. Petcard in Canada) and some clinics will do payment plans. Usually a drooling cat can be cause by a few things.

1) A painful mouth - ulcers, cuts, teeth

2) Nausea (excessively licking lips is also a sign of nausea)

3) A bad smell - if a cat REALLY hates the smell of something they will drool.

4) Really excited - Some cats will drool in a time of excitement, my co-workers cat would start drooling as soon as you started to pet her.

All in all, call your local clinics and ask for prices, if they do payment plans or if they can recommend a company that will give you an instant line of credit for pet care.

Another place you can try is the SPCA, some of them have veterinarians on staff who can do exams for free/discount for low-income families.

  • I forgot to update here. We were never exactly sure what was going on here, but the local vet happened to be running dental exam specials that month (they declared February "dental month", and made it official by plastering their entire office with cheesy pictures of smiling teeth), I had her teeth cleaned (the ones in the back were starting to get pretty gnarly), there were signs of some kind of mild gum infection, so we put her on antibiotics, too, and everything cleared up within about a week. She remains in perfect condition.
    – Jason C
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 11:47
  • Perfect! Yes we have dental month too lol. It's surprisingly hard to get clients to brush their pets teeth so we try to have these wellness months to educate. Just like us they need their teeth brushed too ;) Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 12:31

Hmmm. I would take her to the vet. Since funds are tight, do some internet research to find low-cost vets in your area. There are many resources for people on limited incomes with pets. You might also try homeless resources in you area--since many homeless people have pets, there are some very good vets who serve the homeless community who may be willing to work with your financial limits. With some research, I'll bet you can find someone to work within your budget.

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