Why does my cat drool when she purrs? Cats express affection to humans in many ways, including by lying down and showing their tummies, rubbing their head on you, licking you and kneading you.

The next time you wonder, “Why does my cat drool when she purrs?” know that this, also, is one way she shows her love for you.

Yes, your cat may drool a bit when you are petting her. This could mean that the petting is so relaxing and makes her so happy that she forgets to swallow. Touching your feline’s nose or the side of her mouth with your fingertips will remind her to swallow.


Often, in adult cats, drooling is accompanied with kneading of the cat’s paws. The paw kneading technique is much like the action that nursing kittens use to stimulate their mother’s flow of milk. Your grown cat may be reproducing this behavior into adulthood. This instinct is primal and involuntary.

While this spittle is mostly associated with contentment and satisfaction, it can also signify anxiety… a fear of what is to come, such as a veterinary visit, or being given a nasty tasting medicine or an injection. This is psychological behavior.

Health Problems Possible

Salivating while purring can sometimes indicate problems in felines. If your cat has excessive saliva or if her drooling is accompanied by any signs of health issues (for instance, watering of the eyes), have your veterinarian check her and diagnose the problem.

According to veterinarian Arnold Plotnick, common health problems that can cause drooling include teeth and gum disorders, broken teeth, cranial nerve damage and uremia brought on by severe kidney failure. Also, certain medications (Flagyl, Chlortrimeton and sulfa antibiotics), plants and common cleaning products can induce hypersalivation in your pet.

Keep a Close Watch

Why does my cat drool when he purrs?“Why does my cat drool when she purrs?” is probably a question easily answered by watching your cat’s actions when she is dribbling. Most likely, it is a sign of her complete happiness and contentment in life. Chances are, you can take that flow of saliva coming from her mouth when she’s sitting in your lap as an undeniable compliment to your love and attention.

However, you may want to wear some old clothes or place a towel across your lap the next time you’re petting her — you never know when she’ll decide to show you how much you are loved.

Additional Resources

Photos: nadja.robot (top) and octette_stars/Flickr


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