Reason 1: Your Cat Could Be Congested
Feline upper respiratory infection is relatively unusual in cats that live in low-stress environments but unfortunately, it can be quite common in shelters. Its commonly compared to a cold in humans and just like the cold causes congestion, sore throats, sneezing, and more. It can also vary greatly in severity.
After spending a decade working in shelters, Ive sadly seen a lot of upper respiratory infections in cats.
In some cases, the congestion can get to the point where cats find it easier to breathe through their mouth instead of their nose. Most cats wont do this for long periods of time and instead its usually done for a few moments.
If your cat has an upper respiratory infection thats leading to open mouth breathing then youll likely know it. Theyll be congested enough that you can hear them breathing but other issues like nasal polyps can cause congestion.
Cats that are breathing through their mouth will open and close their mouth in an almost gulping movement. If youre seeing anything like this, its important to consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Foreign Objects In Your Cats Mouth
While youre checking your cats teeth, look for anything that might be stuck in their mouth, such as a piece of string or a small object, that could be causing discomfort. Sometimes cats get tumors in their mouths or on their tongues, which can also lead to drooling.
Keep in mind that unlike dogs, cats are usually not keen on having their mouths inspected, so it would be very easy to miss something. If you do find something in your cats teeth or mouth, never try to remove it from your catâs mouth on your own. For example, pulling on string or yarn stuck in your cats mouth could make the situation much worse. For this reason, it is always good to visit your vet for a more thorough, compete oral evaluation.
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Reason : There Could Be Something In Your Cats Mouth Or Throat
I hate having a piece of food stuck in my teeth. Luckily, I always carry some extra floss around so its not a problem. But if I forget my floss, you can certainly expect some weird mouth movements out of me as I try to get the food loose.
A little gross, I know.
Our cats dont have the luxury of flossing! But they still may suffer from something stuck in their teeth from time to time. If this happens, youll not only see weird mouth movements but also some pawing at their mouth too. If something is stuck in their throat and mouth, you may even see some gagging or retching.
The most common culprits here are going to be hard kibble, a bone, part of a toy, a piece of their collar, or even their own hair in some cases. In other words, it could be quite a few things.
When it comes to kibble or hair, it will usually sort itself out and your cat will probably be able to successfully loosen it up with some up, down, and side to side motions of their mouth. Time is also on your side here as these items will usually break up on their own.
But with other items, your cat is more likely to need a little help.
You can start by taking a look inside your cats mouth. The video below is focused on administering an oral medication but it also gives you excellent instruction on how to look inside your cats mouth:
You may not be to do anything about it at that moment but it will at least let you know know what youre dealing with and help your veterinarian respond appropriately.
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Feline Upper Respiratory Infections
If your cat begins to sneeze or has a runny nose or eyes within 7 days after you get him/her home, chances are that the cat has come down with URI. The virus is quite contagious to other cats, so if you have any resident cats, keep them separate. You can expect symptoms to continue for 7-10 days and they may vary in intensity . The cat may sneeze, have discharge from eyes and nose, drool and breathe with difficulty through his or her mouth. The cat may lose its appetite and even stop drinking. If the discharge from your cats eyes and nose is watery and the cats temperature is normal, you are dealing with simple URI virus. Mucous and fever are indicators that a secondary bacterial infection is complicating the picture. With these conditions the cat most likely will need antibiotics. It is imperative that you seek veterinary treatment for the cat exhibiting any signs of a URI as soon as possible. Kittens with underdeveloped immune systems are especially vulnerable to contracting URI’s. With rest, care and veterinary intervention, many cats will recover from mild URI in one or two weeks.
What should I do if my new cat has a URI?
When should I contact my veterinarian?
If your cat has any of the following symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately:
Abnormal Causes Of Cat Panting
Bad breath in cats is
If a cats panting happens routinely, or if it lasts a long time, it could be a sign of a medical problem. Cat panting that occurs without an obvious trigger, such as vigorous play, also signals a more serious health problem.
Sometimes cats pant because they are having difficulty breathing . A cat in respiratory distress may also wheeze, cough, refuse to stand up, or stand with her head hanging low to the ground as she pants.
Many health conditions can cause breathing difficulties in cats, including anemia, asthma, bronchitis, a bacterial respiratory infection, or pneumonia. If you think your cat is having difficulty breathing, it is an emergency. Take her to your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary hospital right away.
If a cat pants after mild exertion, such as after walking up the stairs, it could signal that something is wrong with her heart, such as congestive heart failure. Cats infected with heartworms may also pant or cough. Other signs of heart disease in cats include lethargy , poor appetite, and weight loss.
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Should You Worry About Weird Mouth Movements
Weird and unusual mouth movements arent something to just blow off but you also shouldnt jump to conclusions and immediately assume that your cat is suffering from a rare condition.
For the most part, if your cat is chattering at birds or reacting to something smelly then theres likely nothing to worry about. Not only are those the most benign explanations for strange mouth movements, but theyre also some of the most common.
Every other reason on this list could be a cause for concern and a good reason to visit the veterinarian. However, if youre ever unsure, its always a good idea to consult your veterinarian.
You can get a better idea of what explanation may make the most sense for your cat by understanding the context behind the mouth movements. If it occurs every time they see a bird outside the window, then you can feel pretty confident that its a chattering response.
If it happens after they smell your dirty sock, then were probably looking at the Flehmen Response and if its after chasing their favorite toy up and down the stairs then it might be panting.
But if it occurs after eating or at random times then it may be a cause for concern.
If at any point your cat stops eating or you notice other behavioral changes in addition to strange mouth movements then its time to consult your veterinarian.
When Your Cat Needs Veterinary Assistance
If your cat has any of these symptoms in addittion to the drooling, more help is needed
- Vomiting frequently
If you can take your cat to the vet, do so right away. The veterinarian might need to examine your cat under anesthesia, do bloodwork to check for organ damage or infection, and may even need to do x-rays or an abdominal ultrasound. None of these tests can be done at home.
When your cat has something stuck in his or her mouth, a broken tooth, or is just salivating a lot because of something they ate, if you have a veterinarian available you should schedule a visit now and help them feel better. This excessive drooling problem might clear up right away or in a few days and your lives can return to normal.
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Could There Be A Different Reason Why My Cats Mouth Hangs Open
The Flehmen reaction is harmless and can even be fun to watch. However, there can be other reasons for a cat to keep his or her mouth open. Some cats seem to forget themselves for a second or two during grooming, staring at something with their mouth slightly ajar. They may even close their mouth and leave the tongue hanging out there!
What Does It Mean If My Cat Is Panting Like A Dog
A cats normal breathing rhythm should be smooth and unlaboured. Panting is usually a sign that something isnt right with your cat. Cats only breathe hard with their mouths open when they are very stressed, extremely hot, or a disease process is occurring.
Some degree of normal panting can be seen in cats, but context is important if you suddenly notice panting. If for example prior to panting your cat was doing some strenuous exercise, may be overheated or could be anxious, if possible to do so without stressing your cat, check your cats gum colour, if it is a normal pink to pale pink colour then you can monitor for a brief period of time. If related to a stressful episode that has passed or exercise, the panting should settle quickly within 5 15 minutes generally. If your cats gum colour seems to be a very pale pink , white, grey, blue or purple hued or their breathing itself is very laboured this is a serious cause for concern and could indicate they are not getting enough oxygen and need to be seen by a vet ASAP.
There are many conditions that could bring on a bout of sudden laborious panting and cats are notorious for hiding illness till they are very unwell, so this behaviour should never be ignored. Older cats are more at risk for medical conditions and less inclined to exercise as kittens so if seen in seniors it should be noted as even more likley to be a concern.
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Treatment For Cat Teeth Grinding
Because tooth grinding is often associated with pain, your veterinarian will need to create a treatment program that both relieves the pain and addresses the underlying medical issues.
Cats have inflamed gums or gingivitis more than people, says veterinarian Dr. Pamela Meuller of World of Animals in Philadelphia. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Mueller says that the first step is a professional cleaning. When necessary, a problematic tooth may be extracted. In some cases, a tooth may be saved by a restorative crown, says Mueller.
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Why Would A Cat Suddenly Start Drooling
Injury or disease of the mouth is one of the most common reasons a cat would suddenly start drooling. Tumors, tooth pain, and disease or irritation of the gums cause pain and difficulty swallowing leading to drooling. Other causes for sudden drooling in cats include nausea and exposure to toxic or irritating substances and problems with nerves including Rabies.
Kidney And Liver Disease
With kidney and liver disease toxins build up causing nausea. Other signs may include: behavioral changes, poor appetite, weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, vomiting and diarrhoea. Cats with liver disease may have yellow tinged gums or skin. With kidney disease toxins can cause ulcers in the mouth. These are often painful and cause drool that is foul smelling.
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Why Is My Cat Drooling
Sometimes its difficult to tell if what your kitty is doing is normal cat behavior. For instance, you may wonder if your cats drooling is normal or something to be concerned about. Here are some reasons why cats drool and some signs to look for so you know when your cats drooling requires a vet visit.
Have you ever seen your cat gaping with his mouth partly open, looking a bit like he has smelled something bad? It might also be described as grimacing or appearing to pant. He is probably showing what is called a Flehmen response, sometimes shortened to flehming.
The term comes from a German word referring to curling of the lips. The cat opens his mouth to allow scent to reach the vomeronasal organ in the roof of his mouth. That organ provides more information about certain scents than smelling them through the nasal passages alone. The resulting facial expression could also have you thinking your cat is chuckling about something! And who can say that isnt true?
Focus On Your Cat’s Feet
Most cats don’t like to have their feet touched. If yours doesn’t mind, look for stuck-on litter, torn claws, cuts, swellings or infections. Also, check your cat’s claws regularly to see if they need to be trimmed untrimmed claws can inadvertently scratch you, get caught on carpet and furniture and grow into the paw.
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Cat Drooling While Purring
Drooling is sometimes seen in healthy cats. For instance, some cats drool while very relaxed and receiving positive stimulation like petting. The drooling is often accompanied by purring. Sometimes cats may drool and purr while kneading a blanket or other soft material.
The reason for this is largely unknown, but it appears to be behavioral and not a medical problem. If your cat has always been a drooler when relaxed and purring, but seems fine at other times, its likely not a problem.
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Abnormal Drooling In Cats
If your cat’s drooling occurs constantly, there may be a health problem going on. This is especially the case if the drooling cannot be associated with contentment or food. All cats should be seen by the veterinarian at least once a year for routine wellness exams, even if they seem healthy. The vet can often detect problems before your cat shows signs.
If abnormal drooling occurs in between routine vet visits, you should contact your vet right away. Your cat may need to be seen for an examination. There are several health issues that can cause drooling in cats and require medical attention.
Cats Drool When They Are Nervous
If a nerve-wracking experience has ever left you with an upset stomach, it probably makes sense that kitties experience anxiety-induced nausea too. Cats who are on the verge of vomiting due to stress, fear, or car sickness will preemptively produce extra saliva to protect their mouths and teeth from the highly acidic contents of their stomachs. A buildup of saliva in combination with open-mouth panting often equates to a drooling kitty.
If a thunderstorm or trip to the vet has your feline friend drooling, nerves are the likely cause. Monitor your kitty to ensure that the excessive salivating stops once the stressful experience is over.
Cats are often quite outwardly stoic about pain and illness, so unexplained drooling can be a critical indicator of an underlying health problem. If youve noticed that your cat is producing an abnormal amount of saliva, dont hesitate to schedule an exam. Our feline friends cant tell us what is bothering them, but a veterinarian can help identify and treat the underlying cause of drooling.
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Oral And Dental Disease
Cats can develop various oral and dental issues that can go undetected until they cause extreme illness or pain. This pain often causes the cat to salivate excessively. Mouth ulcers, tooth injuries, gum disease, resorptive lesions, and infections are some well-known causes of drooling in cats.
Your veterinarian will examine your cat’s mouth to look for signs of dental and oral issues. If dental disease is seen, your vet will likely recommend professional dental cleaning with possible tooth extractions. This procedure must be done under general anesthesia.
Medications like antibiotics may be necessary to address your cat’s dental and mouth issues.