Tip 61 – Drooling cats – kneading cats – Cats that drool and knead
Occasionally adult cats will drool while they are being petted, massaged or while nuzzling into fabrics. This drooling is usually accompanied with the kneading of the cat’s paws. This paw kneading action is identical to that performed by nursing kittens and it is this behaviour that the cat is reproducing involuntarily in adulthood. Those adult cats that do drool/knead, often choose sweaters, coats or other clothing reminiscent of their original suckling environments. There, the nursing kittens kneaded their paws on their mothers, to stimulate milk flow from their teats. The anticipation and smell of the milk caused the kitten to salivate and drool.
Even though the reason cats drool and knead is in response to the warmth and good feeling they’re getting off of the petter or sweater, some people find that this is a behaviour that they’d like to correct. This is difficult since it is so primal and involuntary. It would be like trying to correct a human being for salivating at a summer barbeque. If the cat drools on you, get or wear older clothing or place a dishtowel on your lap. It would be best in this situation, to keep valuable/cherished clothing items AND/OR the materials that the cat finds ‘droolable’ locked away safely.
If your cat is not a drooler/kneader as described above, then sudden drooling normally indicates a problem. The problem can range from to a chipped/cracked tooth or gum infection (the more common reasons), to poisoning or a foreign object lodged in the throat. Try gently checking your cat’s mouth and look to see if you can spot the problem. Maybe there is a splinter or foreign object you can see and easily remove it without hurting the animal. If not, then it’s time to visit the vet and diagnose the severity of the condition.