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Why Does My Cat Drool When I Give Them Medicine?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. August 15, 2018
Why Does My Cat Drool When I Give Them Medicine?

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As with many edibles designed to improve our health, medications can often taste unpleasant. If your cat has already experienced ingesting medicine, they may begin to shake if they think you are going to administer them. It can be a very stressful situation for both pet and caregiver. For this reason it is very important to en sure the cat is subdued and secure, making the process as swift as possible to reduce stress.

In this AnimalWised article, we look at the reason why cats drool when you give them medicine. We will also show you some tricks to help reduce the stress of these necessary administrations and see if there are any other reasons why your cat may be drooling.

You may also be interested in: Why Does my Cat Drool when Petted?

Why does my cat drool when I give them oral medication?

Giving oral medication to a cat is rarely a simple nor fun experience for anyone involved. The first obstacle is usually how to properly restrain the cat while introducing the drug to their mouth. Not only this, but once in their mouth, we need to ensure the cat does not immediately expel the medication. Complicating things further is finding a way to do it without the cat scratching or biting us.

Many people find that liquid medications are easier to administer than other forms of medication such as pills, capsules, eye drops or the dreaded injection. However, even liquid medications need patience, precision and a little force to keep the cat still and let them swallow the correct amount.

It can sometimes seem that our cat suffers a negative reaction to the drug as it is common to see a cat drooling at the mouth after administering a liquid medication. If we have taken our cat to the vet and they have prescribed the drug, then they should be giving something which has gone through the necessary controls before going to market. This doesn't mean it will taste pleasant to the cat, even if it is beneficial for them. What is likely is the cat is drooling as they try to expel the unpleasant taste from their mouth.

How to give oral medication to a cat which does not want it?

Something which worries cat guardians when giving them liquid medication is whether or not they ingest the correct dosage. This is particularly the case if we see the cat drooling afterwards. Many medications are absorbed transmucosally, meaning they are absorbed through mucus membranes such as those present in the mouth. As long as the cat keeps the medicine in their mouth, it is being absorbed. For this reason, the amount of medication expelled through drool is usually much less than it seems.

Here are some helpful tips to facilitate the process of giving your cat oral medication:

  • Liquid medications should come with a dropper or syringe for administration. You must only fill it with the amount recommended by the veterinarian. Never give them more, even if they drool afterwards.
  • With one hand, you should hold the cat's head still and introduce the syringe to the corner of the mouth. Insert it at the back molars between their teeth and their cheek. Ideally you should have someone else present to help you, but if this is not possible you can wrap their head in a towel to secure them.
  • The head of the cat should not be tilted upwards. Doing so can cause them to inhale the medicine and cause problems with their respiratory system. Once the syringe is correctly positioned press the plunger slowly and steadily until it is empty.
  • As soon as the medication has been administered, hold their mouth closed for a few seconds and caress their throat or gently blow on their nose to stimulate swallowing.
  • It is very important to offer the cat a treat to reward them and to help your bond.
Why Does My Cat Drool When I Give Them Medicine? - How to give oral medication to a cat which does not want it?

Adverse reactions to medicine in cats

In rare occasions a medication can cause adverse reactions in your cat. If this happens it is best to take your cat to the vet immediately.

There are some signs your cat may be suffering a reaction to medication:

  • Facial swelling
  • Difficulty breathing (panting, coughing, suffocation, etc.)
  • Collapse
  • Partial paralysis of the extremities
  • Persistent vomiting

It is common for a cat trying to make themselves vomit. Once it does they may feel better because they have expelled the medicine. The problem appears when the vomiting is persistent. Vomiting between 2 and 4 times in less than 8 hours is considered a veterinary emergency.

Other reasons your cat may be drooling

Sometimes, your cat may drool after being given oral medicine as the result of another problem, not the drug itself. If so, it is important to look at the cat drool and see if it happens during other circumstances. They will vary dependent on the cause of drooling:

  • Oral disease: the accumulation of tartar can cause the cat to drool. If you think this may be the case, you can lift their lips and look at their teeth and gums. If the gum is inflamed or is bleeding, then you should ask your vet to check for gingivitis, ulcers or even tumors.
  • Problems swallowing: while playing, it is possible for cat's to swallow broken pieces of toys or similar objects. They may be unable to swallow and have the foreign body stuck in their throat. If you can't remove it, you will need to take them to the vet. It also happens when they eat something unpleasant such as an insect which provides a bad taste.
  • Badly administered medicine: if you give your cat the medication with a pipette and observe that it begins to salivate excessively, it is possible the pipette was not placed correctly. If the liquid stays on the tongue rather than going down the throat, then it could be the medication and not saliva which is drooling from their mouths.
  • Heat stroke: flat faced or peke-type cats such as Peke-faced Persian cats are more likely to suffer heat stroke. This is despite the fact cats tend to suffer less from heat stroke in general. Nevertheless, it is important that the cat always has plenty of fresh and clean water available.
  • Dizziness: cats do not travel much by car. Dizziness usually only occurs when they are moving house or visiting the vet. This situation is highly stressful for cats. Panting and breathing with their mouth open can cause the cat to drool, something any stressful situation such as being given medicine can cause.

If you want to know more, we also have this article on why does my cat drool when petted? It can give you some helpful information on why they may be drooling when medication is not a factor.

Why Does My Cat Drool When I Give Them Medicine? - Other reasons your cat may be drooling

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Why Does My Cat Drool When I Give Them Medicine?, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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Afreen mujawar
I want ghe exact name of the medicine..plzz help me..my cat didnt eat anything frm 4 to 5 days..and also suggest some home remedies. ..its urgent. .thank u
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Afreen,

The first part of your question is unclear, but this article is not discussing any specific medication, simply any meds you may need to give orally. If you cat hasn't eaten anything for 4 or 5 days, they are in very serious danger of malnutrition. The reason could be varied, but the only way to find it out is to go to a qualified veterinarian. To help your cat this is the best option.

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