Why is my cat drooling and not eating? Cats are generally known for their meticulous grooming habits, and drooling is not shared.

So, when you notice your feline friend drooling excessively and refusing to eat, it can be concerning and signal an underlying health issue. In this read, we will explore the potential causes of excessive drooling and loss of appetite in cats, how to recognize the signs, and when to seek veterinary attention.

Common Causes of Excessive Drooling and Not Eating in Cats:

Dental Issues

Teeth problems, such as gum problems, toothache, or an object stuck in the teeth, can lead to pain and discomfort, causing excessive drooling and reluctance to eat. Cats use their teeth to chew food, so any dental issue can impact their appetite.

Oral Infections

Infections in the mouth, including stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth tissues), can result in drooling and difficulty eating. 

Gastrointestinal Issues

Cats with gastrointestinal problems, such as gastritis or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), may experience nausea, which can lead to drooling and a decreased appetite. These conditions can also cause discomfort and abdominal pain.

Toxic Ingestion

Ingesting toxic substances, plants, or chemicals can result in drooling and may deter your cat from eating. Common toxins include certain houseplants, household cleaners, and medications.

Foreign Object Ingestion

If a cat swallows a foreign object like a piece of string or a small toy, it can obstruct the digestive tract, leading to drooling and an aversion to eating. In rare cases, this can also be life-threatening and require immediate veterinary attention.

Oral Tumors

Tumors or growths in the mouth, throat, or on the tongue can cause discomfort and difficulty swallowing. Drooling and a reluctance to eat may be early signs of oral cancer.

Upper Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections in cats, particularly those caused by the feline herpes virus or calicivirus, can result in nasal discharge and sneezing. Cats may also drool due to congestion, making eating unappealing.


Dysphagia refers to difficulty swallowing, which can occur due to neurological issues, muscle weakness, or structural problems in the throat or esophagus. Cats with dysphagia may drool excessively and struggle to eat or drink.

Liver or Kidney Disease

Organ diseases such as liver or kidney disease can lead to an accumulation of toxins in the bloodstream, causing nausea and a decreased appetite. Cats may drool as a response to feeling unwell.

Stress or Anxiety

Stressors like moving, new additions to the household, or changes in their living conditions can lead to anxiety-induced drooling and appetite loss.

Signs and Symptoms to Look For

Identifying the signs of excessive drooling and not eating in your cat is crucial for determining the cause and severity of the issue. Look out for the following symptoms:


Noticeable and continuous drooling, especially if it’s accompanied by wet fur around the mouth.

Loss of Appetite

Your cat may refuse to eat their regular meals or show reduced interest in food.

Weight Loss

A decreased appetite can result in weight loss, which can be a concerning sign if it persists.

Behavioral Changes

Cats in pain or discomfort may exhibit changes in behavior, such as hiding, aggression, or lethargy.

Bad Breath

Foul-smelling breath can indicate dental or oral health issues.

Pawing at the Mouth

Cats may paw at their mouths if they are experiencing oral pain or discomfort.


Cats with gastrointestinal issues may vomit, drool, and not eat.


A lack of energy or enthusiasm for play and activity can indicate illness.

Conclusion: Why is my cat drooling and not eating

Excessive drooling and a refusal to eat are concerning signs in cats that should not be ignored. These signs can indicate various underlying health issues, from dental problems to severe medical conditions. 

Quick veterinary attention is crucial to diagnose the cause and initiate the appropriate treatment. You should know that early intervention can often lead to a better and more successful recovery for your beloved feline companion. Your veterinarian will work with you to determine the best action to address your cat’s needs and restore their health and well-being.