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Why is my cat drooling after I put flea medication on her?

Updated July 19, 2017

Most causes of feline drooling are benign. Flea medications are generally alcohol-based and the alcohol causes oral irritation in cats. Most commonly, a cat drooling or frothing at the mouth following a flea medication treatment has got some in her mouth.

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It's crucial to follow instructions closely when applying flea medication treatments. Applying the medicine to the base of the skull beneath the fur is essential. Cats don't like foreign substances on their bodies and will attempt to lick themselves clean. If the flea medication is not properly applied, your cat might succeed in making oral contact with it.


The most common cause of cats drooling is oral irritation. Oral problems interfere with swallowing, causing a build-up and release of fluids. Gum and dental disease, the presence of foreign bodies in the mouth, and oral lacerations are all likely culprits in a drooling cat. Other causes include pain, nausea or dizziness. Some cats will drool when they're happy.

Feline Oral Discomfort

Signs that your cat is experiencing oral discomfort include failure or unwillingness to eat, bad breath, bloody saliva and pawing at the mouth. Drooling can accompany any of these.


To prevent your cat from drooling and frothing at the mouth, apply the flea medication to the base of the skull beneath the fur and directly against the skin where the cat cannot reach it. Multiple cats in a household should be kept from grooming each other for 24 hours following an application of flea medication. Washing the drooling cat in warm soapy water is acceptable, but might necessitate a second medication.

Veterinary Assistance

While many causes of feline drooling are indicative of serious oral problems, ingestion of flea medication typically is not. A phone call to your veterinarian will answer this definitively one way or the other. A sudden bout of drooling or frothing at the mouth can easily panic a cat and its owner so be sure to have a veterinarian's phone number handy.

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About the Author

Waller Starky is a teacher of creative writing as well as a novelist and playwright, and has been writing professionally since 2007. His work has appeared in the online journals Superstition Review, Pindledyboz, SwitchBack, EdificeWrecked, Armageddon Buffet and more. He has a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of North Carolina-Asheville and a Master of Fine Arts in playwriting from Adelphi University.

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