The Maine Coon is one of the largest domestic cats and a popular family pet. It is often comapres to a dog because of the affection it lavishes on its owners. It likes to spend as much time with people as possible and doesn’t like to be left alone. Maine Coons can get ill, like any pet, and one behavior that might be mistaken for a health problem is dribbling.
Why does my Maine Coon drool? A Maine Coon often drools when it is happily purring in your lap, being petted. If you notice drooling in other situations, your Maine Coon could have bad teeth, a respiratory problem or another ailment. If you are worried it’s best to ask your vet for advice.
Don’t Believe Everything that you Read Online!
You do see a lot of odd reports regarding cat health online. Having had Maine Coons for 25 years I have a fair bit of experience in this field and have seen ours drooling on several occasions. I was shocked to see so many articles, many that had clearly copied each other, suggesting this is most typically a very serious condition and you should get them seen by
Maine Coons Drooling When They’re Happy
A Maine Coon may drool when it is happy and purring. This is by far the most common reason why your Maine Coon is exhibiting this behavior. You may also see it when they are kneading (either on your lap or something equally as comfy).
I usually notice our Charlie (white Maine Coon, 14) doing this when he is just sitting, quite content and usually purring. A bit of dribble develops and hangs out of his mouth (yuk) – I’ll get a paper towel and clean it up for him (which he doesn’t like). It is something he started to do as he became older and his brother, Harry, does it a lot less frequently (but still occasionally). Despite getting on a bit, they have never been so healthy and although Charlie is slowing down a little now he will still have his mad half-hour when he runs around the house like he’s a little kitten again.
So, in this example – our Maine Coons drool and it is not a sign of any health problems. Just a sign that they are happy and perhaps getting a bit old!
Maine Coons Drooling In Other Situations
In the vast majority of situations, you will notice your Maine Coon only drooling when they are relaxed, content and happy. But what about if you notice them doing it in other situations? Here are some other scenarios, although less common, which could be the reason behind it:
Maine Coon Mouth and Tooth Problems
Not everyone brushes their cat’s teeth. There can be several reasons for this and unless you started doing this when they were very young you may have problems starting this routine. They will be a lot more resistant to someone sticking a toothbrush in their mouth when they are older than if they’ve been brought up with someone doing this to them for years. Depending on the personality of the cat, you will need to weigh up whether the health benefits of brushing their teeth negates the anxiety and stress they feel if starting to do it when they are older, as the latter can actually be just as serious (or more so) than the tooth problems they may get if you don’t.
For us, as we got our two Maine Coons at a slightly older age, we decided against doing it and to be honest, we’ve been lucky as they’ve had no tooth problems at all (they are both 14 now). However, if I was starting again and had kittens then I would certainly try and brush their teeth at least once a week.
It is possible that tartar can develop on the inside of your cat’s mouth which will cause her to drool. If you can, take a look inside her mouth to see if there’s any redness or any obvious visible signs of problems. If it continues, book an appointment with your vet if the annual health check is too far away.
Is Your Maine Coon Cat Being Transported?
I mention transporting as it is during this that your Maine Coon can become extremely anxious. Sure signs that they are suffering from anxiety are panting and heavy breathing with their mouth open obviously wider than it would typically be. You may notice your Maine Coon drooling in this situation.
To help with this, ensure you have a large enough cat carrier. Do check out our recommended carriers here (opens in a new window) as if you can get this step right, you’re half-way there. Make sure you put something familiar in there with them like a blanket they sleep on. These familiar smells will help a little with the anxiety. Also, make sure you talk to your cat whilst traveling. Hearing a friendly voice will help and if you can position their cat carrier so they can see you (or better if someone can sit right next to them) – this will help also.
Kidney (or other) Organ Problems
This isn’t likely if you have a younger Maine Coon but as they get older they are more susceptible to organ (in particular kidney) related diseases. If you suspect something isn’t quite right and perhaps this is combined with your Maine Coon drinking more than they would usually, get them a quick visit to your vets to check them out.
Is Your Maine Coon Having Trouble Swallowing?
The Maine Coon likes to play and chew things. It is possible that they have, whilst chewing something, got something wrapped around their teeth, or even their tongue. Ideally, a two-person job, take a look inside their mouth urgently for any obstructions and if you have any problems at all, seek an emergency vet. Another reason why your Maine Coon might not want to swallow (hence the drooling) is that they have eaten or drunk something they didn’t particularly like, so they don’t want to swallow again. If you’re sure there are no foreign bodies in their mouth, give them a little treat, something they really like which will hopefully help.
This is a lot less common with the Maine Coon, particularly because of their long coats they are less likely to spend so much time outside. However, if you think they have spent too much time outside in the direct sun and are drooling, make sure they have a cool environment (ideally with a cool floor or perhaps a sink) to lie in and cool down. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water and if they aren’t drinking or go down-hill, don’t waste time – just call your emergency vet.
Respiratory or Other Infection
There is a chance that your Maine Coon has an infection of the throat or general sinus area. This is a little harder to spot and not so easy for you to treat so if you suspect this is the case see your vet. Treatment can be easy and effective if dealt with quickly and often just means a course of antibiotics. These types of infection are less likely with a Maine Coon that spends most of its time inside.
A lot of people don’t realize that some common plants are poisonous to cats. There is a long list of typical garden plants and flowers that can actually be quite dangerous to the Maine Coon and cause this behavior. Rather than just copying and pasting this information from an authoritative website, take a look at this great site here that lists all the different varieties of plants and flowers you should try and avoid (opens in a new window).
Maine Coons and Annual Health Checks
I can’t stress the importance of having annual veterinary health checks for your Maine Coon cats. Your vet will gather information from your cat (weight, temperature etc) as well as checking their heart, lungs, and teeth for any early signs of problems. It’s always easy in the long run if you catch problems at an early stage and having these annual check-ups potentially gives you the opportunity to do just that. It also gives you a chance to talk to your vet and express any concerns you have.
So the bottom line is that it is unlikely that your Maine Coon has any serious health problems if you see them drooling. However, check for the signs and if you’re worried then it doesn’t do any harm to give your vet a quick call, explain the symptoms and let them decide whether it is worth bringing them in for further check-ups.
One other thing to consider is cat insurance. I know it’s boring and I know it’s fairly expensive but vet bills can pile up very quickly if something is not quite wrong and the very worst position to be in is having to make a decision whether you get that operation performed or not because you can’t afford it. Expect this to cost around $25 per month (for a 1-year-old Maine Coon). For our two Maine Coons, we have used Petplan for 15 years. They have been excellent every time we’ve had to make a claim, settling each bill fully without any fuss. Get a free Petplan quote with no obligation here. It only takes a minute.
Finally, if you would like to take a look at a Complete Guide to the Maine Coon then please check out the article (opens in a new window). It contains everything you could ever want to know about this gentle giant of the cat family!