Pet owners have many questions concerning their pet’s behavior, including Savannah owners. It is important to remember that whether they are wild, hybrid, or domestic, all cats share common behaviors and characteristics. One of these behaviors shared by Savannahs is drooling.
Savannah cats, like other felines,drool for many reasons including feeling relaxed, happy, or content. However, excessive drooling can be an early indicator of something much more serious. Certain plants or chemicals can cause salivation, along with various diseases and organ failure.
It is important not to jump straight to the worst-case scenario and to closely monitor your Savannahand their behavior. Most of the time there will be nothing to worry about and your cat’s drooling is completely natural, but let’s find out more.
How And Why Do Savannah Cats Drool?
Most animals come equipped with salivary glands and cats are no exception. Humans have three different salivary glands, while your Savannah has five. This is primarily because cats need extra assistance in digesting their food as well as grooming themselves. Additionally, cat saliva has shown to be useful in healing their wounds by preventing the buildup of bacteria.
A Natural Response
In cats, saliva glands are triggered by certain stimuli which promote the production of saliva in the mouth. This is similar to humans and how we will salivate more when chewing food or sometimes even just smelling it. Your Savannah may also drool more when they know their food is coming. Their mouth is essentially prepping to digest their upcoming meal.
You may also be familiar with how some cats even as adults will “knead” or “suckle” on their owners or a favorite blanket. This practice was learned as a kitten when your Savannah used to knead on their mother in order to produce milk. This action will also cause salivation because it used to be in response to receiving a meal from their mother.
Kneading And Suckling
If your Savannah likes to knead or suckle on you, that is a sign of trust and comfort. They are telling you that they view you as a source of safety and security. This act of suckling on your shirt or their favorite stuffed toy will produce saliva resulting in some drooling. In this case the drooling is a positive sign.
In general Savannah cats may drool if they feel happy or content in their home. Similar to the urge of suckling, feeling secure within their home can trigger drooling. Most of the time this will result in some drool on your Savannah’s favorite sleeping spots. In this situation you should take your cat’s drooling as a sign of good pet parenting. Your Savannah is happy, and you should be too!
Negative Reasons Savannah Cats Drool
Unfortunately, excessive drooling in your Savannah could alsobe an early warning sign that there is something wrong. There are a few reasons to be concerned about your cat’s drooling includingfear, irritation, dental disease, medications, poisonous plants or chemicals, oral cancers, and kidney disease. Some of these can easily be addressed while others will require vet intervention.
Stress or fear induced drooling is more common than most pet owners would think, but it is also easily addressed. When your Savannah suffers from anxiety it can cause nausea, triggering a drooling response, which can result in saliva running down their mouths and neck. They may also excessively groom themselves producing even more saliva.
The most common cause of stress for a cat is a change in their environment.This could involve a new pet or human, prolonged time alone, changes to their play space, new food, the loss of a companion etc. Some of these can be addressed quickly, while some may take some time and adjustment for your Savannah, especially the loss of a companion.
Make sure when introducing a new pet or even human to the home to do it slowly. Your Savannah is loyal and attached to you, and the introduction of someone new can feel like a challenge to your Savannah. This is why short, slow one-on-one introductions in the beginning are best for both your Savannah and the new house guest.
Stress And Anxiety
Ensure your Savannah’s sense of security by creating personalized spaces throughout the house. Having access to heights to oversee their surroundings gives your cat a feeling of safety and control over their surroundings. This helps reduce stress and anxiety, making them less likely to excessively drool.
Many are familiar with the saying “curiosity killed the cat”, and Savannahs are no exception. Naturally curious, your cat could get into all sorts of things if you are not careful. Keep toxic substances locked away in a cabinet where your feline cannot get to them. Do not rely on keeping things up high, as if there is a way, your Savannah will reach it.
Additionally, if you take your Savannah on regular walks be aware of what plants are around and do not allow your cat to ingest anything around them. There are plenty of sites that will tell you what plants are harmful to your cat including what house plants not to keep in your home. Keeping your cat away from these harmful substances will help reduce their chances of getting poisoned.
If your cat does ingest a toxic substance one of the early signs will be excessive drooling, dizziness, and lethargy. Contact your vet immediately if you see any of these signs so that you can assist your Savannah as soon as possible. Your ability to act quickly could be the difference between your cat surviving or not.
Lastly, oral cancers and kidney failure can also lead to excessive drooling. If they allow you, try looking inside of your cat’s mouth to see if there are any foreign objects or growths inside. Other things to look for are increased urination and thirst which are also signs of early kidney failure. Although this is seen more in senior cats, it is better to play it safe.
As a good rule of thumb, if you are worried about your Savannah’s drooling and other behavioral changes always contact your vet. It may be nothing at all to worry about, but with your vet’s assistance you will be able to rule out anything life threatening.
At What Age Do Savannah Cats Drool When Happy?
Savannah cats will begin drooling as early as kittens to express their happiness and feeling of security. Even once they have stopped nursing from their mothers as stated above, kittens may still knead or “nurse” on your clothes, toys, or fabrics even into adulthood. This should be taken as a good sign,as it shows your kitten accepts you as its family.
Every Cat Is Different
All Savannahs are different,with their own ways of expressing themselves.While some may continue to knead and nurse, others will not. Some Savannahs may only drool when they know they are about to receive a meal, which is still an expression of happiness. Playtime can also trigger drooling, especially if they are in “hunt” mode.
How Often Do Savannah Cats Drool?
The frequency with which your Savannah cat will drool varies from cat to cat. Some Savannah cats may not drool at all to express themselves, and it may only be triggered for biological reasons such as eating. Others may drool a lot or just when excited, and it all depends on your Savannah and their behavior.
Some Savannahs may drool often because of positive stimuli in their home environment. This could mean a constant feeling of security with plenty of social time with you, access to toys, high places, or a playmate. The more positive triggers around the more often your Savannah may drool. In other cases, your Savannah may express their happiness in other ways and not drool as much or as often.
Just keep in mind if you have a Savannah that is suddenly drooling more frequently and in larger amounts, it may be a sign that they are in need of veterinary assistance. Drooling too often could also be stress-induced and you may have to think about what might have changed in their environment to trigger the drooling.
If your Savannah cat drools it can be taken as a good sign that your Savannah has chosen you as their faithful companion. They feel comfortable and secure around you, leaving you with the gift of drool-stained shirts and couch cushions! This is a fair price to pay for eternal loyalty and companionship.
However, remember thatexcessive droolingcould be a negative response to stress, toxic substances, or other medical emergencies. Always monitor your Savannah’s behavior and note any changes to stay ahead of a situation if it does arise.