Cat tongue and drooling after boarding

by Jennifer Rennie
(Sound Beach, NY)


We dropped off our 6 year old cat at the groomer to be boarded for two nights. She came back with a broken collar (the break away kind) and she is drooling and her tongue is sticking out. Our cat is playing and happy and we saw her eat a little, but she was so happy to be home, so she did not chow down.

I am freaking out about what I am reading on the internet about cancer of the mouth, and other serious cat health issues. Our cat was fine when she left to groom/board... Could they have hurt her there?

I am so upset, and I don’t know who to call. We don’t have a vet, as she is an indoor cat who has always been very happy and healthy.

Dear Jennifer,

Let me start by reassuring you that a cat doesn’t develop cancer in two days, so cat cancer would be pretty low on my list of the possible causes of the cat illness symptoms you described.

If your kitty came back from the groomer drooling, with her tongue sticking out, and a broken cat collar, the first thing that comes to my mind is that your cat may have gotten her collar stuck in her mouth. That is part of why the break-away collars are made for cats, because it is not all that uncommon for a cat to manage to get their collars caught in their mouths.

If her collar was caught in your cat’s mouth, she may have sores or other irritation that is causing these cat illness symptoms. Similarly, if her cat collar were chemically treated (like a flea collar), that could contribute to drooling as well.

The groomers may have also bathed your cat with a shampoo or used some other products on your cat that she licked or got a taste of that is causing the drooling as well. But again, cancer would be pretty low on my list of possible causes.

Even though your cat has always been healthy, cats need yearly checkups just as humans do. Finding a veterinarian shouldn’t be too hard and would be wise to do, because your cat really should have an exam, especially of her mouth, with the symptoms you described.

All the best,
Dr. Neely

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