A common question asked by cat owners is “what does a wet nose on a cat mean” given that, as humans, our noses remain dry all the time. Plus, as cat owners are quite rightly obsessed with their cats, it’s natural to be concerned about something that we don’t fully understand.
In this article, we answer why do cats noses get wet and whether it can be the sign of something more sinister happening. By arming yourself with all the information you can about the health of your cat, we can minimize the amount of unnecessary trips to the vet, or ensure that you seek healthcare advice immediately when needed. For, while on occasion, a cat’s nose is wet simply because it has been dipped into the water bowl, there can be times that the status of your cat’s nose is a signal that your cat needs a check up.
Should A Cat’s Nose Be Wet?
The short answer to should a cat’s nose be wet, is yes it can be wet without causing any real concern. It is totally natural for a cat’s nose to be wet as it can be down to moisture coming out of the glands and ducts around their nostrils. There is a rhinarium which has sweat glands near the nostrils. This causes sweat to catch on a cat’s nose which is why it becomes wet. They sweat as a means to stay cool – much like humans. Additionally, there are tear ducts near the nostrils too which can secrete moisture making the nose wet.
Finally, a cat can have a wet – and dry – nose due to grooming themselves. The moisture during grooming comes from the saliva on their tongue and is one of the most common reasons if your cat has a wet nose appearance.
However, if you think your cat has a very, very wet nose, you may want to keep an eye out for a number of other things before taking them to the vet to ensure they are healthy. Firstly, it is not common for a cat’s nose to be wet all day long. If this is the case, consider whether your cat is also displaying signs that he or she is suffering from a cold. This means that your cat’s nose will almost be dripping with liquid and nasal secretions. You will most likely see your cat coughing on occasion too. Sneezing is another obvious sign that your cat is suffering from some sort of bacterial or viral infection in their chest.
Should A Cat’s Nose Be Dry?
So now that we know whether it is ok if your cat has wet nose traits what about whether it is dry? For while it now will make sense to cat owners as to why do cats noses get wet exactly – it can be just as important for cat owners to know why a cat has a dry nose as well as why a cat has wet nose characteristics.
The reason being is that a cat may have a dry nose for a number of reasons and a couple of them are a cause for concern. Before worrying, however, ask yourself a couple of key questions before calling your vet worrying about your cat’s dry nose. Firstly, has your cat be sunbathing or laying near a heat source? If so, this is the most likely reason for your cat to have a dry nose. Additionally, if your home has dry air in it and lack of fresh oxygen following through it, this too can cause a dry nose. Simply open a window if this is the case to get air flowing through. Lastly, your cat may have a dry nose if it has been giving itself a groom.
If you do not think that any of these factors would have caused a dry nose, it may be a good idea to call your vet. Your cat could be suffering from dehydration and it is good to have that checked out in your pets. Dehydration in cats will also cause them to be extremely lethargic and off their food. You may see them struggling to catch their breath or have a dry mouth. Look out for these symptoms to help your vet diagnose the problem when you take your kitty in.
Why Do Cats Noses Get Wet – The Bottom Line
Hopefully this article will have put your mind at rest if you are wondering whether should a cat’s nose be wet or not. In short, yes they should be, but not all of the time either. If you notice that your cat has a dripping nose then it is more likely that they are sick. However, if it flits between being both dry and wet throughout the day and your cat’s spirits seem otherwise pretty normal, then your cat is healthy. Remember, a cat’s nose is a way of controlling their body temperature in both hot and cold environments as well as a way of improving their smell given that moisture can help smells almost ‘stick’.
It is a good idea to be aware of what your cat looks like when they are totally fit and healthy, as this is the best way of knowing immediately when something is wrong with them. As a species, cats are notoriously hard to tell whether they are sick or not. Bearing this in mind, keep tabs on your cat’s appearance and behavior when they are fully fit. If any of those change drastically, including their nose dripping, or being excessively dry all the time, then it is time to go to the vet’s.