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 about the health of your cat, you can minimize the number 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 they need a vet 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 that has sweat glands near the nostrils, causing sweat to catch on a cat’s nose and making it look wet. Cats 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 for your kitty’s 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?
Okay, so a wet nose on a kitty is typically (but not always) not a cause for concern. But what about a dry nose?
A cat may have a dry nose for a number of reasons and a couple of them can be a cause for concern. Before worrying, however, ask yourself a couple of key questions 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 them to have a dry nose. Additionally, if your home has dry air and generally a 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 nice, long grooming session.
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 pet. 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 it’s more than likely that your kit 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 good at hiding their symptoms of illness or injury. 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.
- Why Are Cats Noses Wet? – Fuzzy Rescue