The nose of cats, like their hair, can change color due to external causes. Aging, sun exposure, and even blemishes can alter the tone of a cat’s nose. This can sometimes indicate that there is a health problem.
The nose of older cats is darkened with freckles. This is called lentigo and it is harmless. Emotion and changes in temperature affect the color of a cat’s nose. The Cushing ‘s disease and hypertension , can obscure the nose. These problems will be accompanied by changes in behavior. If the nose turns pale, the cat may also have poor blood circulation.
A cat’s nose will change color throughout its life. It may seem that you are doing it seemingly at random. Unless your cat displays other unusual behaviors, this is rarely a cause for concern.
Why do cats’ noses change color?
There is no predetermined color, some cats have bright pink noses, others jet black. It all depends on the color of the skin.
This means that changes in color will be easier to detect in some cats than others. For example, it is impossible not to notice that a pink nose turns black. This is called hyperpigmentation . The darkening of a black nose, of course, is more difficult to detect.
The changing color of a cat’s nose can be due to a number of reasons, ranging from harmless to medically worrisome. If your cat’s nose has changed color, you should observe its behavior for other clues.
The reason why the color of your cat’s nose changes color may be a cause for concern or part of the natural aging process. However, the way your cat acts may indicate a health problem.
Here are possible reasons for the color change of your cat’s nose:
#1. Nose staining
It may only have been stained casually. Cats explore the world through smell. This means that your cat will often put its nose where it shouldn’t.
A cat’s nose is sensitive, so applying a damp cotton ball should be enough to clean up any temporary stains.
If your cat’s nose is stained, it is not an emergency, but do not delay in cleaning it. Cats lick their noses many times, if they have a toxic substance in their nose they could ingest it.
#2. The old age of the cat (Lentigo)
As cats grow older, freckles proliferate on their skin. This is known as lentigo . In people, liver spots that occur with skin aging are a form of lentigo.
The lentigo appears around the lips and mouth of a cat. Later it will become apparent on the cat’s nose. The eyes and gums can also be affected as the cat continues to age.
Cats with orange fur are more likely to develop lentigo and at a younger age. Despite this, feline lentigo is not related to sun exposure.
Lentigo can be mistaken for melanoma . A key difference is that the lentigo forms small spots that barely lift from the skin, in melanoma the spots will be larger and higher. Lentigo freckles are also usually more widely spaced.
Don’t worry about lentigo spots on your cat’s nose. At worst, they are an aesthetic imperfection. If your cat has a black nose, it won’t even distinguish itself.
#3. Allergic reactions
Hyperpigmentation in a cat’s nose can be related to an allergic reaction. In case of allergies, your cat will present the following symptoms:
- Cough and sneeze
- Hives outbreaks or lesions.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Vomiting and diarrhea
Food is a more common source of allergies. Cat allergies can also be caused by cigarette smoke, fabric softeners, laundry detergents, and changes in the binder in the litter box.
#4. Bruises from bruises
Sudden darkening of a cat’s nose can be caused by bruising. Cats only have internal bruising, from a minor rupture of the blood vessels under the skin.
The blows are an explanation for these feline nasal bruises. The cat may have hit a piece of furniture, a garden fence may have come into conflict with a feline in the neighborhood. The fighting cats will point to the nose to end the encounter quickly.
#5. Enthusiasm and too much stimulation
A cat’s nose is full of blood vessels. This means that an excited cat will also have a darker nose. Blood will rush to the head when the cat is excited or stimulated. This will change the tone of the nose.
Once the cat calms down, the nose should return to a lighter normal shade. If this doesn’t happen, keep an eye on your cat’s behavior. You may have hypertension (high blood pressure).
# 6. Regulation of temperature
A cat’s nose is full of blood vessels. These determine that the color of the cat’s nose varies according to its temperature.
When your cat is cold, the blood vessels will constrict , this will make the nose appear lighter in color. If your cat is hot, the opposite will happen, the nose will turn a deep red color as the blood vessels expand .
A change in color of the feline nose can be an early indicator of inappropriate temperature conditions.
# 7. Hypertension
Hypertension affects many cats, especially older cats and overweight and obese cats. A darkening of the nose is not a foolproof diagnosis, but it should be considered.
A cat that grows up excited, stressed, or overstimulated can suffer from acute hypertension . This is a sudden increase in blood pressure. The severity of this depends on the general health of your cat. A cat with a weak heart will have a hard time controlling this increase in activity.
As cats get older, they are more likely to develop systemic or chronic hypertension. Loss of vision is a clear sign of hypertension. Other symptoms to consider:
- Blood in the urine.
- Outbursts of hyperactivity and restlessness.
- Pupils constantly dilated.
- Loss of coordination
If you notice that your cat’s nose is darkening, it may be worth getting an annual checkup. This darkening may be a simple lentigo, but prevention is best.
# 8. Poor blood circulation
The blood may not reach the blood vessels in the cat’s nose, so it begins to lose color. It could indicate feline cardiomyopathy .
If your cat has heart disease, the blood is not circulating through the body as it should. This will make your cat feel colder, which also accounts for the paler nose. Your cat will need lifelong medication to control her problem. Regular veterinary exams for older cats reduce the risk of cardiomyopathy.
# 9. Leucotrichia (Vitiligo)
The leucotrichia , better known as vitiligo , is a rare condition in cats. In essence, vitiligo removes pigmentation from a cat’s fur and skin. It often begins at the bridge of the nose. It will then spread all over the body, leaving random white patches.
Vitiligo is not life threatening. In fact, many cats with vitiligo are considered unique and eye-catching. However, this condition can be caused and intensified by stress and anxiety.
# 10. Sun damage
Sometimes a cat’s nose can get “burned” in the sun. This will darken its color. The leather of the nose can also blister and peel.
Limit the amount of time your cat is out in the sun during hot months. This is particularly important if your cat has a pale colored nose. Long-term exposure of the nose to the sun can also lead to skin cancer.
Do not put sunscreen on your cat’s nose, there are tanners that contain salicylates, which are a by-product of aspirin. Aspirin is toxic to felines, if your cat licks his nose, he could get sick.
#eleven. Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease)
Hyperadrenocorticism, better known as Cushing’s disease , is a problem with a cat’s adrenal glands. A cat with hyperadrenocorticism will generate excess cortisol , also known as the stress hormone. Often this condition begins with a tumor in the pituitary gland.
Cushing’s disease is rare in cats; older, overweight female cats are at the highest risk, especially if they are diabetic.
Hyperpigmentation is often considered one of the first warnings of hyperadrenocorticism . Other symptoms are:
- Increased thirst and associated urination.
- Unkempt hair.
- Gasping and shortness of breath
- Sudden weight loss and loss of muscle mass.
- Puffy appearance.
There is no cure for hyperadrenocorticism . If possible, a vet will surgically remove the cat’s pituitary gland. If this is not possible, the disease will be controlled with medication.
No cat nose will stay the same color for life. Cat nose leather lightens and darkens for a number of reasons. Observe your cat’s behavior and take it for regular vet checkups. If you do this, there is no need to worry too much about a change in nose tone.
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