Is a wet cat’s nose normal or a cause for concern?
A wet cat nose could indicate simple changes due to growing, drinking, or environmental changes, or something more serious like feline herpesvirus .
Cute cat noses, who doesn’t love them? Nothing can feel sweeter than a kitten rubbing its face against you, nose first. Like humans, some of the body functions of cats can vary by individual. This is true of the feline nose. Some people think that an excessively dry or wet cat nose indicates illness, but this is a myth.
You see, some cats have naturally drier noses than others, and the temperature and humidity levels of most cats vary throughout the day. As a result, one of the best ways we humans can decide whether or not to care is by knowing what “nose condition” is normal for our kittens .
Why are cats noses wet?
The skin around the openings of the nostrils is called the rinary, and the sweat glands in the rinary create moisture. The inner tear duct also creates a drainage that contributes to a wet nose. Humans sweat to regulate our body temperature, and a cat can use the moisture from its nose, through evaporation, to achieve the same result.
Cats are fastidious groomers, and by licking they automatically add a layer of moisture to their noses. Saliva can dry out quickly, but it is one of the reasons behind a cat’s wet nose.
A wet cat nose can also occur due to something simpler: the water bowl . A bowl of clean, clear water can make it difficult for some cats to determine the depth of the liquid. While sipping that drink, the kitty may inadvertently dip its muzzle into the bowl, leaving it with a telltale, wet nose.
Wet cat nose vs dry cat nose
A dry cat nose is as common as a wet cat nose, and is generally not a cause for alarm . If a cat spends a lot of time in direct sunlight, a dry nose may appear. This happens to us humans while we sunbathe on our skin too! A dry cat nose can also appear if a cat spends a lot of time near a non-solar heat source, such as a fireplace or heating vent.
What else could affect a cat’s wet nose vs. dry nose?
The humidity levels of the nose are also affected by the level of humidity in the air. This is especially true during the winter months in many places.
The main reason a cat presents with too dry or chapped skin on the nose is dehydration , which is caused by decreased water intake or increased fluid loss. Consult your vet if you think your cat is dehydrated. Other signs of dehydration in cats include:
- Hollow eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Elevated heart rate
- Skin elasticity
When is a cat’s wet nose a concern and how do we treat it?
Cat expert and certified veterinary journalist Ingrid King says: “ Although people seem to think that a wet nose is a sign of health, a warm dry nose is a sign of illness, in reality it is not. “The body temperature of cats is naturally higher than that of humans, so most of the time, a cat will feel warm to the touch.”
“A cat’s nose can go back and forth between being wet and dry several times a day, depending on the cat’s activity.” »Did your cat eat or groom itself ? Your nose will be wet. Have you been lying in the sun or is the air in your house extremely dry? Your nose will be dry. The only way your cat’s nose will be an indicator of its health is if it notices anything abnormal, such as flaking skin, lumps and bumps, or a ‘runny nose’.
Is it a wet nose or is it a runny nose?
A runny nose, unlike a cat’s wet nose, can be a cause for concern and you should see a vet to rule out conditions such as upper respiratory infections (URIs) . A variety of bacterial and viral infections can cause URIs, including feline herpesvirus and feline chlamydia bacteria.
Common symptoms of URIs are:
- Excessively runny nose
- Snorting and sneezing
- Watery red eyes
- Bubbly, colored nasal discharge.
A runny nose could also indicate an allergy, and with a thorough discussion of symptoms and the daily environment with a veterinarian, it could result from simple changes in food , litter, or other environmental factors.
Wet cat nose: Conclusion
Once again, a healthy cat nose generally switches between wet and dry states throughout the day. It is important to be aware of your cat’s “normals” to be aware of any deviations, whether we are talking about a wet cat nose or something else. A sudden change in humidity levels, with accompanying symptoms, could indicate a disease, and a veterinarian should investigate.
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