Why Do Cats Have Wet Noses?
Most cat owners want to make sure that their pet is healthy and happy at all times. However, because they cannot verbally communicate with us, we are left to use body language and physical symptoms to ensure that our furry friends are okay.
One of the most common things that cat owners are concerned about is their cat’s nose and whether it should be wet or dry. On the whole, a cat’s nose should be moist but not dripping wet, it should also not be completely dry.
A nose that is too moist or too dry may indicate that there is an issue with your cat’s health. In this article, we will look at why cats’ noses are wet and what falls within the realm of normal in terms of how wet your cat’s nose is.
Why Are Cats’ Noses Wet?
Cats’ noses are naturally wet or moist to some degree. The amount of moisture that is present on your cat’s nose will vary from other cats’ noses, but after a few weeks of ownership, you will be able to work out what your cat’s baseline nose condition is.
Some cats have a naturally more moist nose than others, whereas other cats can have a naturally drier nose than others. As a base, these are perfectly fine, every cat is different in terms of what is normal for them.
It is when you notice significant and prolonged differences in the moisture of your cat’s nose that it could be indicative of illness or discomfort for your furry friend.
Cats, much like dogs, do not sweat in the same way that humans do. Instead, they often cool themselves through strategic grooming. This method allows them to remain cool during warmer weather without covering their coat in sweat.
However, cats do have some small areas of sweat glands that can produce sweat when necessary. Commonly, these sweat glands are located around the anus, on the paws, the chin, and around the nose.
It is important to note that cats do not produce sweat when the temperature is high, rather they begin to sweat when they are anxious, scared, or excited.
One of the reasons why a cat’s nose may become more wet than usual is because of illness. In fact, one of the most common reasons for a cat’s nose to be dripping is because they have caught a feline cold.
Much like humans, when fighting the cold virus, cats will develop a runny nose to help clear the virus and protect against further illness.
You are likely to observe your cat sneezing more often if they have a cold virus. Another cause could be allergies that your cat is suffering such as hay fever.
An increase in moisture and sneezing are common symptoms of illnesses that don’t require intervention, however, if you notice more serious symptoms in your cat alongside the wetter nose, you should seek medical advice.
Some concerning symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and changes in appetite and behavior. Similarly, if your cat has an unusually wet nose for a period longer than 10 days, it could be indicative of a more serious problem and you should seek advice from a vet.
You may notice that your cat’s nose becomes wetter when they have been rubbing their scent on you or other objects in the house. The scent they produce is very important to cats, it is the main source of communication between local cats and can help them to mark their territory.
There are many things that cats communicate with each other through the act of rubbing their scent on things.
They can communicate how they are feeling, such as calm or safe which helps others know what areas are safe and which are not.
They can also be alerting other cats in the area to the fact that they are in season and are looking to mate. Although this is much less likely to happen if your pet is spayed or neutered.
Your cat may also begin scent rolling indoors to mark territory and let other cats in the area or even in the house that this is their space and to stay away. If your cat is only scent rolling in front of you, it may be a sign that they are looking for attention and affection.
When a cat's nose becomes wetter during scenting or exploring other scents it should return to normal shortly after they have finished.
An obvious reason why a cat’s nose might be wet is that they have just been drinking water and have got some on their nose.
If this is the cause of your cat’s unusually wet nose, they are likely to either lick it off themselves or will wipe it with their paw as they are cleaning their face and ears afterward.
Should A Cat’s Nose Always Be Wet?
In general, your cat’s nose should not always be wet, there are many factors that affect how moist a cat’s nose is and it is something that often varies throughout the day. The same thing happens to humans, at certain times during the day our skin or mouth may be drier than at other times.
The main factors that affect how wet your cat’s nose is throughout the day include, the time of day, the activities your cat has been engaging in such as scenting, playing, or sleeping, and when they last had a drink.
If your cat’s nose is particularly dry or remains dry for an extended period of time, it could be a sign of illness or dehydration and you should seek advice from a trusted vet.
Although a cat’s nose is generally somewhat moist, it can actually vary throughout the day and still remain perfectly healthy and normal.
However, if you notice a prolonged change in the moistness of your cat's nose either way, you should seek veterinary advice.
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