Have you ever noticed how cute cats’ noses are? Who can resist the little noses of cats? There is nothing nicer than feeling a cuddly cat rub its face and nose against us. As with humans, some of the bodily functions of cats can change depending on the individual feline. This fact happens a lot with cats’ noses. Many people believe that a cat’s nose that is too wet or too dry is a sign of illness. But this is nothing more than speculation.
It is relatively normal for cats to have wet noses. This wetness can be due to small changes in the animal’s growth, the way they drink liquids or environmental changes. But sometimes, a wet nose can also be a sign of disease, such as feline herpes.
A cat’s nose is a vital part of its body that gives us key signals to know our pet’s health. As a result, we may worry exaggeratedly and without reason. Still, it is best not to ignore the signals a cat sends us. The reality is that the moisture level on a cat’s nose changes a lot throughout the day. These changes mean that our pet’s nose can be dry and wet several times within the same day. In any case, people need to ask themselves why cats have wet noses. It could be something normal, but it could also be due to the presence of a disease. Let’s find out below everything related to wet noses in cats.
Why Is The Sense Of Smell So Crucial In Cats?
First of all, we have to know that the sense of smell in cats is much stronger than in people. While cats can have up to 20 million receptor cells in the nose, people have only 5 million. This superiority is because the cat’s nasal organ is significantly more potent than that of the human.
We have already established how powerful the cat’s sense of smell is, but how does it benefit the cat in its daily life?
- The sense of smell is fundamental to a cat’s survival. With this sense, it can detect danger, other animals, and of course, humans.
- Smells allow the cat to communicate with the outside world.
- The sense of smell allows the cat to find its territory, which it has previously marked with urine.
- In addition, the sense of smell allows the cat to find a mate. The cat can perceive the pheromones of females during the mating period.
- The sense of smell is also of great help in finding food.
Why Is A Cat’s Nose Wet?
There can be different reasons why a cat has a wet nose without this, meaning it is sick. Let’s understand below what are the main reasons for a moist nose in cats.
- The skin around the nostrils is called the rhinarium, and the sweat glands in this area produce moisture. The tear duct also creates drainage that makes the nose moist.
- It is curious to know that humans sweat to regulate our body temperature. While cats use the moisture in their nose, thanks to evaporation, to achieve the same result.
- Many people call cats the fastidious groomers. This funny name comes from the fact that they are constantly licking and grooming themselves. This process of continual licking adds a layer of moisture to the nose. Although saliva dries very quickly, this is another reason why we can find water in our pets.
- A wet nose in cats can also occur for a straightforward reason: they wet their noses every time they drink water from their drinking bowl. If the bowl where they drink liquids has clean and clear water, it can be difficult for them to calculate the depth of the liquid. Because of this, they may sink part of their face into the water and thoroughly wet their nose.
Should A Cat’s Nose Be Wet Or Dry?
The answer to this question is neither of the two options. It is perfectly normal for a cat’s nose to be dry and wet several times a day, without this meaning that it is sick.
Dry noses and wet noses are equally common in cats. We have already explained the reasons why wetness in the nose of cats is normal.
Concerning dry noses, some reasons justify it as common and ordinary. For example, when a cat stays a lot of time in direct sunlight, its nose will dry out. This fact also happens to us, humans. A dry nose in cats also occurs when the cat spends too much time near a heat source. For example, if your cat´s bed is close to the fireplace or a heater. Another exciting factor that causes the moisture in cats’ noses to dry out is the air’s humidity level. This phenomenon occurs mainly in the winter months.
Does A Wet Nose Mean A Cat Is Healthy?
Many veterinarians say that people often associate a wet nose with health and a dry, warm nose with illness. The truth is that this is not true.
We must understand that the body temperature of cats is higher than in people, so when we touch them, we will feel that they are warm. But please, do not interpret that they have a fever or are sick.
As we have already seen, cats’ noses go back and forth between dry and wet several times a day, and this depends on the activity they have been doing. If your cat licked or groomed herself, she will have a wet nose. If your cat lies in the sun, it will have a dry nose.
Your cat’s nose will be a sign of health problems when we see something abnormal, such as flakes on the skin, lumps, or nasal discharge.
Are Nasal Discharge And Wet Noses In Cats The Same Thing?
Nasal discharge is an excess of moisture in the cat’s nose. It does not just feel that the nose is moist to the touch, but we will see an uninterrupted nasal drip or flow of nasal fluid.
A nasal discharge, as opposed to a wet nose, is a cause for concern. This condition is an alarm that should prompt the person to take the cat immediately to the veterinarian. It is also essential to go to the veterinarian to rule out upper respiratory infections (URI). Feline herpes is one of the causes of URIs.
Common symptoms of URIs are:
- Exaggeratedly runny nose.
- The cat will be snorting and sneezing continuously.
- The cat will have watery red eyes.
- The cat will shed bubbly, colored mucus.
Nasal discharge is also a sign of possible allergies. Only a veterinarian can determine the appropriate treatment to follow. Sometimes making simple changes to the cat’s diet can restore your pet’s health.
If My Cat Does Not Have A Wet Nose But A Dry Nose, Should I Be Worried?
Dry noses in cats will depend on the activity of the cat. However, outside of these activities, a dry nose can also be more present during the winter months. This cold weather causes the skin of the cat’s nose to become too dry and may even crack. In addition, a dry nose in a cat for a prolonged period can lead to dehydration.
Dehydration occurs due to decreased water intake or accelerated fluid loss. In these cases, the best option is always to consult a veterinarian if you suspect that your cat is dehydrated. Signs of dehydration in cats include:
- Sunken eyes
- Lethargy and slowness to move around
- Loss of hunger
- Dry mouth
- Elevated heart rate
- Constant panting
- Change in skin texture
A Final Thought On Cats And Moisture In The Nose
A healthy cat’s nose will switch between wet and dry states throughout the day. Therefore, it is essential to get to know the cat to understand what its normal behavior is. This knowledge will make it possible for you to detect any abnormalities in its behavior quickly.
If you make it a point to check the condition of your cat’s nose during the day, you will be able to gain valuable information about his health. You already know that wet and dry noses in cats are normal to some extent. For this reason, continuous monitoring of your cat’s nose will be a good indicator to know the state of your pet’s health.
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Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.