Are cats' noses supposed to be wet?

You lookin at my nose...! Clear off.
Photo: by Tomi Tapio

Are cats noses supposed to be wet? No. My healthy cats have very slightly moist noses because of the moisture in the breath that comes out of the nose. But the nose is not "wet". A wet nose indicates a runny nose, which in turn indicates a URI (upper respiratory infection). Neither is the nose dry. We should really use the cat fancy terminology of "nose leather", which is that part of the nose that surrounds the nostrils. Obviously the upper part of the exterior of the nose will be dry at all times.

The environment as well as the health of the cat affects whether the external part of the nose is warm and dry or cool and moist (or wet).

The Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook says, at page 220, that a warm dry nose is frequently the sign of a healthy cat. But it can also mean that the cat is dehydrated and/or has a fever! So there are no clear answers and we should not read too much into the condition of our cat's nose except for the obvious as mentioned - URIs. Another example cited by this excellent book is that a cool, moist nose might be due to the evaporation of "a runny discharge".

What they are saying is that you read the condition of the exterior of the nose as part of a diagnosis under the circumstances, both environmental and in terms of the cat's health,  that present themselves to you.

Michael Avatar

Comments

Popular Posts