Skip to main content

The end of a cat's nose should be dry under normal conditions

The end of a cat's nose should be dry under normal conditions and good health in my considered viewpoint subject to condensation (see below). Over the years, there has been quite a lot of discussion about the end of a domestic cat's nose and whether it should be dry or wet or damp or whatever else it should be. I think people are getting confused about it.


It depends upon the external conditions. If you take an indoor cat who is healthy and on the assumption that the ambient temperature in the home is comfortable for human and cat then the end of that cat's nose should be dry. If that cat then goes outside into cold winter weather the end of her nose may become damp because of condensation from her damp breath forming on the end of her nose.


Temporarily her nose will be damp but this is due to physics. It has nothing to do with her health. If she is unhealthy with a cold then she may have a runny nose so the end of her nose will be damp. If she is a little confused or stressed she may engage in what is called "displacement activity". This may entail her licking the end of her nose repeatedly. This would make her nose damp.

Dr Yuki Hattori, a well-known Japanese veterinarian, in his book What Cats Want states incorrectly in my view that the end of a cat's nose should be damp. I genuinely believe that he is confused about this. He argues that it is damp so the cat can smell scent molecules more effectively. That I just cannot believe. Yes, certainly if scent molecules are damp they can be smelled more effectively but this is not a reason why the end of a cat's nose should be damp.

My cat's nose is dry. I've just touched it. He's inside with me in dry, warm conditions. His nose reflects those ambient conditions. I would challenge anybody who reads this (and they will be very few people who do!) to carry out their own test and touch the end of their cat's nose. You can then tell me in a comment whether it is dry or wet or something in between such is damp.

To reiterate, the dampness or dryness of the end of your cat's nose depends upon a range of circumstances and conditions one of which is the ambient air temperature. You cannot discuss the end of your cat's nose in isolation of ambient air temperature and a cat's health. But the default situation should be a dry nose leather in my view. The phrase "nose leather" is a cat fancy term meaning the end of the cat's nose which looks a bit like leather. As the flat bit out ofwhich two nostrils protrude.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cat Ear Mites

Brown gunge. Yes, I know this is a ferret! It does show the build up of dark brown to black ear wax caused by the presence of the cat ear mites in the outer ear canal. This parasite is not restricted to the domestic cat, which makes this photo valid and a useful illustration (I was unable to find a suitable photo of a cat with the condition). Photo Stacy Lynn Baum under a creative commons license. Ear mites (minute crab like creatures) are one of the causes of inflammation of the outer ear canal (scientific term for this inflammation is Otitis externa ). The outer ear canal is the tube that runs from outside to the ear drum (the pathway for the reception of sound), which can be seen when looking at the ear. Otitis externa affects humans and often swimmers as it is called "swimmer's ear" in humans. This YouTube video show ear mites under a microscope. They are not actually in the ear in this video. There are many possible causes of Otitis externa in c

Feline Mange

I'll write about three types of feline mange (a) feline scabies or head mange (b) demodectic mange and (c) sarcoptic mange. The source material is from Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - the best on the market . Generalised feline mange? Puerto Rico - Photo by Gotham City Lost And Found Feline Scabies - head mange Head mange or feline scabies, is a fairly rare condition in cats, which is caused by the Notoedres mite (head mite) that only reproduces on cats. The female mites burrow a few millimeters (that is a lot) into the skin around the head, and neck to lay eggs, which hatch and lay their own eggs. Their presence and activities causes intense itching that in turn causes the cat to scratch. The scratching will obviously be noticed and it will cause the skin to become red, scratched and worse infected. Symptoms: hair loss and scabs, thick wrinkled skin and grey/yellow crusts form plus the symptoms of scratching. Feline mange (head mange) is contagious and tr

Cat Anatomy

Cat Anatomy - Photo by Curious Expeditions . The picture above was taken at Wax Anatomical Models at La Specola in Florence, Italy. The photograph is published under a creative commons license kindly granted by the photographer. I am sorry if it is a bit gruesome. It is pretty well all I could find as an illustration that was licensed for publication. Cat Anatomy is a very wide ranging subject. The anatomy of a cat is very similar to human anatomy. If you were writing a biology book for students of biology you would go through every part of the a cat's anatomy in some detail. It would be similar to writing a book about the human anatomy. It would be a thick book and pretty boring for your average internet surfer. So, how do you limit such a big subject and make this post meaningful? The answer I think lies in doing two things: Having a quick general look at cat anatomy - an overview and; Focusing on the areas of cat anatomy that are particular to the cat and of parti