Tuesday 13 July 2021

Why are cat's noses always wet?

I am referring to the visible part of the nose: the nose leather. Cat's noses are NOT, POSITIVELY NOT always wet. Google seems to think that people search for an answer as to why their cat's noses are always wet. It is very peculiar. You don't have to look far to find out that the statement is untrue. Just look at your cat's nose. Under normal conditions, inside the home (and that's important) a healthy cat without an upper respiratory infection (URI), will have a dryish nose leather. As stated, I am talking about the tip of the nose here which is described in the cat fancy as a "nose leather".

Cat's nose
Domestic cat's nose. Image by Sa Ka from Pixabay 

However, if a domestic cat is outside on a cold day, their warm breath, emitted from their nostrils, can condense on their nose leather. This will render the tip of their nose a bit damp. This happens to people. We all know that. This is why you see people wiping the nose on a winter's day. It's about condensation.

And of course, an upper respiratory infection will mean that the nose is runny just like a person having a cold. This will make the end of the nose a little bit wet. Particularly as the cat will be licking their nose all the time.


So, in my committed view, a cat's nose is not always wet but fairly dry. There may, from time to time, be a bit of dampness on it because of condensation and that may even occur inside the home if the air temperature there is on the cold side. But under normal conditions and in a warm home NO, the nose is not always wet.

You will find that that the nose leather of your cat will vary between being dry and perhaps slightly wet throughout the day or over a period of days. It depends upon the circumstances and the ambient temperature. You can't say it's normal for a cat's nose to be wet or dry or even in between. It's a variable state. But just like the human nose it is generally dry if the cat is healthy and the air temperature is normal.

I read briefly in one online submission that cats sweat from their noses. This is not conventional thinking. Cats to my knowledge only sweat from their paw pads.

P.S. The interior of the nose is relatively wet because that's it's normal state due to condensation and the damp mucus membrane. However, the question in the title must refer to the exterior.

P.P.S. When cats engage in displacement behavior such as licking their nose it will make it temporarily damp as saliva is deposited on it.

CONCLUSION: The exterior of cat's nose is not always wet. It varies between dry, a little damp and damp depending on various factors such as air temperature and URIs.

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