Should a cat have a cold wet nose?

I guess we are discussing domestic cats. I ask because the title was created by Google based on real searches.

In my opinion it is not a great idea to try and diagnose a domestic cat’s health from the warmth and dryness of their nose leather. It is a rather vague way to do it.

Typical healthy nose - dry and warm

Typical healthy nose – dry and warm. Picture in public domain with words addded by PoC.

For instance the environment can influence the condition of the nose. A nose can be moist if there is condensation dripping from it just like the noses of people when they walk in very cold weather. Condensation occurs when the warm, moist air of the lungs hits the cold of the outside. Water condenses and drips from the nose. A healthy cat who has visited the outside on a very cold day may have a slightly wet nose because of this.

Also, a cat may have a wet nose because he has a cold resulting in a discharge. This should be fairly obvious. But I don’t think the question in the title is referring to feline URIs. It is a question about the general state of a cat’s nose in default mode.

In warmer ambient conditions a cat’s nose will be warm and dry. It’ll be warm because the air is warm and it’ll be dry because there is nothing happening to make it wet. In general terms, a warm dry nose is the sign of a healthy cat. But this not a 100% diagnosis as a cat might be dehydrated and have a fever. This would also produce a warm, dry nose leather.

I don’t think cat owners should be obsessing about whether their cat’s nose is dry or wet or cold or warm. Common sense says that it will normally be like other parts of a healthy cat’s exterior anatomy under normal conditions: dry and warm.

P.S. A cat’s pink nose may become white due to anaemia or because it is very cold or because the cat is excited. A cat’s nose leather can be a range of colours from pink to brown, black, freckled or slate blue. Cats with pink noses are more likely to suffer from squamous cancer of the ears and nose particularly if they are outside cats in bright, hot sunlight.

Interesting fact: a cat’s sense of smell is 14 times more sensitive than ours. Cats recognise their world through their sense of smell.


Cat hissing at another cat

Just moved house, cats are hissing at each other!

This is about domestic cats using their sense of smell to identify other cats even when they know each other ...
Read More
Cats like bathrooms when occupied and used

6 pictures of cats fascinated with the bathroom in use and 6 reasons why

Although not all domestic cats are fascinated with human bathrooms in use, there is a tendency that they will be ...
Read More
This tabby cat always jumps into fridge when it is opened

3 reasons why some cats like to jump into fridges

I believe that we can dispense with one possible reason why a cat might like to jump into a fridge ...
Read More
Cat fascinated with pregnant owner's bellybutton

Cat fascinated with their pregnant owner’s bellybutton. Why and what?

This video on brings to my mind a couple of questions or more. The first is a well-known one namely ...
Read More
Cat licks a cornstarch bag

Why do some domestic cats lick biodegradable bags?

Nowadays, biodegradable plastic bags are made from PLA (polylactic acid) which is derived from cornstarch. These bags are compostable. They ...
Read More

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *