Wet or Dry Nose? – Understanding Your Cats Health

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With all the affection your cat gives by rubbing his head gently against you, you’re sure to notice whether he has a wet or dry nose. Many people wonder which one, wet or dry, indicates that their cat is healthy. Although the average cat has a moist noise, this is not the only indicator of a pet’s general health. Some perfectly healthy cats simply have drier noses than others. And some dehydrated and unhealthy cats have wet noises.

Another curiosity among cat parents is when their kitty has a warm nose. A common misconception is that it means their cat is sick. Your cat’s nose can vary in wetness and temperature over the course of a day. Everything from lying in the sun to spending time near a source of heat like a fireplace or heater can change the moisture and temperature of a cat’s nose. If your cat spends a lot of time in a dry room, this can create a drier nose for your kitty. After a bout of cleaning themselves, a cat’s nose can become drier as saliva quickly dries on the skin and all that licking can dry out the nose.

However, if you notice that your cat’s nose suddenly has a very noticeable change in the degree of wetness, and is accompanied by other issues such as a lack of appetite, excessive thirst or urination, coughing, sneezing, vomiting or diarrhea, then it’s time for a check-up. Instead of examining the moisture of your cat’s nose, consider checking for irritations such as flaking. If dry flaking skin is on the nose, than he may have a health issue. Also nasal discharge can be an early indicator of illness. When your cat’s nose runs, the discharge should be clear mucus. If bubbly, yellow, green, or thick, discharge runs from your cat’s nose for more than a few hours, this can indicate an early sign of illness and professional medical attention may be required.

A watery discharge combined with sneezing can be a local irritation or allergic reaction. Or, it can be an early sign of a viral infection. Keep an eye on the discharge. A thick, yellow or pussy discharge could be a bacterial infection. If the discharge is from both nostrils and a fever, loss of appetite, eye discharge or sores in the mouth are present than your cat could be dealing with a feline viral respiratory disease. You will know when both nostrils are blocked by swollen membranes, because your cat will sniffle and breathe heavy. He may even attempt to breathe through his mouth.

It is important to know that foreign bodies typically only discharge from one nostril and the discharge can range from bloody to pussy. Allergic reactions typically affect both nostrils and the discharge can be thick. Knowing what to look for and recognizing potential issues as they come up with ensure that your kitty stays healthy and happy for their entire lifetime.

Remember, if you have any questions or are uncertain, it is better to call your veterinarian and not try to diagnose the issue yourself.

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