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Nose of cats: why is it wet or dry?
Nose of cats: why is it wet or dry?

It is not uncommon for a cat's wet or dry nose to cause concern in its owner, however, these concerns often turn out to be unfounded. Let's clarify the why cats have wet or dry noses.

Usually the cats nose is wet due to the production of fluids by the sweat glands present on the hairless skin of the nose. In addition, its humidity may be due to the drainage of the tear duct lower that drains the tear fluid from the surface of the eye. The moist nose has, in fact, a small role in body temperature regulation by evaporative cooling. Moisture in the nose also helps ad amplify the sense of smell of the cat, allowing the adhesion of the particles emanating from the smells to the nose itself.


When the nose becomes dry or dry

Sometimes your cat's nose will pass wet to dry and dry to wet several times throughout the day. This can be totally normal and due to several causes, among which:

  • Cleaning the fur (the cat's nose may dry out while the cat licks the fur due to repeated rubbing)
  • You lie down in the heat of the sun or a radiator
  • Spending a lot of time in a room with no air change

When to worry?

What does it mean excessive dryness or humidity of the nose? As we have seen, the passage of the nose from wet to dry during the day is completely normal. However, if your cat's nose remains dry or excessively wet due to all day, could be symptom of malaise.


A excessively dry nose over a long period of time, in fact, it can be a symptom of fever and dehydration. Be careful though, as the best way to assess the presence of a fever or dehydration is not a dry nose. Fever, in fact, must be detected through rectal thermometer. The most effective method to test for dehydration is instead to examine the skin elasticity. In both cases, symptoms such as lethargy and lack of appetite.

A excessively wet nose, which drains, may be a sign of respiratory tract infections superiors, such as the Feline Herpes Virus (also called Feline Rhinotracheitis), which can cause breathing difficulties. Signs of respiratory tract infections can be coughing, sneezing, stuffy nose and runny nose. It is extremely important that any sign of respiratory difficulties is immediately reported to the trusted veterinarian.