Why Are Cats’ Noses Wet And Cold?

Whenever your feline brushes her nose on your face, you’ll realize 2 factors: her nose is chilly and moist. You’ve surely read the old story that a moist nose in canines indicates good health (whereas a dry one implies things are not right). You’re probably wondering why felines’ noses are damp.

Why Are Cats’ Noses Wet And Cold? During warm and sunny weather, feline’ noses are generally moist due to nasal perspiration formation, which helps them control their core body temperature. A moist nose in a feline might be caused by feline drinking from the water dish, licking her nose, or having an infection in the lungs.

The best part would be that a moist snout in felines is generally a negative indication, and it is not always the primary predictor if a feline is “fit.” Continue reading to find out why felines’ noses are moist and cold!

cats' noses wet and cold, wet nose
Image credit: Sa Ka from Pixabay

It assists a feline to remain cool during hot and humid weather

Almost every wild animals possess inherent thermoregulation mechanisms (or heat control). When the temperature outdoors becomes warm and muggy, a feline’s sweat ducts, which are found in the feet and around the toenails, start to secrete a little quantity of perspiration. A cold wind would touch the sweat, giving your pet a refreshing experience.

Felines maintain a normal temperature of 100°F-102.5°F (37.8°C-39.1°C) through a variety of methods, including:

  • They lick their fur (this gives them the feeling of cold condensation on other parts of their body)
  • Breathing hard
  • Lie flat in the coldest parts of the house or seek shelter
  • Consuming water

Whenever the temperature outside increases, a feline’s moist nose actually assists her in keeping cool. Felines’ noses contain small sebaceous glands (interior tear glands that generate a small amount of added moisture). The airflow feels cool whenever your feline inhales cool air through a moist nose, and your pet’s face does not sweat as much.

Other medical explanations why a cat’s nose is moist

The easiest explanation is often right, according to Occam’s Razor. With something in consideration, below are three plausible explanations for your pet’s moist nose:

  • Improved olfactory sensibility: Canines and felines both seem to have remarkable sensory organs, with a feline’s nose being up to twenty times more accurate than a living person. A moist nose may receive elements and scents far better than a dried nose. In other respects, your predatory pet’s moist nose could detect the savory aroma of fish more effectively.
  • Recent water drinking: Felines might be clumsy eaters; however, they could also be clumsy drinkers. Water might spill down your feline’s face or snout as she drinks up the liquid with her mouth curled.
  • Endless grooming: Cats may groom themselves for approximately five hours every day. Since she recently spent many hours grooming her hair, your feline’s nose may be a little wetter than normal.
cats' noses wet and dry, cat nose 2
Image credit: Annabel P from Pixabay

When can a moist or runny nose get serious?

A feline’s nose must be as wet (or misty) and cold as possible. Let’s say you discover your feline’s nose spilling odd mucous or gushing excessive fluids. Your feline could be struggling from an upper respiratory inflammation in that situation (URI).

URIs may quickly transfer from one feline to another if litter trays, food dishes, groundwater, bedding, or items are exchanged. In other words, if your single felines have a URI, the remaining felines in your apartment may quickly start to display indications, except if you isolate them.

The following are some things to keep in mind with feline URIs:

A URI occurs once a foreign microbe enters your pet’s body and her immune response cannot completely combat the foreign invader’s germ. This could probably take your feline 2-10 days for oral and nasal indications to appear, such as:

  • Mucus that is greenish, yellow, or frothy (not transparent as it is generally)
  • Discharge from the nostrils and eyes is abnormal
  • Sneezing
  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea and exhaustion
  • Lymph nodes that have grown in size

These indications, particularly the abnormally wet nose, might last anywhere from 7 to 21 days until your feline returns to normal.

Reasons felines have chilly noses

The following are among the most prevalent causes of a runny nose in felines, regardless of whether they get it all the time or occasionally.

Mucus keeps their noses cool

Secretions inside and around your feline’s nose could assist in dissipating heat. Since all of the warmth is dissipating into the atmosphere surrounding them, their noses may seem cool to the fingertips. This could occur even if there is no congestion on the top of your pet’s nose; simply inhaling might induce it.

Felines wipe their noses with tongue

Felines have the inclination to wipe their noses using tongues to keep them moist and clean. Because licking their noses keeps them moist, it promotes heat distribution, which cools their nostrils way more effectively than the mucus inside them.

Their noses assist them in staying cool

Since the additional heat distribution from secretions and wiping their noses is how your pet controls their body temperature, many kitties have a chilly snout. If your feline’s body is hot, but his nose is chilly, she’s certainly employing the coolness to control her body temperature.

Moist noses increase the smelling ability

Some scientists believe that maintaining your feline’s nose chilly may help them smell better.

It’s unclear whether the wetness enhances the effectiveness of their ability to smell or expands the extent of their olfactory receptors; however, there is evidence that a wet nose helps felines sniff better.

Obviously, this is all just speculation. Although significant research supports this, it is still not definitive.

They could be ill

If your feline’s snout isn’t normally chilly and damp but also sluggish, he or she could be unwell. Felines, like humans, may have a common cold, but also sinus infections may leave their noses seem cooler and damp than usual.

It’s great to bring your feline to the doctor if you fear they’re developing an infection. Many felines may recover from a basic cold by themselves, although it could be challenging to distinguish between a minor cold and more severe conditions such as respiratory illnesses.

Is it necessary for a cat to have a cold nose?

Most people believe that felines, like dogs, should have a chilly, moist, or runny nose. However, this may not be the case just like canines, as every feline reacts differently to freezing or damp noses.

The fact is whether a pet’s nose might be extraordinarily chilly and frequently wet, or it can be virtually constantly lovely and warm. Felines with cold noses are more common than felines with hot noses, although not all kittens are the same. It is quite worth noting that the warmth of your pet’s nose could alter with age, becoming potentially cooler or hotter in general.

Why do cats have dry or chapped noses?

Although most felines’ nostrils are damp and chilly, there are some cases in which your pet’s nose is dry, chapped, and heated. This situation might be caused by one of the various health conditions:


A well-hydrated feline would have 200 ml (6.7 oz) to 250 ml (8.5 oz) of liquid each day, be it from her dish or by consuming wet food rather than kibble (80 percent water level vs. 10 percent ). Whenever your pet is dehydrated, her dried nose might well be followed by the following symptoms:

  • Skin suppleness has worsened.
  • Appetite loss.
  • Mouth is parched
  • Breathing hard

Diarrhea in felines can lead to severe dehydration. The gut flora cannot retain sufficient water whenever a feline’s bowels swiftly move meals and liquid down the large intestine. Dehydration might necessitate rapid fluid replenishment through IV.


Your pet’s nose might appear dry and heated to the contact when his body is too hot over the upper limit of acceptable (around 102.5°F or 39.2°C). A feline with a fever might exhibit symptoms such as loss of power, sadness, reduced grooming desire, and difficulty breathing. If your feline’s dried nose and other problems, persist for more than 24 hours, then you must seek medical attention.

Skin Conditions

Some felines acquire crusts and ulcers on their nostrils after they have been raw for a lengthy period of time. A dried, cracked nose usually indicates a deeper skin problem, especially if the cracking causes bleeding or infections.

You may cure this issue at home by moisturizing your pet’s dry nose using pet-safe moisturizers. Temperature variations might cause this dried and damaged look to return, which in itself is natural.

Should every feline have a cold and moist nose?

A moist nose is not always associated with a chilly nose in cats. That’s why there are a variety of factors why your pet’s nose is cooler, but not all of them result in a drippy nose.

It’s also essential to evaluate your surroundings. For example, if you reside someplace that is usually humid, your feline’s nose seems more prone to remain moist for way too long after they wipe it. A damp nose may be less common if you dwell in a region with generally low humidity.

It’s interesting to take notes about your pet’s nose sufficiently to understand if it’s generally moist or dried. A drastic shift in your feline’s wellness could indicate a difference in its wellness, mainly if its snout is usually dry but abruptly starts flowing. It’s generally an advisable decision to bring your feline to the doctor if you experience a difference in his or her health.

Should a cat always have a dry nose?

Many felines have inherently dry nostrils, so it’s rare to find a pet with a wetter snout than a canine; however, your pet’s nose need not be drier.

If your feline has pollen allergies, which can make their nostrils more moist or crumbly at different seasons of each year, they might wipe their nostril more frequently or spontaneously create more fluid in their nasal.

If your pet’s nostrils are dry when it typically isn’t, particularly if they also are showing different colors or your feline is displaying other indications of discomfort, it might be a symptom of dehydration or anything else.

Things to remember

There really is no such thing as a pure state for your feline’s nose. The warmth and moisture of your house, as well as pollutants or something other in your household, might affect your feline’s nasal temperature.

Objects like lighting candles or perfume could cause your feline’s nose to runnier, therefore, don’t be shocked if their noses are a bit wetter than usual.

Variations during the daytime and when your feline gets older are also common. With something like this in mind, it’s critical to keep an eye out for other indicators of disease or wellness in your pet.

Abnormal tiredness, a lack of hunger, and poor fur conditions might all indicate that things are not right. However, if your pet’s nose is cooler or hotter than average, if most of these are acceptable, your feline is generally fine.

Final Thought

Considering your feline isn’t sick, a moist nose is considered “healthy.” But, if you find that your feline’s nose is moist or oozing fluids, he or she could suffer from upper airway obstruction or sensitivities.

Several sources of watery noses would go away by themselves; however, if your feline develops problems such as dehydration, anxiety, or difficulty breathing, you must take him to the doctor. Feline infectious diseases, such as FIV or FeLV, might need sudden attention or additional measures to be healthy.

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