Why Do Cats Have Wet Noses?

why do cats have wet noses

Ever wondered why do cats have wet noses?

It is a phenomenon that puzzles many cat owners but thankfully one that is no cause for alarm.

It is completely normal for your feline friend to spot a wet nose.

But an excessively wet is not normal neither is one that is too dry.

In this article, we are going to demystify why cats have wet noses and what to do if your cat’s nose is too wet or too dry.


Why is my cat’s nose wet?

cat nose wet

Your cat having a wet nose can mean one of two things

  • He is producing fluids from the nasal planum. This is the pigmented area of a dog’s or cat’s nose that is completely hairless.
  • He is releasing tears from the inferior tear ducts which are then deposited on the nose.

Does that mean cats cry with their noses?

That is totally up for debate.

Nevertheless, your cat must have a wet nose.

This helps him in carrying out two physiological processes;

  1. A wet nose helps your cat in thermoregulation. When it is too hot, your cat will sweat through the nose to try and dissipate excess heat.
  2. Your cat needs the nose wet so he can smell better. The moisture on a cat’s nose helps in trapping scent particles enabling the cat to sense smell better. Your cat then licks its nose sending the scent particles to the upper part of its mouth. This commonly happens when your cat is catching pheromone scents emitted by another cat.

As you can see, a wet nose is a good thing for your cat.

Even when it gives you chills whenever Whiskers presses his cold nose on your skin, you are contented that your cat is healthy.



Cats will only nose poke people, cats, and other animals they trust. Nose poking is an act of vulnerability because it requires the cat to be close to the person or animal. It is a sign that your feline loves you!

– Liz Palika, Thehonestkitchen.com



So when does a cat having a wet nose become a concern?

You should only worry about your cat’s wet nose when it becomes extremely wet.

By this, we mean both the nose and mouth have excess fluids on them.

A cat with an overly wet nose is a sign of respiratory infection. It causes the cat;

  • To have nasal discharge that trickles down the nose and onto the mouth
  • Suffer a stuffy nose which can get uncomfortable. This, in turn, causes your cat to sneeze a lot or have irregular breathing.


If your cat catches the sniffles, he will have other symptoms despite a wet nose.

Check for discharge from the eyes and burning fever.

Some cats will cough a lot and suffer body weakness.

Cat flu can also cause your feline to temporarily lose his appetite.

Schedule a visit to the vets to have your cat diagnosed and treated for flu.

Your cat should then have a normal wet nose once the flu symptoms clear.


Can cats have a dry nose?

cat nose dry

Cats don’t constantly have wet noses.

Your cat’s nose will always alternate between wet and dry because of a few things;

  • A cat’s nose can go dry during grooming. As the cat continuously licks itself, the moisture on the nose can be lost. Again, it is no cause for alarm as the moistness will come back after the grooming session.
  • Cats also get a dry nose when they stay in an environment with dry air. Cats benefit from humid air just as humans. When the air is too dry, your cat’s nose can dry up too. When the cat moves away from the dry room, moistness is restored.
  • If your cat stays out in the sun for long, the nose can go completely dry too. This is because nasal evaporation is happening faster than normal. When the cat gets to a shaded area, moistness is restored.


When should a dry nose in a cat be a concern?

If your cat’s nose is constantly dry, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem.

Dehydration is one of the top reasons why your cat has a dry nose.

Dehydration in cats manifests in other ways as well;

  1. The cat’s eye will be sunken and look dull
  2. The mouth also gets dry from the lack of water
  3. The skin appears saggy
  4. The cat loses its appetite and becomes lethargic

If you notice all these signs in your cat, you should act quickly.

Take the cat to a shaded area to prevent further water loss through sweating.

Keep a bowl of water for the feline and ensure he takes a few slurps each day.

An alternative way to keep a cat hydrated is through frozen treats, milk, and watermelon.


Final Thoughts

Now you know the answer to the question, why do cats have wet noses?

A wet nose is normal for a cat that well-fed, exercised, and shows no signs of disease.

But if the cat has a nose that is too wet or too dry, take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis.


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A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.