Your cat jumps on your lap and its nose comes into contact with your hand. A moist cool patch is left on your hand and you wonder whether that is normal. Cat noses can be wet or dry, depending on the situation.
My Cat’s Nose Is Wet?
A wet nose is actually of more concern than a dry one. While most cats have a moist cool nose, there are some races that have a dry nose. So the real question is how wet your cat’s nose really is.
Moist versus Excessively Wet
A cat’s nose can change from dry to moist to dry and to moist again during the day for several reasons. So that a cat has a moist nose is no concern, nor is a dry nose on any particular time of the day. It is more of a concern when your cat has the entire day a dry or considerably wet nose.
So how wet should a cat’s nose be, before it becomes a concern?
When a cat has for example an underlying illness, such as an upper respiratory infection, it usually shows through more than one sign.
Cats with respiratory infections usually have a discharge coming from their nose, they might have a dripping nose and could even have a cough. In some cases they get a half stuffed nose and as cats use mostly their nose to breathe through, this causes a lot of discomfort. Your cat might be sneezing or having difficulty breathing (noisy through a half-stuffed nose or breathing using the mouth).
Do know however that respiratory infections are like the cold in humans and most cats – if not all – do get them from time to time. Even indoor cats do get them as these viruses are air-borne.
The best care you can give a cat that has a cold is to keep them warm and hydrated.
Signs of lethargy, dehydration or weakness are of course a cause for concern and a visit to the vet might be the best option for you. It isn’t always easy to assess an underlying disease with a cat, because they are excellent at hiding their signs of illness. If you do not have a global idea of how your cat is doing generally, it will hard to indicate issues until the stadium has come far.
My Cat’s Nose Is Dry?
This is often a concern with most cat owners and is also reason that they take contact with the veterinary. Although a dry nose could be a reason to worry, in most cases nothing is wrong.
If your cat always had a moist cool nose and suddenly becomes dry, it can be a cause of sudden dehydration. But when is that problem accurate?
Cats can get a dry nose through:
- laying in the sun or under a heater
- Being in a room with bad air circulation
That is in itself not straight away a problem, as it is caused by a known cause and it will usually moisten quickly enough again after leaving the place, or stopping the grooming.
It is really not all that easy to figure out whether something is at hand or whether your cat is just changing from a dry to a moist nose or from a moist one to a dry one. Some cat races simply have this habit and that makes it yet even harder to diagnotize.
Dehydration is however a bigger issue and will also cause a dry nose. But dehydration shows again in more than one area. Your cat has most likely some form of fever and some other clear signs of dehydration, such as a cat that doesn’t want to eat or drink anymore (lethargic).
There are a couple of ways to determine whether your cat has dehydration issues.
- Measure core temperature
- Skin pinch technique
- Gum moistness
- Gum CRT
Measure Core Temperature
First of all you could check your cat for a fever using a thermometer. But not every cat owner is so keen to stick a thermometer up their cats behind. The temperature of a cat should be between the 38 and 39 degrees Celsius (100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit).
Skin Pinch Technique
The skin pinch technique is a technique where you pinch the skin in the neck of the cat and pull slightly up and backwards and then release. The skin will want to return to its original position rather quickly. This is called a skin elasticity check and can be used to see how well a cat is hydrated. The test isn’t fool-proof however as an older cat does have less skin elasticity as well, but doesn’t need to be dehydrated for that.
There is a technique to check for the moistness of the gum by pushing the lip of your cat down with your finger. Use another finger to touch your cats gum. This should be done as soon as you push their lip down, because the air will quickly dry it too otherwise.
A nearly dry or sticky gum can indicate dehydration on your cat.
Gum Capilary Refill Time (CRT)
Dehydration is a serious issue in cats and therefore it is very important to make sure your cat has access to a fresh source of water at any time. At the very least you need to set out a fresh bowl of water (clean your bowls) every day for them.
Keep Your Cat Hydrated
We have many cats and their need for water is huge.
The first thing to keep in mind is that dry kibble cat food is very dry in content. It contains only 7% water. A better option would be to serve your cat wet food, which can contain up to 75% water.
If you (plan to) give your cat(s) dry kibble, additional water intake is essential. That’s why we installed several cat water fountains. The cat water fountains keep the water fresh through a pump that keeps the water sparkling and interesting (still standing water gets easily contaminated) and filters it actively for impurities and dirt.
Cats aren’t usually very interested in drinking and therefore we have to make their life more interesting with things that move and make noise. A cat water fountain is an excellent addition for your household for a thriving happy and healthy cat.
Has this made you interested? Read my review on the CatIt cat fountain.