Should a Cat's Nose Be Wet or Dry?

CatChannel veterinary expert, Arnold Plotnick, DVM, says the notion that a cat's nose must be wet is not entirely accurate.

By Arnold Plotnick, DVM | Posted: April 25, 2008 2 a.m. EDT

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Q: Is a cat's nose supposed to be wet or dry? If it’s dry could something be wrong with my cat?

A: This notion that the nose of a cat or dog always should be wet is a bit overblown. Yes, the average cat or dog has a moist nose, but this is not an important indicator of a pet’s general health by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve seen many perfectly healthy cats that just happen to have a dry nose.

You would think that a cat suffering from dehydration would have a dry nose and that a dry nose would be an important sign to look out for. However, I’ve treated cats with severe dehydration whose noses were as moist as can be. So don’t worry about the moistness of your cat’s nose.

If, however, your cat’s nose has experienced a sudden change in the degree of wetness, and is accompanied by other clinical signs (decreased appetite, excessive thirst or urination, coughing, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, etc.), I would have the cat evaluated by a veterinarian.

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Should a Cat's Nose Be Wet or Dry?

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Reader Comments

deanie_smith2000@yahoo    ft.smitm, AR

8/12/2014 9:12:08 AM

What about cold vshot

martha    Sacramento, CA

6/6/2014 10:27:58 AM

Twiggy, gave birth to 5 kittens. One of them is constantly sneezing. What should I do?

Julie    Lewiston, ME

1/28/2014 6:42:06 PM

Great information and I appreciate the information.

zoe    International

1/25/2014 4:56:24 AM

I don't think it really matters if a cats nose is dry or wet. Both of my cats noses change frequently from moist to dry. They haven't experienced vomiting, diarehha, or anything like that. They are extremely playful as they are only kittens so I asume it doesn't matter about their nose!

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