Why Has My Cat Got a Cold and Wet Nose? Is It A Problem?

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 When you Google the question why has my cat got a cold and wet nose, you will get a slew of results that don’t really say much on the subject. In the article below, I will go over everything that might make your pet’s nose moisten and what that means for its well-being.


Usually, a cat’s nose is cold because of the environment, or simply because it likes to lick its own nose. However, at times a wet nose might indicate an upper respiratory infection or even herpes. And at other times, the answer might be as simple as ‘it drank from the bowl a few minutes ago.’


It’s important to remember that the wet nose, as a health issue indicator, doesn’t come alone. Make sure you monitor your cat closely, and if it shows other signs of illnesses, take it to the vet as soon as possible. 


Why Has My Cat Got a Cold and Wet Nose?


Why has my cat got a cold and wet nose? Should I worry that it might be running a fever or something? Is a dry nose a bad thing or not? These questions are extremely common, even among seasoned cat owners. And the answers tend not to come so easily.

When I first googled why has my cat got a cold and wet nose, I got a mish-mash of different results, but most of them were either lacking in detail or simply focused on a different topic. More often than not, people would write about either runny or dry noses, which is definitely related to the subject, but far from a direct answer.


So, in order to give you that much-needed direct explanation, I’ve decided to look into the why has my cat got a cold and wet nose subject a little further. The result is this very article in front of you. It will try to explain why cats have got cold and wet noses, as well as cover any potential health issues that come with it.


Why Has My Cat got a Cold and Wet Nose: What of Runny Noses? 


As I stated earlier, lots of articles that pop up after googling why has my cat got a cold and wet nose to seem to talk about runny noses. Now, I can completely understand the confusion that this subject has caused some people, even people who write nothing but cat articles. A runny nose does produce a lot of liquid, and that liquid will make your kitty’s nose cold and wet. 


However, there is one crucial difference. When you spot signs of a runny nose on your puss, you should definitely take the fuzzball to the vet. Just like us humans, other mammals secrete liquid through the nostrils when they feel ill. And a runny nose can be a sign of any number of health issues, including:


  • Rhinitis (nasal passage inflammation)
  • Nasal polyps
  • Irritation by toxins
  • Trauma
  • Bloody nose
  • Nasal cancer


Alternatively, maybe something is stuck in the kitty’s nostrils and it’s causing irritation. Sometimes, a cat can inhale a strand of yarn, a tiny chip of wood, or a dust clot. The irritation from the foreign object will cause the cat’s nose to discharge liquid through the nostrils. 


Why Has My Cat got a Cold and Wet Nose: Wet Noses vs. Dry Noses


When trying to answer the why has my cat got a cold and wet nose question, it’s vital to cover the other side of the coin. Lots of people I know personally tend to associate a cat’s wet nose with good health and a dry one with…well, poor health. However, it’s a bit more complicated than that.


Usually, a dry nose is just as safe as a wet one. For instance, your cat might have a cold, wet nose before taking a nap, and the minute it wakes up, the nose will feel dry and warm. In addition, the nose can lose all of its moisture when your pet is out in the sun for a while. The natural heat from the sun and the air around the cat will make any liquid disappear, be it on the nose or on its fur.


Now, can a dry nose be a sign of some underlying health problem? Of course, it can, and, by far, the most common condition that causes dry, cracked noses is dehydration.


Your cat might not be getting enough water during the day. Alternatively, it might be losing far more water than usual. Both of these scenarios can lead directly to dehydration, and the first symptom you’ll see is a dry, cracked nose. But there are other signs you need to pay attention to. 

For example, try pulling the skin behind your kitty’s neck and let it go. If it snaps back into place, your cat is getting enough liquids. However, if the skin takes a while to get back into shape, take your cat to the vet as soon as possible. In addition, check your pet’s gums; pale gums that have lost most of their natural, pink hue are definitely a symptom of dehydration. 


So, Why Has My Cat got a Cold and Wet Nose, Then?


We know that runny noses are almost always a sign of an illness. However, having a dry nose doesn’t necessarily mean your cat is outright sick (or healthy, for that matter). But now, let’s focus on the burning question. Exactly why has my cat got a cold and wet nose, and more importantly, should I be worried?



Cats’ bodies react to the environment in a predictable way. So, whether or not your cat will have a cold, wet nose will depend on two key factors: the temperature and the humidity.


During the summer months, the air is extremely warm, even warmer than the air which cats exhale. So, when the temperatures reach a high enough point, moisture will form on the cat’s nose, more specifically on the rhinarium.


For those of you whose Latin is a bit rusty, the rhinarium is the leathery surface around a mammal’s nostril openings. Each rhinarium has its own sweat glands, so when the air gets hot, these glands create moisture through secretion. Interestingly, this leathery nostril protector isn’t the only contributor of moisture. The cat’s interior tear duct will also create drainage during hot days, giving your pet’s nose some more of that cold, wet treatment.  


So, what happens during the winter days? Well, when the temperatures are low and the humidity drops, your cat’s nose will turn dry. However, this is normal and isn’t a cause for alarm. 



You’ve all seen cats groom, right? They would either sit or lay down, stick their tiny tongue out, and start licking away at their fur until it’s clean. Their grooming is so famous that people would often call household cats the cleanest pets on the planet.


So, what does grooming have to do with cold and wet noses? The answer is quite obvious; when licking at their fur, some of the saliva can catch the nose, and once your cat is done grooming, it will approach you with a wet snout. 


Of course, cats can often simply lick their own nose. Usually, they either do this when they have an itch or when they want to cool it down during hot days. Alternatively, they also want to clean it up, and when it comes to cats, licking is the go-to cleaning method that never fails.


The Water Bowl

As bizarre as it might sound, water bowls are quite common ‘culprits’ behind cold and wet noses in any pet. Normally, cats aren’t too fond of water, and that applies to drink it as well. Try to imagine a cat and a dog drinking water next to each other. I have no doubt that you already have a recognizable picture in your mind; the dog would be the messy one, slobbering all over the bowl and having its whole jaw sodden. The cat, on the other hand, would merely lap the water up with its tongue. 


However, sometimes cats can sink their whole face in the water bowl. Because water is transparent, cats might not be able to judge how deep the bowl is. That’s a frequent sign of the cat’s water bowl being almost empty. So, if your cat starts ‘diving’ while trying to take a drink, refill its water bowl. 


Health Issues

Most of the time, people who ask, Why has my cat got a cold and wet nose? can rest assured knowing that there’s nothing wrong with their cat health-wise. But even a moist snout can be a symptom of a larger health problem.


More often than not, a cat that has an upper respiratory infection will have a wet nose. It will soon be followed by other symptoms, such as lethargy, sneezing, coughs, and even a runny nose later on. Alternatively, your cat might simply have feline herpes, which causes irritation and makes your cat lick its nose more often. 


Whatever the case might be, make sure to contact the vet at once. It might be difficult, however, for you to spot any health issues. Cats are infamous for hiding their real health, so you have to concentrate hard on every step it makes. 


The Scent

A cat’s sense of smell is an incredibly useful trait; your pet will use it to identify different odors. That way, it can tell where its territory lies and if there’s any food around. 


In order to keep the nose clean and sensitive to scents, cats will frequently lick it and keep it wet. Microscopic scent particles will then ‘glue’ themselves onto the wet surface of the nose, making the cat’s job of smelling about much easier. 


Why Has My Cat got a Cold and Wet Nose: Conclusion


In 2020, experts can identify nearly every single aspect of a cat’s behavior and explain it away in practical terms. Cold, wet noses are no exception to that. Hopefully, this article will do the same for any owner who browses for the terms why has my cat got a cold and wet nose style=”font-weight: 400;”> — provide them with useful information that might help their pet live a healthier, happier life. 


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