Why is my cat's nose wet?
Asked by Ann from St Petersburg, Florida on July 10, 2016 at 11:58 AM
Hi, my 18 month old, indoor only cat has red blotchy wet nose. We just moved to this area and have not had problems in our past home. He seems to stay in a specific spot of his litter box after peeing. Sometimes he sits with his face in the litter box. It does not smell bad. Anyone have any ideas?
I've used the same litter throughout the life of my cat, and he's been indoors since I was 9 months old, so I'm not worried about a bacteria issue from using the same litter. And I know for some cats, it's a very noticeable issue, but his is not.
It is not an easy problem to figure out, or even to diagnose. Some of the suggestions are that his nose may be irritated, so I do have some suggestions. I would not use "baby wipes", or cotton pads to wash your cat's nose as you may cause irritation. Some people who have tried using cotton ball to clean the ears of a cat may have experienced a reduction in ear cleaning. However, some cats prefer to have their ears cleaned with a cotton ball.
Another idea is to get a small, handheld plastic squirt bottle and squirt some water into his nose. If he is not overly sensitive, then it won't hurt. You may find that he will inhale the water. If so, you may try taking him to the vet and having him tested for trachoma, which is the commonest cause of conjunctivitis, or an infection of the lids of the eyes. Cats with trachoma have a characteristic white eye. If the diagnosis is positive, then the eye could need to be treated.
Sometimes, if the skin on the nose is very dry, the cat's nose may be dry also. If this is the case, then you may want to apply a water solution, like a baby moisturizer, to his nose. Let him sniff or lick it off. If he doesn't seem to like it, then you can try putting the solution directly in his eye. There are some cat foods available that have specially formulated moisturizers. If you have tried the previous two suggestions and you are not sure, then it may be worthwhile to see a vet.
A final idea is to change his water. Change the water often to help keep his nose moisturized and to help it from getting drier. You could also run the water out, and let it sit in the bowl until it is lukewarm. If you live in a hot climate, it may be worthwhile to let him sleep in a cooler place, or change his heat lamp to a cooler bulb. In the winter, you may need to leave your cat a spot in the sun to allow his nose to dry out. When it is very dry, try soaking his nose with a cool, wet washcloth or cotton ball dipped in cool water.
Other Animals' Noses
The nose of other species can get dry, too, especially those with a hairless face, like mice, birds, and guinea pigs. As with cats, dogs, and other animals, just as with humans, an excessively dry nose can be very painful and uncomfortable. So, the same advice as for cats applies to other animals.
The only difference is in the type of moisture that is needed. Dry noses require more of the oily, slippery mucus. Most animals need a lot of this type of moisture.
If you think you notice the nose getting dry, or you are concerned about your pet, you should keep a close eye on his nose. Watch for any of the symptoms mentioned above, especially the dryness and irritation. If you suspect that your pet is suffering, or if you know that he is having trouble with a dry nose, your best bet is to make an appointment to see your veterinarian.
Your veterinarian will conduct a number of tests to check your pet's health, and to help determine what is causing your pet to have a dry nose. Because there are so many different causes for dry noses, your vet can make recommendations based on the results of these tests.
If your pet's nose is dry, or if he does not always have enough oily mucus, you should be sure to give him the proper amount of moisture. Keep your pet's environment moist, and try to give him his necessary bath.
You can also buy nose drops to help keep his nose moist. Some of these drops are available for humans, but you must be careful when using them with your pet. You do not want to accidentally give your pet a dose of any medication you have in your medicine cabinet.
To avoid accidents, look carefully at the instructions that come with the drops. You must be very careful when giving any medication to your pet. Remember that dogs are especially sensitive to medications and many of them can have severe reactions to them.
Pets really do need a healthy nose, so make sure your pet always has enough of the right kind of moisture. With the help of a vet and the right care, your pet's nose can stay moist and healthy.