If you're a cat owner, chances are at one time or another you've heard that a cat's nose should be cool and wet, and if it's not, they might be sick. This is a myth. You might be surprised to know that this and many other myths exist about cat noses. This guide will quickly explain the most common myths about cats, their noses, and their overall health.
Fevers Can Be Detected Via The Nose
If you think that you can detect that your cat has a fever by feeling their ears and nose, think again. While fevers may cause a cat's nose to be drier or warmer than usual, they don't always have this affect on a cat's nose. The only way to be certain if your cat has a fever is to take their temperature.
A healthy cat should have a temperature between 100.4 and 102.5 Fahrenheit. Anything above that indicates that a kitty has a fever; a temperature above 106 F indicates that a cat has a severe fever which may be life-threatening. Learning how to take your cat's temperature is a critical part of being a cat parent, so don't rely on their noses to evaluate their health.
Wet & Cold = Healthy
While a fever may not always cause your cat to have a warm or dry nose, the opposite is also true: just because your cat has a wet and cold nose doesn't mean they're healthy. Cats can develop all kinds of colds, illnesses, or injuries that don't affect the temperature or dampness of their noses.
Cat Noses Are Always Cold
Cat noses aren't always cold, and the temperature of their noses can change drastically depending on a variety of factors. For example, a cat that's been sleeping in a puddle of sunshine may have a much warmer and drier nose than a cat who hasn't been exposed to sunlight. If your cat has recently groomed themselves, they may also have a drier nose, because saliva evaporates rapidly and can leave a nose dry and rough.
Additionally, cats share many similarities with humans, including how their body temperatures change when they sleep. People often use blankets and warmer clothes when they sleep because their core temperature drops while sleeping, and cats are the same way. A kitty who has recently awoken from a nap may have a very chilly nose, while a cat who's been up and about for a while might not.
Cat noses may be cold and wet more often than not, but that doesn't make them a valid tool to use to evaluate your cat's health. If you have concerns about your kitty's health, see a vet right away, but don't fret if they just have a warm nose. For more information, contact a vet like those at Chester Valley Veterinary Hospital.