I’ve been a pet parent ever since I was 4 years old. My parents got two kittens and surprised me when I got back home from kindergarten. They came to me and started purring, but their noses got wet. Mom said I was just dramatic, but I always wondered one thing. Why do cats’ noses get wet when they purr?
No matter how many times I told my mom about that, she would always say something like, “Baby, maybe your hand was wet, don’t worry, your fluffballs are fine.” or “Honey, I don’t think it’s connected, maybe Ginnie just has a cold.” But I always knew that purring and wet noses are somehow connected.
So I decided to be a big girl and I called my friend whose mom was a vet. She gave the phone to her mom and I said, “Hello, can you help me? My cat gets a wet nose when she purrs, is that fine? Why is that happening to her?” The woman laughed and then answered all my questions.
I remember she said something like, “Don’t worry, Ginnie is fine, she’s just happy,” so I didn’t care about anything else and I forgot the reasons she mentioned. And honestly, I even forgot this happens to them because it became such a normal thing to see.
But the other day my friend called me. She was panicking and mentioned that her kitty’s nose gets wet when she purrs and she wanted to know why.
I called a few vets and read several articles, and now I know why do cats’ noses get wet when they purr. Since I calmed my friend down successfully, I wanted to share everything I know with you too so you can sleep peacefully, too. Are you ready?
Everything you need to know about cats’ purring
Since you’re here, I now know that you’re ready to study with me. Don’t worry, it’s not boring! I promise you it’s much more fun than the things we’ve studied in school, so you’re in for a real treat.
Anyways, to help you understand the topic better, I first need to make some kind of introduction to it, right? So if we’re talking about the connection between a cat’s purring and a wet nose, I first need to talk to you about purring. So let’s take a look at that.
1) What is it?
I’m sure you’ve heard it hundreds of times while you were lying next to your fluffy friend. It’s the calming sound cats make on a daily basis. But, somehow, they always decide it’s a great idea to purr and make us even more sleepy when we need to get up and get ready for work.
Lots of people even believe that it has some medical benefits such as helping calm down a person, balancing the blood pressure, or even helping with heart problems. Aren’t they so amazing? Let’s see how they do all of this and why.
2) How do they do it?
But how do they do it? It’s actually pretty amazing. Cats don’t have any special machines inside their bodies that help them purr. It happens when their diaphragm and the voice box muscles move very quickly. It’s so fast that they move about 25 times in one second!
And there’s one more thing that makes them super special. It’s the fact that every cat’s purr is unique. It’s like all of us have different voices, our felines have different purr sounds. Some of them are more high-pitched, while some of them seem lower.
Just place a few kitties near you and you’ll definitely notice the difference. You’ll hear some of them easily, while the other purrs will be so silent that you will barely be able to hear them when you get close to that cat.
3) And why
And finally, it’s time to find out why cats purr at all. It could be to help us get rid of our stress, but we can’t forget the fact that cats love themselves a lot (probably the most, but it’s sad and I don’t want to say it out loud). And having that in mind, we can easily conclude that it’s probably something about them.
That’s correct! Most of the time, when cats purr it’s actually because they are trying to tell us something. And since they can’t really come to us and say something like, “Hey girl, I’m a bit hungry, is there something for me in the fridge?” they need to figure out some other way to communicate.
Some of the most common reasons they purr are:
– Your kitty is hungry.
– She wants to cuddle with you.
– She’s just happy.
– Your cat is feeling sad and she wants you close.
– She’s healing herself.
Is it normal for cats’ noses to get wet?
Now we need to figure out whether it’s normal for your cat’s nose to get wet or if it’s something that should wake you up at night. Luckily, it’s the first option! So yes, it’s totally normal for a feline to have a runny nose.
Most of the time, it’s not a sign of sickness. However, it’s one of the first symptoms that can point out to some kind of a cold, an infection, or another smaller health problem. It’s likely that there’s something that’s irritating her nasal tissues and it’s making her nose wet.
What’s interesting is that it can actually happen from either both nostrils or just one at a time. It reminds me of the times when we get sick and then we remember all those days when we’ve taken breathing normally for granted. Cats probably also think that way.
If you’ve only seen your cat has a wet nose and there aren’t any other unusual symptoms, then you don’t have to worry much. However, if there are some other symptoms that might point out to a more serious problem, I suggest you call the vet to ask for his advice.
They will do examinations to find out the reason behind her runny nose and additional symptoms you’ve noticed. Those could be loss of appetite, sleeping too much, refusing to play, or a general lack of interest in all her usual daily activities.
But don’t worry, if you react on time there’s always a high chance of complete recovery. And also, keep in mind that if your cat’s nose only gets wet when she purrs it’s more likely that it’s not because of some serious health issue, but because of something else. Let’s check out what.
Why do cats’ noses get wet when they purr?
Congrats! Now you have enough basic knowledge that will understand this main part better. I know that you’re a bit scared that your fluffball might suffer from some serious illnesses, but you’ll see that most of the reasons cats’ noses get wet when they purr are actually harmless.
And even if there’s some kind of a problem, you’ll learn about it now, so you’ll be able to react quickly and call the vet. Then they will give your feline the needed treatment and at the end of the day, everything will be alright. Let’s learn something new now!
1) Your fluffball is happy!
It’s totally normal for a feline to purr and have a wet nose. And the most common reason they do it is simply because they are happy and relaxed! If it’s just a wet nose, it’s fine, and this is probably the reason why it happened.
However, if it’s dripping then it might be because of some of the other reasons I’m about to mention. But, don’t worry, none of them are huge, unsolvable issues.
2) She might have allergies
Even though most of the time, a runny nose is just a symptom of something that shouldn’t keep us up at night, it’s also possible that it’s a sign of some health issue. That’s why I need to mention the possibility of allergies, too.
When your cat has a runny nose, it’s possible that it’s one of the signs that she’s dealing with allergies. It can happen while they’re purring, but most of the time if it’s because of allergies the connection between purring and a runny nose won’t exist.
Some of the most common triggers are pollen, dust, spores, or even intolerance to certain kinds of food. One of the things that can help you figure out whether she’s dealing with allergies or not is a mucus discharge. She’ll definitely have it if that’s the reason for her runny nose.
3) Or respiratory problems
Cats who have wet noses and make purring sounds sometimes suffer from respiratory problems. They are mostly caused by different kinds of infections or bacteria. Luckily, if you treat them on time the problems can go away.
If the dripping becomes stronger when she’s purring it’s a big sign of a respiratory problem. The good news I have for the vaccinated cats is that it almost never leads to any serious respiratory issues that have life-long effects.
The only thing you’ll need to do is contact the vet on time and they will be able to give her the right medication or the treatment they think will work the best. Don’t worry!
4) She has been licking herself
Cats spend lots of time grooming themselves and the ones they love. That’s why it’s not unusual for her to come near you and lick you. They see that as their own way of showing love and appreciation. But what does it have to do with a wet nose?
Well, if your kitty has been grooming herself a lot, she could’ve licked her nose too. Since they purr a lot while they’re doing it, it’s likely that you’ve noticed your cat was purring when she got her nose wet. As you can see, it’s probably nothing to worry about.
However, if she’s been licking herself much more than she usually does, it might be a sign of a bigger problem. When a cat is feeling sad or anxious she usually grooms herself excessively. If that’s the case then you should spend as much time as you can with her.
Cats see us as their protectors and she’ll definitely calm down when she sees you’ve noticed her call for help.
5) There’s something stuck in her nose
If you have kids then you know that it’s likely they’ll accidentally put something in their nose and won’t be able to reach it. Then you’ll go through hell to finally get it out.
Well, if you’re a pet parent, it’s not uncommon that you’ll have to deal with a foreign matter inside your cat’s nose too. If her nose is wet, and she makes purring sounds it’s likely that there’s something stuck inside it. But how?
That’s because a stuck object can trick you into thinking that your cat is purring while she’s actually just breathing. And since that object is blocking the path it might make some sounds that can easily trick you.
Try to inspect her nose and if you notice something try to get it out or call the vet for help. Most of the time it will be a blade of grass she sniffed outside or a breadcrumb that got inside while she was sniffing the kitchen floor.
But what do they use their wet noses for?
Amazing! Now you know why cats’ noses get wet when they purr, but would you be interested in finding out what they use those wet little noses for?! What do you think? Is there any deeper story behind that runny nose or it’s just there because your kitty is happy or there’s something stuck in there?
Actually, cats use their wet noses for many purposes, but there are two most common ones that I want to share with you. I promise you that this last part of the little cat lesson is also very interesting. So, enjoy becoming a real cat expert!
1) To smell things better
When it comes to the most powerful animals, cats are definitely very high on the list. Just take a look at their amazing hunting skills and their senses. And since I’m mentioning senses, did you know that a wet nose actually makes one of them even stronger?
Well, yes! And since it’s about a cat’s nose, it’s easy to conclude that it’s about her smell. Felines have an amazing sense of smell that helps them survive in the wilderness. It can guide them to find their prey but it can also help them smell the upcoming danger and run away on time.
But how does a wet nose help your kitty’s sense of smell become even stronger? Well, it’s because when it gets wet it somehow sticks the smell to her nose better and it stays there for a longer period of time but the scent also becomes much stronger.
And if you see your cat purring and her nose gets wet it’s likely that she smelled something she really likes. It’s like that emoji with water dripping out of his mouth that we send when our friends are talking about food that we like or when we see something we think looks good.
2) To regulate temperature
Imagine a hot summer day. It feels like the temperature has never been that high before. What do you do? You probably try to wear some light clothes, drink lots of water, and hope that the AC is working well. Or if you’re lucky enough, you’re actually planning to go to the beach.
Now imagine that same sunny day but you need to wear a jacket. Yes! You need to chill around the house, or even go to work while wearing that warm winter jacket or a coat. Now put on a cap and those gloves that don’t have fingers, and find your favorite scarf. Wow, you look amazing…for a winter day.
But it’s summer! So how do you feel? Are you too hot and do you wish you had some way to regulate your body temperature? I’m sure you do because wearing all that stuff on a hot sunny day feels like torture. But why did I stress you out by making you think about this?
Because cats have their warm coat on during the cold winter days, but also during summer. And now you know how hot it can get for them sometimes. However, don’t forget that they’re amazing and they always find a way to help themselves feel better.
So their bodies were like, “Okay, we have all this fur, but our noses are free, we can use them to regulate our body temperature!” And they did. That’s why you shouldn’t worry if you see your fluffball has a wet nose during summer. It’s probably just her sweat because she’s trying to get rid of the heat.
Now you know Why do cats’ noses get wet when they purr. Congratulations, go on and help your friends when they get stressed about their own pets, but you can also sleep well knowing that you’ve learned everything you wanted to know about this topic.
Actually, not just everything you wanted to know. But since I also included some other information I thought was important, you’ve gained even more knowledge than you’d planned! Isn’t that amazing? I promised that it will be much more fun than the lessons we’ve had in school. So did I break my promise?
I hope not, because I really had fun going through this cat lesson with you. Remember, every time there’s something weird your cat does there are always multiple reasons behind that. Some of them are scary, but most of them point out that she’s just a little happy, playful pet. So don’t worry!
Read more about cats and purring: Why Do Cats Purr And Then Bite You: Love Or Hate?