Are Cats' Noses Supposed to Be Cold?

by Elton Dunn, Demand Media
    The only way to know your cat's temperature is to take a reading.

    The only way to know your cat's temperature is to take a reading.

    Cat noses are neither supposed to be cold nor warm, as a rule. Your kitty will generally feel warm to your touch, because she naturally is compared with humans. Nose temperature fluctuates, but doesn't signal anything about your cat's health.

    Myth

    The popular idea that a cat's nose is a barometer of your furry friend's feeling has been myth-busted. Cat noses can feel cold, warm, dry or wet. If your cat's nose happens to change temperature and your cat exhibits other signs of illness -- think weight loss, vomiting, appetite loss or increased thirst -- book a vet appointment. The nose temperature is most likely coincidental to these other symptoms of illness.

    Cat Temperature

    In general, cats are hotter than cat people, with a normal body temp ranging from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. It's perfectly acceptable for cat temperatures to reach 103.5 degrees Fahrenheit in hot weather or stressful situations. Vets get concerned when cat temperatures reach or exceed104.

    Nose Temperature

    Factors affecting nose temperature and condition include hydration and the temperature of your environment. So a change in the temperature or condition of your cat's nose has more to do with the environment than your kitty's health.

    Tip

    To get a quick read on whether your kitty might have a fever, feel her ears instead of her nose. Cat eats are cool when kitty's feeling chill and warm when kitty's a bit excited. If her ears feel warm to hot to the touch, she may have a fever. To check your cat's temperature, use a lubricated rectal thermometer. It's often helpful to have one person restrain kitty while the other pushes the thermometer into the rectum. Leave the thermometer in for two minutes or until it beeps, then check the temperature.

    References

    About the Author

    Elton Dunn is a freelance writer with over 14 years experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, technology, beauty and fashion writing. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing from Emerson College.

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