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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- Why Don't Cats Go Bald?: The Questions You've Always Wanted to Ask Your Vet; Dr. Skip Sullivan and David Fisher; 2008
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