How to check your cat's nose at home

  • Mochi
  • September 17, 2023

Checking your cat's nose can provide insights into their overall health. While a wet or dry nose isn't necessarily an indicator of a cat's health status (as it can be with dogs), other aspects of the nose can be telling. Here's a guide on how to check your cat's nose at home:


  • Good Lighting: Ensure you're in a well-lit area to get a clear view of the nose.
  • Calm Environment: Choose a quiet place to reduce distractions and stress for your cat.
  • Handling: Approach your cat calmly, using a soothing tone. Gently hold your cat's head with one hand while examining the nose with the other.

Examine the Surface of the Nose

  • Texture: The nose should be smooth without any bumps or rough patches.
  • Moisture: While a cat's nose can vary between wet and dry throughout the day, excessive wetness or discharge could be a concern.
  • Discharge: Clear discharge can be normal, especially if it's cold. However, yellow, green, or bloody discharge can indicate an infection or other health issues.

Check the Nostrils

  • Obstruction: Ensure the nostrils are clear and free from any obstructions.
  • Symmetry: Both nostrils should appear symmetrical. Swelling or shrinkage of one nostril can be a sign of injury or other issues.


  • Normal: A healthy cat's nose is usually pale pink, but this can vary depending on the breed and individual cat.
  • Discoloration: Pale or white can indicate anemia, while a yellowish tint can be a sign of jaundice. Redness might suggest inflammation or irritation.

Check for Signs of Discomfort

  • Sneezing: Occasional sneezing is normal, but frequent sneezing can be a sign of respiratory issues or allergies.
  • Scratching or Rubbing: If your cat frequently scratches or rubs its nose, it might be experiencing discomfort or irritation.


  • Regular Checks: Make it a routine to check your cat's nose at least once a week.
  • Avoid Irritants: Ensure your cat's environment is free from strong chemicals or irritants that can affect the nose.
  • Consultation: If you notice any abnormalities, changes, or signs of discomfort, consult with a veterinarian. Some issues, especially respiratory ones, can escalate quickly.

Remember, while home checks are valuable for early detection of potential issues, they don't replace professional examinations. Regular veterinary check-ups will ensure a comprehensive assessment of your cat's overall health, including the nose.