Hot Nose in Cats

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The best way to check for a fever in a cat is to take the temperature directly with a thermometer.
The best way to check for a fever in a cat is to take the temperature directly with a thermometer. (Image: cat image by nutech21 from Fotolia.com)

A hot nose is not an immediate sign of a fever or disease. Several factors can contribute to a hot nose, including hot and dry climate, as well as dehydration. It is normal for a cat’s nose to change from dry to moist due to the reaction of their sweat glands to the weather.

Normal Nose and Temperature

A hot nose on a cat can be misinterpreted as a sign of a fever; however, it is quite normal for a cat with normal body temperature to display a warm and dry nose. A cat’s normal body temperature ranges between 100 and 102.5°F (37.7 and 39.1°C) making their bodies and noses feel hot to the touch. An indication of a fever is often both a warm nose and hot ears.

Fever Causes

There are several reasons for a cat to experience a fever. The most common include: infection, cancer, disease of the endocrine system, or a reaction to drugs or a harmful ingested substance.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia, or prolonged exposure to extreme cold, in a feline, will result in a hot nose, indicating a fever. Left untreated, the animal can die. Impaired ability to regulate body temperature, hypothyroidism, can also result the cat going into hypothermia, with the symptoms including a hot nose.

Nasal or Sinus Disease

A hot, dry nose is one of the symptoms that a cat has a nasal or sinus disease. The nose dryness and irritability is accorded to the cat's rubbing the nose in attempt to relieve some of the discomfort. Nasal discharge and blood from the nostrils are common symptoms.

Other Causes

Aside from running a fever, a cat may experience a hot nose for other reasons such as exhaustion. During hot weather, a cat’s body temperature is capable of reaching 103.5 Fahrenheit. There is no cause for concern until the cat’s body temperature reaches above 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

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