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Humans can get itchy noses, and cats too. Even if you don’t see anything tickling your cat’s nose, you may notice your cat licking its nose several times a day. It’s a common habit for your cat, but you don’t know why. You wonder: why do cats lick their noses?
Cats lick their nose to remove debris that is blocking or covering it. Cats lick their noses to improve their sense of smell, which improves their stability and awareness. Nose licking is also a sign of restlessness, allergies and anxiety in cats.
Your cat’s nose acts like a magnet or a tissue, depending on what your cat is doing. It may seem like a strange habit to you, but it’s a useful thing that your cat will do quite often. It is healthy for your cat to lick its nose. If you want to know more, keep reading!
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Reasons why cats lick their noses
There is no concrete answer to why cats lick their noses. Scientists have been studying this behavior for a long time, but we won’t have a definite answer until cats can talk. Let’s talk about some of the most common reasons why you might find your cat licking its nose:
Take something out of their nose
Your cat may have something stuck to its nose. It could be a piece of their fur, dust, or even pollen if they smelled a flower.
Licking is the best way to remove anything stuck to his nose if you’re not there to catch it first.
If a cat continues to have wet food stuck to their nose, it may help to change the food bowl so they don’t have to eat from that particular angle.
Improve their sense of smell
A little saliva on your cat’s nose can improve their sense of smell. Your cat will lick its tongue to add some saliva to its tongue. Saliva acts as a magnet for particles in the air, further enhancing your cat’s sense of smell.
They feel like something is tickling their nose
Something may tickle your cat’s nose, causing your cat to lick its nose. The most common thing that tickles your cat’s nose is a piece of their fur. It might not make them sneeze, but it’s definitely enough to annoy your cat.
There is food stuck In their nose
Tiny bits of dry cat food or wet cat food can reach your cat’s nose while eating. Your cat will quickly notice that there is food stuck in his nose and will do whatever he can to remove it and eat it.
Wet cat food that dries on her nose is often the biggest culprit that sticks to your cat’s nose. The easiest solution is to switch to dry food to keep your cat’s nose clean.
Your cat’s nose is itchy
Cats can be itchy like you and me. A flea won’t be the cause of your cat’s itchy nose, but that doesn’t mean your cat’s nose isn’t itchy. Your cat can pat their nose to relieve itching or use their nose to satisfy themselves.
Your cat is about to sneeze or has already sneezed
Just like we wipe our nose after sneezing or just before sneezing, you might see your cat doing the same thing. If your cat needs to sneeze, licking her nose can either help her sneeze or fight it off if it hasn’t happened yet.
Can cats lick their noses
Although a cat’s tongue may not seem long enough to lick its nose, cats can indeed lick their nose.
Cats have quite short tongues when compared to a dog’s tongue. Cats lick themselves all the time, but their tongues never seem that long.
A cat’s tongue is longer than you think.
Your cat’s tongue is long enough to lick its nose. Their tongue can also reach more than the tip. If your cat tries to lick her nose, her tongue may cover her entire nose.
The next time your cat licks her lips or around her teeth, take a look at her tongue. Cats also stretch their tongues when drinking water.
You might be surprised how long his tongue is!
Why do cats lick their nose after smelling something?
If your cat smells something in the air, licking his nose will help him better understand what he’s smelling.
Cats sniff the air all the time. Sometimes you’ll catch your cat licking its nose after smelling something in the air.
Having saliva on his nose means he will have an easier time smelling it. Saliva helps your cat attract odors better than a dry nose.
You may notice that your cat’s nose is a bit wet all the time; that is, its smell is as good as possible at all times.
As cats begin to age, you may notice that they are overall drier than before.
Why does my cat keep licking his nose and sneezing
Your cat may start sneezing after licking her nose because there is something on or in her nose.
You might be tempted to believe that nose licking will make your cat sneeze, but it doesn’t.
Your cat had something on its nose, which is why it started licking it in the first place. It could be any number of things, such as dust, pollen, hair, or even a piece of plastic from the wrapper that you just ripped open.
That foreign object on your cat’s nose is what caused the sneezing. If licking his nose hasn’t removed it, he may start sneezing because it was tickling his nose.
Other things to consider
Your cat’s saliva can also help heal wounds. Sometimes a cat cuts its nose and its saliva will help keep the wound clean.
Here are some ways your cat can cut its nose:
- A catfight could lead to a severed nose. These cuts can be deep, but usually it is a surface scratch that turns red.
- A nosy cat might cut its nose on a piece of paper or cardboard, especially if it likes to play in a box.
- His fingernails might scratch his nose if he has an itch that he is trying to soothe with his fingernails.
- An accident with a cat toy could result in facial cuts. Plush toys are safe, but if you have a toy tied to a pole, it could lead to minor injuries.
Deeper cuts on a cat’s nose are always more of a concern, but you’ll rarely need stitches for your cat. Most cuts bleed a little at first, but the blood stops quickly.
Cuts are coming. When they do, your cat’s saliva will help keep them clean. Your cat’s nose doesn’t get too dirty on a daily basis, but it’s always a good idea for your cat to lick its nose to fight off any infections that may arise.
Saliva doesn’t just affect your cat’s nose. If your cat cuts itself on any part of its body, you will see your cat licking its wound, whether it is on its leg, belly or back. Saliva is useful no matter where it is.
Never prevent your cat from licking its wounds, even if it is a deep cut on the nose. You may think your cat’s tongue is dirty and will cause an infection, but that’s the opposite of what’s happening. Let your cat lick itself to stay healthy. Good licking!