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9 Reasons Why Your Cat’s Nose Is Changing Color (Explained!)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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You may have noticed your cat’s nose changing color from time to time. Sometimes their noses become a few shades lighter or darker, and sometimes they become a full-blown bright pink or red.

While this may be puzzling, there are perfectly logical explanations for this phenomenon, ranging from external factors to health reasons. Today, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons why your cat’s nose keeps changing color. Let’s jump straight into it!

The 9 Reasons Why Cats’ Nose Change Colors

1. Excitement and Stimulation

Sometimes your cat’s nose changes color simply due to their level of excitement and energy. If you’ve ever watched your cat playfully chase after a toy or pounce on a piece of string, you may have noticed that their noses often turn bright red or pink. This is because they are experiencing an increased amount of stimulation and excitement, which causes their bodies to pump more blood into the blood vessels.

2. Bruising

The reason why your cat’s nose is changing color may be as simple as a bruise. If your cat has been playing roughly with other cats or even your dog, it’s possible that it sustained some bumps or scratches on its nose.

In some cases, the bruising may be internal, leading to a hematoma. A hematoma is the rupture of one or many blood vessels underneath the skin. This may cause a slight reddening of the nose or a black or purple patch on your cat’s nose.

3. Staining

Cats are naturally curious creatures, so it’s no surprise that they poke their noses anywhere they can. These curious activities may sometimes leave stains on your cat’s nose, giving it a darker or lighter appearance.

Examples of substances that can cause staining include dirt and other types of soiling from the outdoors, like bird droppings. Some flowers and plants also have natural dyes that can leave stains on your cat’s nose.

wet nose of a male cat
Image Credit: JM Fotografie, Shutterstock

4. Changes in Temperature

Your cat’s nose has a lot of blood vessels that respond to temperature variations. When it’s cold, the blood vessels in your cat’s nose will contract, making it look lighter. When it’s hot, the blood vessels will expand, leading to a darker appearance.

This is particularly common during the winter months, when you may notice your cat’s nose turning pink or even red in color. So if you’ve noticed a change in your cat’s nose color, it could be because of the current temperature changes.

5. Sun Damage

ginger cat with swollen and wounded nose
Image Credit: Andi111, Shutterstock

Cats love to play outside in the sun, but too much exposure can have some unwanted effects. Your cat could get a sunburn, which would lead to the darkening of its nose. In very hot weather, the cat’s nose may even peel and blister.

During the hot summer months, restrict your cat’s outside time and try to keep it out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Try to make sure it gets enough shade and protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

6. Allergic Reactions

Your cat’s nose may experience hyperpigmentation because of various allergies. One common allergic reaction that may cause your cat’s nose color to change is an inhalant allergy. This type of allergy occurs when your cat breathes in allergens like pollen or dust, causing a hypersensitivity reaction in the body. In most cases, the change in nose color is accompanied by other allergy signs like:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Itchiness

If that’s the case, it’s important to visit your vet to determine the cause and get appropriate treatment. What may seem trivial at first could actually be a sign of something more serious.

7. Poor Blood Circulation

Another potential cause of a change in your cat’s nose color is poor blood circulation. When the blood isn’t circulating properly, it may not be able to reach some areas of the body, including the nose. This leads to a lightening of the nose color. Poor circulation is often caused by underlying health conditions like diabetes or heart disease. If you notice any other symptoms along with a change in nose color, such as lethargy or muscle wasting, it’s important to talk to your vet as soon as possible.

cat with pinkish nose

8. Anemia

Anemia is a disease where the body lacks enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to vital organs and body parts. Cats with anemia experience discoloration of the nose because of the lack of red blood cells. This leads to a lighter nose color, usually a lighter pink, which most people notice easily. If that’s the case, take your cat to the vet for diagnosis.

9. Vitiligo

This is a condition in which the skin loses its natural pigmentation, causing it to turn whiter. It usually starts as small patches of pigment loss that spread over time, resulting in irregularly shaped white spots on the body.

Cats with vitiligo may also experience discoloration of the nose. This is because, like the rest of the body, the skin of the nose also contains melanin. When there’s a loss of pigmentation in that area, it can become lighter or even white in color.

There’s no real cure for vitiligo, so if you notice a change in your cat’s nose color, take them to the vet for an evaluation. There are treatments available that may help slow down the progression of the condition, but they won’t reverse the changes.

cat with pale nose feeling sleepy

Final Thoughts

If you notice any changes in the color of your cat’s nose, it’s important to take them to the vet for an evaluation. This could be a sign of various disease processes. It could also be something as benign as a little excitement or a slight change in temperature.

That said, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, so if your cat starts showing any of these signs along with a change in nose color, it’s important to get them checked out as soon as possible. With the right treatment and care, your cat can live a long, healthy life!

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Featured Image Credit: Jumpstory

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