Why Is My Cats Nose Dry?

When your cat nuzzles against your hand, their nose usually feels cool and wet. But what if it is warm and dry? Does that mean they have a fever? Not necessarily. Learn about the reasons your cat’s nose might be dry and get the inside scoop on some fun cat nose facts.

These may be signs of an illness like an upper respiratory infection (URI) , which is a common health condition in cats caused by a virus or bacteria. Cats are at risk of getting sunburn on their hairless noses, which can cause dryness, swelling, redness, and flaky skin.

If your cat has a light coat or is obsessed with soaking up the sun, you may need to take steps to protect them against harmful rays. They use their keen sense of smell to help them find and track their prey, figure out if something is safe to eat, and detect other cats in the area who have marked their territory or may be in heat. A cat’s nose has lots of small blood vessels that can grow or shrink due to changes in their emotional state.

Is it bad if my cat's nose is dry?

A dry cat nose on its own may not be anything to worry about. However, you should contact your veterinarian if you’re concerned or notice other symptoms, such as: Loss of appetite. Lethargy.

What does a dry nose mean on a cat?

A dry cat nose might occur if a kitty is dehydrated or suffering from a fever — or a dry cat nose might not be problematic at all. So, although there is a loose correlation between a cool, moist nose and good health, some perfectly healthy cats have warm, dry noses.

How do I fix my cats dry nose?

Topical antibacterial and/or antifungal ointments..Oral antibiotics..Oral antiviral medication (i.e. famciclovir in case of herpesvirus).Vitamin E (topical or oral)

Cat parents frequently ask if a dry, warm nose means their cat is sick. The short answer is no. But if you’re used to feeling a wet cat nose when your kitty gives you kisses, you may worry if she suddenly has dry nose. A healthy cat’s nose can vary between wet and dry several times over the course of a day. And there are many reasons your cat can have a dry, warm nose that have nothing to do with health. Here are a few:

Swelling or other nose damage can be caused by scratches and bumps (after all, cats do love jumping, climbing and tussling), but on the other end of the spectrum, these may indicate a foreign object, polyps or a tumor. A healthy cat’s nasal discharge is clear, which you’ll see when she has the occasional sneezing fit, says Dr. Mike Paul, a veterinarian at Pet Health Network .

Respiratory infections are not uncommon in cats they can even contract the flu virus and early intervention goes a long way to keeping her healthy. There are over-the-counter remedies, such as creams and ointments, for issues like a dry nose, but prior to treating your cat, contact the vet’s office for recommendations.

Over the years, I have seen many cats whose owners were worried about their noses. One of the more common concerns that leads cat owners to seek veterinary attention for their pets is a dry nose. Most people generally believe that cats noses should be cool and moist at all times. And, indeed, most cats do have cool, moist noses. A dry cat nose might occur if a kitty is dehydrated or suffering from a fever or a dry cat nose might not be problematic at all.

Cat noses are adorable and one of the first things we notice on our cute little kittys face. But for some pet parents, the nose appears different. Instead of smooth it might be dry and scaly, appear cracked, or seem red and irritated.

Any cat with a dry, cracked, irritated nose should be examined by a veterinarian to determine the cause. A home remedy that can help some cats with a mildly dry nose is petroleum jelly.

Some cats have a very wet nose that leaves a small spot of residue after they sniff something. Cats sweat from very few places on the bodyonly from hairless areas such as pawpads and possibly the nose. This is normal unless your cat is showing symptoms of being overheated, such as breathing with her mouth open, unwilling to move/exercise, and feeling warm to the touch.

Keep in mind that cats may sweat more and increase their body temperature in high stress situations like a visit to the veterinary clinic. When a cats nose appears dry and cracked or red and raw there are many potential conditions or factors that cause it. This could occur due to upper respiratory infection (a cat cold) or rhinitis (chronic inflammation of the nasal passages), and would dry out the nose.

Ringworm in cats is a fungal infection that normally affects the face as well as the ears, paws and tail. Herpesvirus (feline herpesvirus-1) is a common virus in cats that causes upper respiratory symptoms like sneezing and eye and nose discharge. This describes crusty skin inflammation that typically occurs on the face, especially the underside of the ears.

Skin cancer (i.e. squamous cell carcinoma) can cause an ulcerated, red, raw nose in cats. Additional symptoms would give clues that pet parents need to seek veterinary care with more urgency. A home remedy that can help some cats with a mildly dry nose would be petroleum jelly or petrolatum skin protectant, which is sold over the counter.

Your veterinarian may run a couple tests initially such as a cytology, meaning gently brushing the nose and getting a sample onto a slide. If the nose issue is severe or continues after initial treatment, your veterinarian may recommend a biopsy. Common therapies from your veterinarian to treat dry nose in cats may include:

Upper respiratory infection Chronic rhinitis Ringworm (dermatophytosis) Eosinophilic granuloma complex Feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1) Calicivirus Mosquito bite hypersensitivity Viral papilloma Pemphigus foliaceus Squamous cell carcinoma

Treatment Options for Cat Dry Nose

Examine your feline friend for any of these symptoms:Dry skin that’s also crusty can be more than just a dermatological issue and “could indicate the presence of sores or blisters, which pop and ooze. These can be the result of an autoimmune disease such asA healthy cat’s nasal discharge is clear, which you’ll see when she has the occasional sneezing fit, says Dr. Mike Paul, a veterinarian at Pet Health Network. A constant runny nose and/or discolored mucus, however, is cause for concern and can be an early sign of an upper respiratory infection. According to Dr. Paul, “If your cat’s sneezes are more than occasional or are accompanied by blood or mucus, or if your cat has a concurrent discharge from [her] eyes or also has a cough, the sneeze may be a sign of more significant problems.” Respiratory infections are not uncommon in cats — they can even contract the flu virus — and early intervention goes a long way to keeping her healthy.Though somewhat common, respiratory infections can lead to more serious health issues and signs, including difficulty breathing. Similarly, a very warm, dry nose could indicate a fever or infection, so it’s best to take your cat to the vet right away in these instances.

Chronic Nasal Discharge

Cat noses are adorable and one of the first things we notice on our cute little kitty’s face. But for some pet parents, the nose appears different. Instead of smooth it might be dry and scaly, appear cracked, or seem red and irritated.The first thought you may have is if the nose is dry, is my cat dehydrated? A common concern, but cat noses become dry and irritated from issues other than dehydration. Read this article for what your feline’s nose should look like and what could be the cause of dry nose in cats.To answer this question, it’s important to realize that each cat’s nose is unique. Some cats have a very wet nose that leaves a small spot of residue after they sniff something. Other cats have no obvious wetness to the nose. There is no hard and fast moisture standard for cat noses, your feline’s nose should never be so dry that it appears cracked, red, scaly or painful.Cats sweat from very few places on the body—only from hairless areas such as pawpads and possibly the nose. It will make the bridge of your cat’s nose appear wet. This is normal unless your cat is showing symptoms of being overheated, such as breathing with her mouth open, unwilling to move/exercise, and feeling warm to the touch. Keep in mind that cats may sweat more and increase their body temperature in high stress situations like a visit to the veterinary clinic.When a cat’s nose appears dry and cracked or red and raw there are many potential conditions or factors that cause it.Some cat breeds have particular skin conditions that affect the face. These can result in a dry, crusty nose. Persians, for example, can develop idiopathic facial dermatitis, which causes the facial skin (and nose) to appear dirty. Another breed, Bengals, are known to develop ulcerative nasal dermatitis—inflammation of the nose specifically.Other potential causes of your cat’s dry nose may include the following health conditions:

Ringworm

Ringworm in cats is a fungal infection that normally affects the face as well as the ears, paws and tail.

Bacterial Infection

Sometimes cats develop an infection that perhaps started with a small wound or accompanies general skin infection.

Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex

This is a condition that usually affects the lips and may extend to the nose. It occurs due to an overactive immune system.

Herpesvirus Infections of the Skin

Herpesvirus (feline herpesvirus-1) is a common virus in cats that causes upper respiratory symptoms like sneezing and eye and nose discharge. Very few cats will develop skin inflammation of the face associated with the virus.

Calicivirus Infections of the Skin

Another relatively common virus in cats that causes upper respiratory symptoms and oral problems like gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) or stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth).

Viral Papilloma

This is a virus that creates firm growths off the skin that can appear crusty.

Lack of Tear Production

If cats aren’t properly producing tears, it could result in a very dry nose, since tears from the eyes connect with and moisturize the nose.

Pemphigus Foliaceus

This describes crusty skin inflammation that typically occurs on the face, especially the underside of the ears.

Keratinization Defect

Although this is rare, this is an issue where a cat’s skin cannot slough dead skin cells appropriately and could potentially result in dry nose.