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Why Is My Cat’s Nose Dry – Is It Normal?

Cats usually tend to have wet noses. So, if you notice that your cat has a dry nose, maybe even cracking up, you are going to think: why is my cat’s nose dry?

Your cat’s nose can be dry due to excessive playing in the sun, dehydration, or over-grooming of the nose area by your cat. Living in a poorly ventilated room can also cause dryness. Some breeds of the cat naturally tend to have a dry nose.

If there are other adverse symptoms along with a dry nose, this could indicate fever, skin problems, respiratory diseases, and in some cases, cancer. So, read on to know more about your cat’s dry nose and how you can help her and keep it moisturized.

What Does It Mean When Your Cat’s Nose Is Dry

There can be several reasons why your feline cat’s nose is dry. And it is not always related to some illness or an underlying health issue. 

Your cat’s dry nose can mean one of the below reasons listed below:

Your Furry Friend Has Enjoyed A Nice Sunbath

Being curious creatures, you can expect your cat to relax, sleep or play at almost all the places in your house. 

If your cat has done some activity at warm places in your house or backyard, like near a fireplace, or a heating vent, or out in your garden, then you can expect your cat’s nose to be a bit dry temporarily.

Your Cat Might Have Licked Her Nose Excessively

Cats love to groom themselves. You might consider them as cleanliness-obsessed creatures! An adult cat spends almost 60% of its active daytime grooming herself.

This habit can sometimes lead to the cat excessively licking her nose, and thus leaving it dry. The reason for this is, by licking, the natural moisture of the nose is removed, rendering it completely dry.

Your Feline Friend Might Be Dehydrated

Cats require a lot of water per day, almost 4 to 5 ounces of water per 5-pound body weight. However, your cat might be picky and choosy and can tend to drink very little water.

This can lead to dehydration in your feline friend. In such a scenario, your cat can have a dry nose.

It would help if you always tried to keep your furry friend well hydrated. Your cat should have access to plenty of fresh water. Being the infamous fussy creatures they are, some cats might not want to drink water out of their water bowl.

In such scenarios, you can try using a water fountain. The constant freshwater flowing will draw your cat’s attention, leading her to drink more water. 

You can also increase the canned cat food, which is high in moisture. This will lead to more fluid intake, as opposed to dry kibble.

Your Cat Is Residing In Poorly Ventilated Room

If your cat stays in a room or your house which does not have proper ventilation, or the circulation of air is improper, in such cases, cats tend to have a dry nose.

Your Furry Friend Has A Natural Dry Nose

Some cats have a wetter nose, while some naturally have a dry nose. A completely healthy and fit cat may have a dry nose.

Hence, if your cat’s natural tendency is to have a dry nose, it is bound to have a dry nose. Nothing to worry about or fret about the same!

Is It Bad If My Cat’s Nose Is Dry

It is not always bad if your cat’s nose is dry. Hence, it would help if you never were too quick to worry about your cat’s nose’s dryness. 

If your cat’s nose has been dry and a bit warm since the beginning, or since you adopted her as your pet, it simply means that her natural body characteristic is to have a dry nose. 

You can be at ease as there is nothing to worry about, and your cat is perfectly fit and fine. We’re sure you can get an idea of this from your cat’s activity level and overall behavior.

Many times, a sudden change from a cool and moist nose to a dry and warm nose in your feline friend is an indication of dehydration or fever. If this is the case with your cat, you should consult a veterinarian to avoid serious effects.

You can also check your cat’s temperature at home. Ideally, the average feline temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also determine if your cat is dehydrated using several methods. We will come to this later on!

Sometimes, the nature of your cat’s nose might also change due to the changes in the nasal secretions. This can be caused due to aging or hormonal changes. Even in this case, it is not bad if your cat’s nose is dry.

Should I Be Worried If My Cat’s Nose Is Dry

You should be worried if your cat’s nose is dry, and along with that, your cat shows behavior like:

● Lethargy

● Loss of Appetite

● Nasal discharge

● Watery Eyes

● Sneezing

● Vomiting

● Diarrhea

If your cat shows any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should be worried, as these could indicate mentioned health issues. To detect these ailments at the earliest, make sure that you take your furry friend for an annual or bi-annual health check-up.

Upper Respiratory Infection(URI)

Upper Respiratory Infections(URI) are pretty common in felines. URI can lead to dry and crusty nose skin in cats. Apart from this, URI can also cause other respiratory issues like excessive sneezing, congestion, nasal discharge(particularly of different colors), and swelling.

If your cat is suffering from URI, she may also show loss of appetite and lethargic behavior apart from the above-mentioned symptoms.

URI can be severe or even mild. In either case, you should consult a veterinarian without any delay, as these are also contagious. Hence, if you have other pets, an infected cat can pass on the disease to others.

Skin Problems

A dry nose might be the tip of the iceberg if we talk about your cat’s skin. If you see any spots of crusty lesions on your cat’s face and paws, along with a dry nose, it can be a clear indication of a rare autoimmune disease called Pemphigus foliaceus.

Dry skin apart from a dry nose can also point out any fungal, bacterial or allergic reaction in your feline friend. Without waiting any longer, you should schedule a visit to a vet.


Though unlikely, a sudden dry nose along with other nasal problems in your cat can be an indication of cancer, which includes lymphoma, carcinomas, and sarcomas.

If you see any abnormal nasal behavior along with the appearance of a dry nose, consult your vet.


While a dry nose can be caused due to your cat sitting in the sunlight, it quickly goes back to its usual self.

However, if the dry nose persists for long, it is a clear indication that your cat has gone a bit overboard while playing in the sun and has got a sunburn. It is essential to treat the sunburn promptly, or else it can lead to redness, scabbing, dryness, and peeling of the nose’s skin.

Why Is My Cats Nose Dry And Crusty

While a dry nose may not always be a reason for concern, a dry and crusty nose can indicate an adverse skin problem called Pemphigus foliaceus. This is a rare autoimmune disease and will require immediate medical attention.

In this condition, the nose’s skin becomes extremely dry. Over some time, it will appear extremely crusty.

Why Is My Cats Nose Dry And Cracked

If your cat’s nose appears dry and cracked, it indicates that your cat might be having a skin problem. 

How Can You Tell When A Cat Is Dehydrated

Going by a classic definition, dehydration in cats is essentially an excessive fluid loss in your feline cat’s body, along with the loss of other essential minerals which are needed by her body, like chloride, sodium, and potassium.

Below are the five signs to watch out for to determine if your cat is dehydrated or not.

Check Your Cat’s Skin

This is probably the easiest way to check if your cat needs water or not. 

Pinch your cat gently between the shoulder blade skin and release. When you release the skin, the skin should go back to its standard form within a second or less than that.

If the skin takes more time, then your cat is dehydrated. This happens because water and other fluids keep your feline cat’s skin elastic. The skin loses its elasticity with the lack of water.

Examine Your Cat’s Eyes

Your cat’s eyes will appear dull, sunken, and lack the normal focus due to the lack of water content. 

Check Your Cat’s Gums

Cat’s gums are a clear indication of the water levels in your cat’s body. If the moisture level is proper in her body, your cat’s gums should appear pink and moist. They should not be dry and sticky.

To check the gums, gently press on your cat’s gum. You will notice a white spot made by your finger when you apply the pressure. The white spot should turn to pink or normal within a few seconds, ideally 2 seconds or less. Any longer, then your cat is dehydrated.

Take a Quick Look At The Litter

Litter is an indication of what happens inside your cat’s body. A dehydrated cat is bound to be constipated. So, if your cat uses a litter box very little, and the normal poop is replaced by hard poop, then it indicates a lack of water in your cat’s body.

What Can I Put On My Cats Dry Nose

Moisturizers can be put on your cat’s dry nose. Consult a vet before using any moisturizer. 

Vets usually recommend a topical moisturizer, like Aquaphor or Kerasolv. Sometimes, vets may also advise against using any cream, as your cat’s breed might be prone to having a dry nose.

How Can I Moisturize My Cat’s Nose

You can moisturize your cat’s nose with:

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can be given occasionally to maintain your cat’s skin. Coconut oil can be helpful for dry noses and cracked noses due to allergies, itchiness, and redness.

Make Use Of Humidifier

Lack of moisture and proper ventilation, and air circulation can also cause nose dryness in your cat. Make use of a humidifier, especially during winters.

Humidifiers will help retain the moisture in your cat’s skin and help out if your cat has a dry nose.

Follow The Instructions Suggested By Vet

You should follow the instructions and medications given by the vet. Your vet might give the following recommendations to moisturize your cat’s dry nose:

● Oral antibiotics

● Vitamin E supplement, topical or oral

● Antiviral medication

● Topical antifungal and antibacterial creams

How Can I Help My Cats Dry Nose

You can help your cat with a dry nose at home using petroleum jelly, which is sold over the counter. However, make sure it is not a medicated ointment. You can apply it several times a day on your cat’s nose. Try to apply just a thin layer.

Since we have already mentioned that petroleum jelly should not be medicated, you can be at ease because we are sure that your four-legged friend will try to lick it off her nose!

Things To Consider

So, it is essential to understand that a dry cat’s nose is not always a sign of worry. Some cats tend to have dry noses as a physical characteristic. 

However, it is crucial to understand that if your cat shows any other symptoms like lethargy, lack of appetite, excessive sneezing, and discharge, you should consult a vet, as these could point out underlying issues.

Always remember to get your cat medically examined annually or twice a year to rule out any early signs of severe diseases.

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