My Cat’s Nose is Dry--Is it a Bad Sign?

September 13, 2018

My Cat’s Nose is Dry--Is it a Bad Sign?

Cat owners tend to be worried when their feline friends don’t have a wet nose.

So much so that this is one of the more common concerns that leads cat owners to seek veterinary attention! Cat owners do believe that their cats’ noses should be cool and moist at all times which, in most cases, is somewhat true.

If a cat has a dry nose if often means that the kitty is dehydrated or has some sort of fever.

There is what you may a call a loose correlation between a cool, moist nose and good health, some perfectly healthy cats have warm, dry noses. But, the best way to assess your kitty’s health is through a rectal thermometer by taking her temperature.

To check for dehydration, you should assess your cat’s skin elasticity and assess the thickness of the saliva.

In this blog post, we will go through about a few things you need to know about your cat’s dry nose and whether or not it should be a cause of concern.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Should you be concerned if your cat has a dry nose?

If your kitty’s nose is always warm and dry, there isn’t anything you need to worry about. However, if your kitty’s usually cool and moist nose suddenly becomes warm and dry, she may be dehydrated or have a fever.

However, this isn’t a reason for you to panic because in some cases, the cats’ nasal secretions just vary, fluctuate, or change permanently over time.

If you are worried about your cat’s dry nose, the safest thing is to have a vet check her.

One of the most telltale signs that your kitty is dehydrated and feverish is that she would generally feel sick, be lethargic, and have a poor appetite.

So, as a rule of thumb, if your cat who has a dry nose is also lethargic, has a poor appetite, and is sick in other ways should be taken to get checked out by the vet. Keep in mind that it’s the lethargy, poor appetite and symptoms of illness that are of greater concern than whatever is happening with the nose.

Wet Cat Nose: A Closer Look

As you may have understood by reading the previous section, a dry cat nose doesn’t always translate to trouble in the kitty kingdom.

However, in case the opposite is true and your cat has a wet nose, it most probably does mean that something is wrong with your feline friend. A runny cat nose or a wet cat nose is a common symptom of upper respiratory infections (URIs) in cats.

Several dozen known viruses and bacteria cause URIs.

There are likely several more that have not yet been discovered, and thousands more that will eventually evolve!

The two most common causes of URIs are the following:

  • Herpes virus
  • Chlamydia bacteria

These do sound like the human sexually transmitted diseases but they aren’t the same.

Both of these organisms are ubiquitous.

This means that almost every cat on this planet has been exposed to feline herpes (or also known asrhinotracheitis), like the cold sore virus in humans, infection with herpes is lifelong, with sporadic outbreaks, in cats.

This also means that even solitary indoor cats can also suffer from intermittent URIs.

Although URIs earned their name for their respiratory symptoms, the eyes are often affected as well.

Watery or red eyes are common in cats with URIs.

But, a runny nose (often with an excess of seemingly normal clear discharge, but sometimes with mucus or even malodorous pus-like material) may be the first sign of a URI.

Is a wet cat nose always a sign of a URI?

If your kitty has a wetter than normal nose, chances are that she may be about to break with a URI but may not be showing any other symptoms. In such a case, it is not important for you to seek your vet’s immediate attention.

In case your kitty receives injectable fluids such as those for kidney failure, an excessively moist nose can be a sign of fluid overload.

Your cat’s nose must be monitored carefully if your cat receives injectable fluids. If fluid overload progresses, potentially life-threatening respiratory difficulties can occur.

What about color changes on cat noses?

Sometimes, your cat’s nose can even change color!

This is something that happens frequently in ginger cats or orange tabbies as the feline redheads are prone to developing freckles on their gums, lips, eyelids, ears, and noses. This condition is known aslentigo simplexand is benign.

Nose freckles are common and develop as the cat ages but, they are benign and not harmful.


Final Words

If your kitty has a dry nose, it most definitely is not something that you need to be worried about. In fact, it’s completely natural. However, there are two common reasons why cats have dry noses, which include:

  • Dehydration
  • Fever

If your kitty has been generally feeling ill and isn’t quite active, it's a sign that you need to take her to the vet to check if she’s well or not.


What do you think a dry nose in cats mean? Let us know in the comments…




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.