Cat owners often ask if a hot, dry nose means their cat is sick. The short answer is no. But if you’re used to feeling a wet cat’s nose when your kitty kisses you, you might worry if he suddenly has a dry nose. A healthy cat’s nose can fluctuate between wet and dry several times over the course of the day. And there are many reasons why your cat may have a hot, dry nose that have nothing to do with health. here are some:
- spending too much time near a heat source, such as a vent or lying in the sun
- spit from the toilet
- poor air circulation in the home
- scaly, crusty, swollen, or damaged skin tissue
- unusual runny nose
- difficulty breathing
- warm skin
what else should I look for if my cat has a dry nose?
Examine your feline friend for any of these symptoms:
Dry skin that is also crusty may be more than just a dermatological problem and “could indicate the presence of sores or blisters, which burst and ooze. These may be the result of an autoimmune disease such as pemphigus complex,” explained Dr. Kari. “This condition begins with patches of red skin on the cat’s face, nose, and ears.” swelling or other damage to the nose can be caused by scratches and bumps (cats love to jump, climb and wrestle, after all), but on the other end of the spectrum these can indicate a foreign object, polyps or a tumor. contact your veterinarian immediately if you have any concerns.
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. 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.
Although somewhat common, respiratory infections can lead to more serious health problems and signs, including shortness of breath. Likewise, a very hot and dry nose could indicate a fever or infection, so it’s best to take your cat to the vet right away in these cases.
treatment options for dry cat nose
There are over-the-counter remedies, such as creams and ointments, for problems like a dry nose, but before treating your cat, contact your vet’s office for recommendations.
For most skin problems, including a dry nose (and even hair loss) due to excessive brushing, your vet may prescribe antibiotics or antifungal medications to help prevent infection.
Other cat health problems, including infections and respiratory illnesses, require additional consultation with your veterinarian about treatment options.
The good news is that when a cat’s mouth is dry, cat owners need not worry unless there are unusual signs or symptoms. As always, keep an eye on her to see if any new symptoms develop; if they do, contact your vet as soon as possible to rule out any underlying health issues. With proper treatment, your fur baby will live a long and healthy life.