Cats Dry Nose Illness

dry nose illness

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As you look at your cats dry nose, illness and paying a visit to the veterinarian are some of the first things you may first think of. When an owner becomes familiar with the ideal cat nose condition and the most common nose illness symptoms, it is much easier to keep an eye on the overall health of a feline.

The appearance and function of a cat nose changes from time to time with some of the instances requiring immediate medical attention. In the end, depending on many different factors, a cats dry nose may indicate nothing at all.

Ideal Cat Nose Conditions

It is quite normal to find the nose of a cat dry or moist, as the sweat glands of a feline play an important role in its overall appearance and temperature. Owners should know that at any moment, the sweat glands can become active or inactive.

A dry nose tends to feel warm, which many owners often misinterpret as a fever. Cats with a normal body temperature can display a warm dry nose. However, cats with both a warm nose and ears are most likely suffering a fever. Paying attention to your cat is a good way to access the concern of a dry nose. When a feline is acting as they normally would, a cats dry nose shouldn’t immediately suggest illness. An assortment of factors can contribute, including a dry climate. A sign that cats dry nose is cause for concern is the presence of dry, tacky gums, which is also an indication of dehydration.

When a cat’s nose is moist, this too is quite normal as the nasal region can appear moist to various degrees. However, when the nose becomes very wet (especially with heavy nasal discharge) – you may take your cat to the veterinarian to rule out a respiratory infection. A cat’s natural grooming habits and licking may also cause the nose to become moist and feel cool, which is a direct result of moisture evaporation.

When a small amount of clear nasal discharge comes out of your cat’s nostrils (visible at the exit point), this is also a normal occurrence. Yet, an increase in this nasal discharge is usually an indication of an infection, irritation, or inflammation. Overall, it is important to note that the temperature and level of moisture of a cats nose is not always the best way to gauge feline health.

Common Symptoms of Nasal or Sinus Disease

While sneezing and nasal discharge are the most common symptoms of nasal and sinus disease, there are many other signs that indicate an issue with your cat. He or she may rub their nose or paw at their face. A cats dry nose is sometimes a result of excessive rubbing. Blood may flow from one or both nostrils. The mouth or nose may emit an unpleasant smell. When post-nasal drip is present, a cat may excessively swallow. Over the bridge of the nose, you may notice swelling. Additional signs and symptoms include gagging, pain, noisy breathing, loss of appetite, weight loss, and diminished energy.

Typical Cat Nasal Problems

To get an idea of some of the nose illness issues a cat owner may come in contact with, consider the following common feline nasal concerns:

Nasal Discharge: Cats may experience nasal discharge when faced with various illnesses. It is not uncommon to see clear, cloudy, or bloody discharge. A cat with clear nasal discharge is usually suffering a response to an allergy or sometimes a mild viral infection. When an infection is more severe, cloudy discharges appear when bacteria or a virus is present. Blood found in cat discharge is a sign that a foreign body is lodged in the nose, tumors, serious inflammation, or trauma.

Nasal Congestion and Sneezing: When the nasal passages become congested, cats may display noisy breathing. One of the most common reflexes of the upper airways is sneezing, where irritating material and substances in the nasal cavity triggers this type of explosive response. It is quite normal for a cat to sneeze, but when it becomes a chronic, severe, or persistent problem – medical attention becomes necessary. When sneezing is accompanied by nasal discharge, a more serious concern could be an underlying issue.

Growths: Cats can sometimes suffer growths on their noses. In white-colored cats, sunburn can strike the nose where a form of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma may develop.

Injury: Cats may undergo an injury of the nose when they are involved in an accident or a fight with another cat. This is a common occurrence seen between quarreling male cats.

Cat Flu (Feline Upper Respiratory Tract Disease): This viral infection is a common cat disease that can turn into a life-threatening matter. Severe sneezing may affect a feline with cat flu, which can produce bloody discharge if a small blood vessel in the region becomes ruptured. Additional nose illness symptoms of cat flu include an inflammation of the lining of the eyes (conjunctivitis), eye discharge, fever, loss of appetite, and depression. Usually, this medical concern in cats is seen in kittens, elderly felines, or those with a suppressed immune system.

Chronic Nasal Disease: Cats with chronic viral nasal disease are suffering from one of two viruses that attack the upper-respiratory tract. Affecting cats with dry nose and illness, owners are often unaware how contagious feline rhinotracheitis virus (FVR) and feline calici virus (FCV) really are. Cats with chronic viral nasal disease may experience sneezing, nasal bleeding, bilateral nasal discharge (both nostrils), eye discharge, and increased breathing noises. Bleeding associated with the viral disease is slight and when it becomes a more extreme symptom, the possibility of a tumor is high.

While many owners feel that cats dry nose and illness go hand and hand, this is not always the case. The best defense against serious nasal and sinus problems is to learn the signs and symptoms that indicate a need for further attention and action.

33 thoughts on “Cats Dry Nose Illness”

  1. Hi there. I am a very worried cat mom…..
    I have a 6 year old male cat who has had some strange things going on the last couple of months. First, a couple of months ago, he had a really runny eye, that mostly cleared up in a few days….it still may have slight discharge. Then he got sunken in white sores all over his black nose that also healed within a few days, but the white colour stayed. Now, a few weeks later, the sores on his nose are back. He is also shaking his head quite a bit, but other than that, eating, drinking, and acting normally. He is mainly an indoor cat unless he is camping with us on a harness. We have a dog too. Any thoughts on what the most likely cause may be?

    • Hi Jacqui, it’s hard to tell what the problem is from your brief comment. It may be something like ringworm but you can either (a) upload a picture or (b) see a vet, and the very best of luck.

  2. My cat was at my grandma’s yesterday, she’s been there before but not with the pollen so high. She was loving the screen room my grandma has and stayed there all day. Early in the morning back at home she had a sneezing fit. Her nose is warmer than uaual and dry. I spent time with her in the screen room making sure she stayed out of trouble and she was fine all day. . I woke up with a sore, dry throat that’s a bit stuffed so I’m thinking my cat’s problem is allergy related. I just want to be sure she didn’t pick something up while there from the outside world.

    • Hi Raven, thanks for commenting. I’d watch her. If there are no more sneezing fits and she looks well then I’d say it was a temporary problem. It may be a feline hay fever as you suggest. But if not see a vet to be safe.

  3. Both my cats were put on Amoxicillan due to URI’s, Dizzy , my male cat just wants to sleep all day & when he does get up to move its only because he has ALOT of drool coming out of his mouth & sneezing fits. He will eat (or I should say he will lick the liquid part of a can of their wet food) but he really wont drink anything. Is the wet food enough??… Kitty, my female cat is constantly sneezing & at some times she has clear fluid coming out her nose & other times her nose sounds so dry & Im worried she is having hard time breathing.. My question is, how long does it take for the Antibiotics to work & is that alone usually enough?? What can I do to help her with her nose?? I am so worried about them!! I love my cats dearly.. I dont have the money to make many more trips to vet. I am getting worried, please any suggestions you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

    • Anette, please give me a little while to respond to your comment fully. There are articles on this website which may assist but I have got to remind myself where they are and also do a bit more research. I’m very sorry to hear of your predicament and I fully understand how you feel about your cats being ill. It is one of the most worrying things one can go through.

    • Hi Annette. This is a follow up comment. Firstly, wet food should be enough for liquid intake but they may benefit from a water intake bearing in mind their health. I used to give my cat boiled or microwaved frozen fish with a small amount of added water which always worked to get more fluid down her. Of course she liked fish but you get the idea.

      As for antibiotics, these do work within a few days and thereafter but your cats’ URIs are caused by a virus with a possible secondary bacterial infection. As you know antibiotics don’t work on viruses. It is up to the cats to cure themselves of the virus with their antibodies over time. The vet has decided to prescribe antibiotics as a precaution against a bacterial infection which may not exist. You vet knows best. I hope he/she is good.

      I also hope that they have straightforward URIs. Sometime a URI can be a symptom of an underlying illness. I expect the vet would have discussed that. Have blood tests been taken?

      If you click on this link you’ll see a list of articles which refer to “URI”. One may assist you.

      I feel for you and your worry. I have been through it myself. I wish you all the best. If you want to discuss the matter more please leave further comments.

      • HELP!! All three of my cats noses are so dry and bloody/crusty…one is worse than the rest….vet isnt open till monday! Omg what is this?!!!! should i clean It with anything? I dont want to hurt them…it looks painful. The only thing i have done is dabb vaseline on it to try and keep it from drying out and getting worse….but its not really helping…:(

        • Hi Katelyn, I think what you are doing is okay and then see the vet asap. Something very strange appears to have happened. How sudden was this development? If it was sudden it must an injury rather than a diseases of some sort. Check their behavior. Is there something in or around the home (if they are outside cats) which could have caused this? Have they pushed their noses into something? If the noses are bloody and this is sudden it must be an injury. If the development was slow it indicates a condition or disease but as all 3 have the same problem this tells me it is not a disease unless it is being transmitted between them. Sorry I can’t be of any more help and the best of luck.

  4. I have a 10 year old siamese female cat. She is healthy but a week ago I noticed here black nose has a white crusty dry skin on it. Do you have any ideal what this could be? She is strickly an indoor cat.

  5. My 10 month old kittens nose is peeling and seems red and irritated, is this something that should go to the vet asap?

    • Hi Fernanda. I don’t know what kind of cat you have but this reminds me of Bengal Nose, a condition caused by an immune response, as far as we know. Yes, I would go to the vet. I’d also watch what he/she does. This may be a one-off incident caused by your cat pushing his/her nose against something. If that is, it’s good news because it should heal and the problem is fixed provided he/she doesn’t injure himself the same way again. But if the nose is irritated, to me, it indicates an allergy perhaps. These are harder to fix. Good luck.


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