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Why Is My Cat’s Nose Dry? 4 Possible Reasons

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

orange persian cat face

Our cats can’t simply tell us when they are sick. In fact, cats tend to hide any symptoms of their illnesses, so it is often challenging to determine when they are sick. Usually, you don’t notice that your feline is sick until they are really sick.

For this reason, we highly recommend that you keep a close eye on your cat. There are several symptoms that you may want to pay attention to, such as a dry nose.

While a dry nose doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat is sick, it can. Let’s take a look at all the reasons your cat may have a dry nose so that you can determine the underlying reason.

Why Is My Cat’s Nose Dry? The 4 Possible Reasons

1. Your Cat is Dehydrated

close up of ginger cat nose
Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

If your feline is dehydrated, then their nose may not be wet like it usually is. Sick cats can absolutely become dehydrated. If your cat isn’t eating as they usually do (or if they are vomiting), then they can become dehydrated. Cats with fevers may also have a harder time retaining water.

However, some cats also simply don’t drink enough. Cats evolved to get at least some of their moisture from the food they eat. Therefore, if your cat is only eating dry food, then wet food may need to be added to their diet. Many felines will not drink enough without this added moisture.

If your cat suddenly becomes dehydrated, you may want to contact your vet. There are several illnesses that quickly lead to dehydration. Therefore, you’ll want to rule these out before you simply switch your cat to wet food.

2. It’s Normal

Some cats simply have a dry nose. If you have a kitten with a dry nose or a new cat, it may just be how their nose is. Some of these cats don’t typically have anything wrong with them. For one reason or another, they simply don’t have a wet nose like other cats.

Felines don’t have to have a wet nose. It is a myth that their nose moisture level is related directly to their health. Some cats will always have a wet nose, while others will not. For this reason, you’ll need to be aware of your cat’s normal.

A dry nose isn’t necessarily a sign that your cat is sick. Instead, any change from their normal may be worrisome.

3. Your Cat May Regularly Lick Their Nose

tabby cat licking its mouth
Image Credit: manfredrichter, Pixabay

Cats that lick their nose will remove the moisture from their nose and make them dry out. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, it will make your cat’s nose seem dry at random points. For this reason, you may notice that your cat’s nose is dry and then get worried.

However, there is typically nothing to worry about if your cat’s nose is dry for this reason. With that said, you do have to be somewhat worried if your cat continuously licking their nose or anywhere else. Often, this is a sign of OCD or food allergies.

Usually, if this is the case, your cat will start licking sores onto their nose or paws. If you notice this, then you may need to visit the vet and speak about switching your cat’s food.

4. Your Cat is Somewhere Warm

If you notice that your cat’s nose is dry, consider the temperature. If your cat was just outside in the heat, it is possible that the heat caused the water on their nose to evaporate. This is normal, as it is one of the ways cats stay cool.

Cats don’t sweat all over their body like us. However, they do sweat through their nose and their paw pads.

Usually, this isn’t anything to be worried about. However, you may want to ensure that your cat is drinking enough water to replace the water that they lost.

Is a Cat’s Nose Supposed to be Wet or Dry?

cat owner cleaning her pet's nose
Image By: NONGASIMO, Shutterstock

A cat’s nose can be either wet or dry. It varies a lot due to mostly harmless reasons. For instance, some cats simply have noses that are wetter than others. Genetics do play a role. Furthermore, the environment may affect your cat’s nose, as well.

If it is very hot, your cat may have a dry nose. The only situation where you may want to be worried is if your feline is dehydrated. In these cases, your cat will often need to be switched to wet food. Other times, they may be dehydrated because of an underlying illness.

Either way, you may want to speak to your vet if you notice your cat’s nose is dry along with other symptoms. However, a cat’s nose being dry by itself is usually not a cause for concern.


While a cat’s nose being dry can signal sickness in some situations, this isn’t always the case. There are many situations where a cat’s nose being dry isn’t a problem. Sometimes a cat’s nose is simply dryer than average all the time. Typically, this is caused by genetics and not an underlying problem.

Other times, a cat may have a dry nose because they are dehydrated. Sometimes, this is caused by an illness that depletes your cat’s water. For instance, vomiting and diarrhea can both cause dehydration. However, you’ll likely notice these other symptoms if that is the case.


Featured Image Credit: birgl, Pixabay

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