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A Dry Flaky Nose in a Cat

| Updated September 26, 2017

Many people are under the impression that a wet cat nose means a healthy cat. While this is not always true, sometimes a dry, flaky nose can signify a medical problem. Watching out for other unusual symptoms in your cat might help your veterinarian diagnose the cause of the dry nose more easily.


The most common misconception of a dry nose in a cat is that it is a sign of illness. While most dogs and cats have moist noses this is not a sign of health, according to veterinarian Arnold Plotnick on Cat Channel’s website. However, if other symptoms such as a flaky nose accompany the dry nose, a veterinary checkup might be in order to be safe.


A dry nose in a cat has a number of causes. These include laying in the sun, spending time near a heat source, spending time in a room with poor ventilation and air circulation, and licking, according to Hill’s Pet. If the cat’s dry nose is also flaky, it’s possible the cat has a dermatological condition.


If you live in a dry climate as opposed to a humid one, your cat’s nose might often appear dry and perhaps flaky, according to Pictures of Cats. However, if the cat has warm ears it might have a fever. Dry, tacky gums along with a dry nose indicate dehydration, which can lead to heatstroke and death if left untreated.


White cats are prone to sunburn on their noses, causing dry, flaky skin, which can lead to cancer, according to Pictures of Cats. Applying a sunscreen to your white cat’s nose and keeping the cat out of the sun at the hottest part of the day helps prevent burning.


Make sure your cat gets plenty of water, especially in the warmer months. This can help prevent dehydration. If the cause of your cat’s dry, flaky nose is a dermatological condition caused by allergies, changing the cat’s diet can help. A veterinarian might prescribe medication to help relieve any dermatological conditions affecting your cat’s nose, according to veterinarians at Pet Education.