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Why is there a Black Crust on My Cat’s Nose? 

Are you a cat parent?

You undoubtedly love and cherish these unique critters if you are a cat parent. Hopefully, you have taken the time to watch your cat and its habits. Cats are fiercely independent and do all their own hygiene, so you rarely need to give your cat a traditional bath.

Most cats hate water, and it is a fight to bathe them. If they take good care of themselves, you don’t need to give them a bath. I watch my cats give themselves a bath and not miss a lick. They are purrrfectionists, and this is how meticulous cats are in their hygiene.

Why is there a Black Crust on My Cat’s Nose? 

Before we get to your cat’s nose, you need to know exactly what your cat does in taking charge of its own personal hygiene needs. Some cat owners are too busy to pay too much attention to what their cat does. It is to your benefit to know your cat’s habits.

I notice that my six cats do personal hygiene every day for themselves, and sometimes one cat helps another cat out by licking the other’s head clean. Sophia and Isabella, our Twisted Sisters, often give each other a bath. They watch out for each other, fight each other’s battles, and care for each other.

Cats will lick their paws and try to clean their noses. If your cat has a runny nose due to allergies and sneezing, or a cold, they will try to lick their nose clean. Sometimes a crust forms on their nose, and they cannot get this off, so you need to get a warm, wet, soft washcloth and get this crust off so that it does not make the fragile skin sore.

Sometimes a black crust builds up around the sides and under the nose, and they cannot remove this crust. The cat may try to lick the crust off, causing a sore nose leaving a raw area. If this problem continues for a few days, you may want your vet to examine your cat. A crusted nose can be due to an upper respiratory infection.

The professionals say that crusty noses are pretty common for cats that come from shelters or from where there are groups of cats who have not been vaccinated. This problem is due to a virus, and your vet can advise you. Black scabs are formations of hardened mucus discharging from the nose. If you notice dried blood, your cat could have a bacterial infection.

This type of virus sits dormant in the body until something happens to aggravate the runny nose again, such as stress. Often, cat parents see no other signs or symptoms except for the crust on the nose. This crust is due to water discharge from the nose and sets at the nose’s edges. Over time, this drainage tends to turn color. If a cat presents a crusty nose, it never seems to bother the kitty, and, as a rule, you do not have to do anything about it except to keep a warm wet washcloth handy.

How Do Cats Keep Clean

Some cats are constantly cleaning and primping themselves. Other cats are a bit lax about keeping clean. They may be healthy and able but just do not keep as clean as they should, and you may have to intervene. If a cat is really obese, they may clean what they can and leave the rest for you to help with, such as their bottoms and under the tail.

  • Cats lick their paws and reach into their ears to clean them. However, and God Bless these precious animals, they need you to occasionally use a Q-tip and clean the folds of their inner ears. Never put a Q-Tip into the ear canal. If you do not feel like you can do this, make an appointment at your vet, and one of the techs can clean its ears and cut nails.
  • Cats bathe their feet. They lick in between each toe and pull at the nails. You still need to cut front and back nails.
  • Cats keep their faces clean, but they need help at the corners of their eyes, and a warm washcloth works wonders.
  • Cats wash their backs, heads, and underbellies.
  • Cats clean their bottoms after using the litter pan.

If your cat is ill or aged, it may gradually need more help. Sometimes a cat or kitten gets extra dirty, and you need to intervene. If your cat fights about getting water on it, you can purchase cat wipes made especially for cat bathing.

What to do about the Black Crust on My Cat’s Nose? 

The approaches to remedy this problem or keep ahead of the game are simple. If your cat has other symptoms like coughing, sneezing, wheezing, decreased appetite, or other things, you will want your vet to check your kitty.

Sometimes these problems are viral, and no antibiotic kills a virus such as herpes. This has to run its course. You cannot catch herpes from your cat. But, another cat in your household can catch herpes from the infected cat. You must make sure that your kitty eats and drinks.

Runny noses sometimes cause stuffy noses. And, you need to keep the nose clean and free from forming more crusts. Cats typically have cool, dry noses. Some cats have cool, wet noses, which is typical for them.

If a cat’s nose is stuffed up, your cat cannot sniff its food. If a cat cannot sniff its food before eating it, it will probably not eat. Sometimes the problem is bacteria, and the vet may have to give your kitty an antibiotic injection or pills.

Excellent cat parents keep watchful eyes on their fur babies. Watching eyes, noses, ears, and every part of your kitty can indicate current health issues, such as a constant black crust on its nose, when something seems out of the ordinary.

Cats are curious critters. Cats like to sniff and smell anything and everything. Their sense of smell is ten times greater than yours. A cat picks up dirt and dust from the environment, and sometimes these things stick to their little noses.

Having more than one cat means that one will eventually swipe at the other, usually hitting the nose, causing a small nose scratch that starts to bleed and scab over. If your cat spends a significant share of time outside, it is even more common for a cat to develop a black crust on its nose. Your responsibility is to make sure an innocent scratch on the nose does not get infected. At this point, there is no question about it; your cat needs to see the doctor.

We had a beautiful orange Norweigan Forrester cat called Hercules. God Rest that wonderful baby. I was forever taking a second look at his nose until I got used to the idea that Hercules had black freckles on his nose. This is a harmless diagnosis known as the Cat Lentigo Simplex or freckles that requires no treatment.

This past January 2022, my female sidekick cat Mia started sneezing, sneezing, and sneezing. If she sneezed a dozen times in an hour, she sneezed 50 times.

She was constantly licking her nose. Her nose was not crusty or bleeding, but was runny. She was fine, and there were no changes in appetite, water intake, or litter pan use. I knew she did not feel good, so I took her to the vet after a week, and she was getting no better. Mia received an antibiotic shoe lasting ten days.

This shot did the trick, and she started to sneeze less and less each day. So, I guess she had some sort of bacterial infection. None of the other five cats got this. After two weeks, she was healed from her runny nose and sneezing episodes. She is back to normal. In this case, Mia kept her nose clean, and I did not intervene.

Cats with a runny nose producing a nasal discharge like yellow or green mucus need to see the doctor for possible treatment of probable respiratory infection.

If your cat has a dirty nose, clean it off with a soft, warm, and wet cloth and continue to help them keep their nose clean, especially if your cat is a kitten. A cat’s nose is fragile and sensitive, so do not be in a rush or rough. Use a gentle hand when cleaning these little noses.

You can also use a small nose syringe to help clear up a blocked nose. Our vet has told us at times that it is OK to buy a bottle of baby saline nose drops to help clean out the nose. You may have to carefully use a Q-Tip, a gauze pad, or a cotton ball moistened with warm water. Do not run the Q-Tip into the nose, just at the outer edges.

Some cats sit and have the patience to have their noses cleaned. Other cats may put up a fuss. For cats that are not cooperating, I wrap them in a soft blanket to hold them so I can clean their nose, ears, or eyes.

A crusty black nose can be one of many things or a combination of things. A crusty black nose can have underlying health conditions such as an infected sore or be as simple as freckles. Be forever vigilant and monitor your fur babies and any black crusty noses.