Cat Acne

What is Cat Acne? Cat, or feline acne is the presence of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, pustules, zits etc., around your cat's chin area.

The condition is usually fairly noticeable on white and light colored short hair cats.

With dark and long hair cats the condition may not be noticeable until it is in an advanced state.

We all know how concerned cats are about keeping themselves clean.

We also know how important regular grooming sessions are when we share our home with a cat.

Tiny particles of food left under the chin may be a cause of skin inflammation.

In most instances a cat will wash herself very well after eating but, the area under the chin is not the easiest place to keep clean.

If you notice food particles sticking to your cats chin, you may want to gently wipe these off with a soft, clean damp cloth.

Any change in your cat's grooming habits, for example not giving herself the attention she once did, may be a cause for concern and your veterinarian may need to be consulted.

Plastic Feeding Bowls and Dishes

Plastic feeding bowls can sometimes be the source of the problem of cat acne.

Plastic cat dishes are inexpensive and convenient, but plastic can become porous particularly as it ages, and harbor bacteria.

Metal, ceramic or (unbreakable) glass dishes are non porous and easier to keep clean. Also some cats are allergic to the colored dyes used in the manufacture of plastic feeding bowls.

Regardless of the material they are made from, feeding bowls and dishes should be washed daily.

Is your cat's food bowl too deep? A shallow bowl may mean that your cat does not have to stick her or his face so far into the food.

Territorial Marking and the Spotty Cat

Territorial marking behavior is believed by many experts to be one possible cause of feline acne.

cat with acne under chinA cat with a severe state of acne. A veterinarian should be consulted before the condition gets this bad.

This is when you observe your cat rubbing his or her face, or base of their tail, against objects, furniture etc., to mark them out as their own by leaving their scent on the objects.

This is the same face rubbing your cat performs on you when you give her a cuddle, she is marking you as her own.

It is believed that if the sebaceous glands of a cat's face become over active it could trigger a bout of cat acne, blackheads, papules or pustules.

Diet and Allergic Reaction

Another possible cause of a cat's chin acne is an allergic reaction to something (such as food, fabric material, an item of furniture, etc.) that the cat frequently comes into contact with.

If you can discover the cause of the allergic reaction you can solve the problem.

Changed your cat's diet? There is a small possibility that your pet's acne could be due to a change in the food that you serve up to her.

This change need not have been recent, some allergies take time to develop and it's possible that your cat may have been consuming the problem food for a while without any noticeable ill effects.

Sometimes pet food manufacturers change their recipe without advertising the change, a brand of cat food that was once fine for your pet may now be causing cat skin problems.

Food that is meant for humans should not be fed to cats, it can cause many skin problems, including acne.

Stress and Cat Acne

It is thought that stress can be a contributing factor in the development of acne in cats.

Cats get stressed for lots of reasons, usually to do with change, and the stress can show itself in many health related ways. If something in your cat's life has changed, try changing it back (not always possible.)

By getting rid of the stress you may see an improvement in your cat's health.

Cat Acne – A Mild Outbreak

Outbreaks of cat acne are usually fairly mild, a few blackheads, red bumps or blocked pores. If you discover anything more than a mild outbreak it would be best that your veterinarian is consulted.

As there are several conditions with similar symptoms, ringworm being one, your veterinarian will be able to confirm whether or not your cat has acne.

Your veterinarian may trim the fur of the chin area so as to effectively deep clean the outbreak. Oral antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the infection.

Mild case of feline acne have been treated by washing with antibiotic soap, Epsom salts or a very mild solution of white vinegar. Never treat cat skin problems with products designed for humans.

  • Food particles left under the chin should be wiped away.

  • Plastic feeding bowls should be avoided.

  • Is your cat neglecting her grooming?

  • Has your cat's diet changed?

  • Is an allergic reaction the cause of your cat's acne?

  • Is there anything that is causing your cat to be stressed?

  • Is your cat's skin condition truly mild or should your vet be consulted?

Cat Fleas
Cat fleas are not selective as to the cats that they infest. Even the healthiest and best cared for cats can become infested with fleas. Flea control can help rid your cat of fleas.

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