Feline acne is a common problem seen in cats two to four years of age in which comedones (blackheads) develop on the chin of a cat. Feline acne can be managed but not really “cured.”
Feline Acne Causes
It may be caused by hyperactive chin sebaceous glands, poor hygiene, hormonal imbalance, stress, fungal infections, reactions to medications, Demodectic mites or reaction to plastic food/water bowls.
Symptoms of Cat Acne
You will see the formation of blackheads and inflammation on the chin and surrounding areas. Symptoms are usually mild and most cases of cat acne require minimal treatment. In severe cases, medical treatment is required to eliminate the irritation and infection.
Cat Acne Treatment – Mild Case
- Apply warm washcloth compresses to the area to reduce inflammation and pain, making cleaning easier. A warm compress also softens the plugged skin pores so they can be easily cleaned.
- Clean the cat’s chin using an anti-seborrhea product like Vet Basics® Sebo Plus Shampoo on a cloth and then treat with Vet Basics® ChlorConazole™ Wipes twice a day.
Cat Acne Treatment – Advanced Case
- Oral antibiotics and/or antifungals are needed to clear infection.
- Steroids are used to decrease inflammation, depending on need.
It has been noted that using plastic bowls may contribute to feline acne due to allergic reactions to plastics and dyes. Use stainless steel or ceramic food/water bowls to eliminate this possible cause. You should also clean water and food bowls often because this will remove bacteria that could be causing the acne.
Some cats are prone to feline chin acne and will get it again! Weekly chin cleaning and treating with Vet Basics® ChlorConazole™ Wipes usually prevents reoccurrence.
If your cat has chin bumps and you need help with how to help a cat with feline acne, call us at 800.786.4751.
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Written by: Donald Bramlage, DVM
Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, practiced veterinary medicine for 30+ years and is known for his work in managing parvovirus. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1985. He served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services from 2011 until his retirement in 2019.