Acne in cats

Acne in cats

Cat acne is found almost exclusively on the chin and lower lip of your cat, where the hair follicles become plugged with a greasy material Some cats may only have a single episode of acne while others have a life-long, recurring problem. The frequency and seriousness of each acne flare-up can vary with each animal. Unfortunately, the cause of acne in cats is unknown as it has been found out that age, gender and breed are not determining factors for the condition.

Symptoms and Types of Acne in Cats

Symptoms of the condition can include blackheads or whiteheads, mild red pimples, watery crusts that can develop on the chin and swelling of the chin. In more severe cases of the condition, the cat may develop nodules, bleeding crusts, pustules, hair loss, a severe redness of the skin and be in pain due to the boils.


Acne in cats can be caused by poor grooming habits or abnormalities in the cat’s skin surface, oil production or immune-barrier function. It can also be caused by excessive grooming where the chin is repeatedly rubbed on the fur.


Diagnosis of the condition will begin with a complete history and a physical exam. The veterinarian will be able to diagnose cat acne by a visual examination of its chin and will want to rule out any other conditions including mange, fungal Infection, feline leprosy, allergies or any tumors of the skin (sebaceous) or secretion (apocrine) glands, and other follicular (hair cells) and epidermal neoplasia (tumor of the outer layer of the skin).


The treatment of the condition will begin with a good cleaning of the infected area with an antiseptic cleanser and will involve the use of pet antibiotics and topical shampoos. This should help to clear the acne. If the outbreaks reduce as a result of the treatment, discontinue it by tapering the medication over a two-to three-week period. If the acne is continual throughout the treatment or reoccurs frequently, an appropriate maintenance schedule will be designed by your veterinarian. In cases of infections due to worms, oral medications may also be given.

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