Cat Acne 101: Causes and Treatment

Today is National Hug Your Cat Day, so before anything else, go hug your cat. I took a walk with a friend and we stopped and said hello to a few cats we saw along the way. Each one seemed to know it was their day and wanted all the attention we could give them. Ok, have you hugged your cat? Great. Now we can talk about cat acne and how to treat it. 

One of my cats had blackheads on her chin when she was younger. I was told it was not a big deal but it seemed to bug her. She would scratch her chin a lot and sometimes would end up with small cuts from all her scratching. I asked my vet what it was and I was told it was comedones (blackheads) or acne. Who knew that cats could get acne. 

From what is known of cat acne, it is common and can be  attributed to poor grooming, an overactive sabceous gland, or sometimes a side effect from something else. The symptoms of cat acne often don’t progress past seeing blackheads on the chin unless there is something else going on. In many cases, it’s just acne and a response to something in the environment. Similar to how a person’s pores can be clogged from environmental elements and health. 

A vet will be able to determine if your cat has acne or something else going on. If the level of acne seems severe, you may be prescribed a medication to give to your cat. In less severe cases, cleaning the chin with a little guaze that has some hydrogen peroxide is enough to clear up the acne or decrease the amount of it. 

Often times changing a food and water bowl from plastic to glass also helps lessen acne because plastic can trap bacteria. Topical Vitamin A can also be applied to the chin as well. If your cat has medium to long hair, it might be good to clip the fur around the chin to help keep the area cleaner. Cat acne can be easy to treat and many times may go away on its own but always talk to your vet. In some cases it can be a sign of another underlying issue or immune problem. 

Now, before you go examining your cat’s chin for blackheads, hug him again and give him some tasty treat. It is, afterall, his day. Treat him like the king he believes he is! Happy National Hug Your Cat Day. 

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