If you’re wondering what is cat acne you’ve come to the right place. Maybe you’ve heard about it somewhere and want to know more. It’s also possible you’ve noticed odd looking spots on your cat’s chin.
In this post you’ll discover everything you need to know about cat acne including common causes, prevention, and best ways to treat it. While there are many skin problems cats can suffer from, acne is of of the least common ones.
If you’ve ever suffered from acne yourself I’m sure you can sympathise with your feline companion. Cat acne is no different, though not always caused by the same triggers.
Keep reading as I share advice and information on this uncommon but very real skin condition. Though much less common than in humans, any breed or age of cat can be predisposed.
What causes cat acne
It may seem logical that if adolescent humans get acne, your cat would be the same. However, this would rarely be the case. In fact studies have shown hormones don’t play any part in feline acne.
Instead, your cat is far more likely to develop acne through bacterial infections or allergies. For example, plastic food bowls can become a breeding ground for bacteria. In addition, it’s also possible for your cat to become allergic to some materials such as plastic.
Bacterial infections from flea bites is another possibility and one good reason to give your cat regular monthly treatments. Poor grooming can also lead to skin conditions such as cat acne.
If your cat is in her senior years it could be possible that she’s finding it harder to groom herself. Stiff, arthritic joints may make it harder for your kitty to wash herself properly.
Another possible cause of cat acne is an allergy to certain foods. However, unless you use stainless steel or ceramic bowls it’s far more likely to be the food bowl than the food itself.
If your vet has ruled out other causes he or she may suggest testing for food allergies. This would involve feeding your cat a hypoallergenic diet for a period of time.
The prescribed food would be very bland and include only natural ingredients. You can also read about best food for cats with allergies in one of my posts.
At the end of the test period if your cat’s acne improved you’d need to either continue to use the prescribed food or find something similar.
Stress and cat acne
Just as stress has physical affects on people so it does with cats as well. If your cat has suffered any obvious stress such as moving home this is something you should consider.
Could dental disease be the cause of your cat’s acne?
Dental disease could make it very uncomfortable for your cat to groom herself around the mouth and chin area. This is something many pet owners fail to recognise until it’s too late.
Your vet would most likely examine your cat’s mouth as part of determining the cause. If this does happen to be what’s causing cat acne you’ll probably be shown how to clean her teeth.
Don’t worry, this isn’t as hard as you think and could soon become part of your daily regime. In fact you can read my post on how to brush a cat’s teeth to give you some idea.
What does cat acne look like?
The most common type of acne seen in cats is found on the chin area. If you notice clusters of black spots under your cat’s chin this is probably acne. It’s similar to blackheads commonly suffered by teenagers! However, NEVER attempt to squeeze them!
Overproduction of keratin can cause hair follicles to become blocked. In really bad cases it can result in swollen pustules, or crusty looking sores. If this is the case you’d need to see your vet urgently for treatment.
Though not life threatening it would be very sore and irritating for your poor kitty. In addition, if left it could spread to other areas.
It’s not truly understood what causes keratin to become overproductive, though excessive sebum could be a factor.
Treating your cat’s acne
Firstly, NEVER use any products designed for human use on your cat! Although the cleansing solution you bought for your own skin works wonders, it could cause your cat harm.
In some cases cat acne clears up on its own, and doesn’t need any treatment. However, if it’s more persistent or seems to be getting worse you need to consult your vet.
In many cases simply replacing plastic food bowls with stainless steel or ceramic ones is enough to get rid of cat acne. One of the main problems with plastic is it cracks easily and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
However, if needed, common treatments may include antibacterial washes. These will be designed especially for pet use and prescribed by your vet.
You’ll be advised how many times a day to apply the solution onto your cat’s skin, and ask questions if you’re at all worried. In addition, fatty acid supplements such as salmon fish oil are very good for the skin. You MUST only buy fish oil designed for cats or dogs though.
Again, ask your vet for advice if you’re unsure, just to be on the safe side. I’ve given my own cat salmon fish oil and mixed it in with his food.
I can only assume he didn’t smell or taste it as the food was eaten! Bear in mind though, it can take several months before you can expect to see any noticeable results.
Can you prevent cat acne?
One of the best ways to prevent your cat getting acne is by following good hygiene. Always clean water and food bowls daily. Remember, you wouldn’t want to eat YOUR dinner off a dirty plate! Either load them in the dishwasher, or soak in the sink with a few drops of washing up liquid.
Unless you know the cause there’s no way of preventing cat acne. This is why it’s always best to ask the advice of a qualified vet. In most cases it will disappear on its own and you won’t need to do anything.
Grooming your cat regularly will help spot any skin problems before they develop. In most cases, any problem your cat has can be treated if caught in its early stages.
I hope this post has answered your question “what is cat acne?” and provided you with some ideas on how to diagnose and treat it. As mentioned previously, although cats can get acne it’s not the same as that suffered by humans.
Although triggers are similar, acne in humans is usually caused by oily skin and blocked hair follicles, whereas in cats it’s more often caused by allergies or bacterial infections.
Having said that, folliculitis or inflammation of the hair follicles can result in some nasty looking sores.
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Wishing you a purrfect day:)