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Cat's Acne Treatment

Feline Acne

Feline acne is a bacterial infection of the skin located on the cat's lips or chin, often causing an increase in scratching and a lot of discomfort. Most of cats have mild symptoms that it goes unrecognized. However, acne may affect cats of any age which can be recognized by the red bumps (papules) and blackheads.


Acne in cats, as in humans, may have various causes, such as stress, trauma, weakened immune system, food allergies or poor grooming habits. Apart from those reasons plastic food bowls may also be one of the main reasons of acne in cats. Bowls become dirty and collect bacteria, which is then transferred to the cat's chin.


Black oily spots (comedones) often appear on the chin or around the lips of the cat. Left inflamed, may lead to swollen red pustules or pimples, sometimes involves bleeding due to irritation. In severe cases an excessive feline hair loss affects the area around the chin. It is important to visit the veterinarian asap and start an appropriate treatment quickly, otherwise the condition may get worst causing a secondary infection and more serious health complications.

How is Feline Acne Treated?

Not every case of feline acne can be easily treated or goes unrecognized. Medical treatment of feline acne is determined by the extent and severity of the condition. The following table lists guidelines to be used in the treatment of feline acne.

Clinical Appearance


Mild to Moderate Inflammatory Acne
- black spots, few comedones, papules / pimples

Cleansing with an antibiotic soap, Topical Vitamin-A, Topical retinoids, Hydrogen peroxide, Fresh Aloe Vera Juice, Iodine (Betadine).

Moderate to Severe Inflammatory Acne
- red papules, many pustules

Cleansing with an ointment or gel containing benzoyl peroxide, Chlorhexidine or Topical glucocorticoids.

Severe Acne Infection
- swollen, red, bleeding pustules

Oral antibiotics, Anti-inflammatory drugs, Oral glucocorticoids.

Home Treatment & Prevention

Wash the cat's chin after eating with warm water together with antibacterial soap or hydrogen peroxide. Wash food & water bowls every day.
A warm compress applied to the affected skin can help to unblock plugged up pores. Simply use a warm washcloth and hold it to your pets chin for a couple of minutes until the cloth is cool.
Switch from food plastic bowls to glass, ceramic or metal instead. Especially if the cat is allergic to chemicals in plastic.
Anti-seborrhea shampoos are often recommended when excess oil detected and blackheads are the primary affliction.
Echinacea helps to boost the immune system protecting the cat fighting the acne bacteria at its root from inside and outside.
Squeezing the cat's acne will increase the chances of infection and could make the break-out worse leading to severe cases.

Relative topics

Skin problems in cats, canin dog's acne, feline hair loss, red bumps (papules), lip bumps, chin bumps, zits, pimples chin pyoderma, overactive oil sebaceous glands, symptoms of cat acne.