Chin Cat Acne Symptoms, Treatment at Home and Prevention

cat acne

Can cats get acne? Some cat owners will not be aware of the existence of this condition until their cats get it. Cat acne is common in pets whose grooming habits are wanting. Find out what its symptoms are, treatment and home remedies available and tips on how to prevent it.

Cat Acne

Cat acne is a skin condition characterized by pustules around the cat’s chin. Although it is yet to be ascertained what its causes are, it is suspected that the triggers could be poor grooming habits, stress, a compromised immune system and skin conditions such as dermatitis. Cat acne could occur once in a cat’s life, it could also keep recurring or be present in the whole of a cat’s life. Due to poor grooming habits as they age which gives room for bacterial and food debris buildup, older dogs are more prone to acne.

Cat Acne Symptoms

Feline acne is common in both male and female cats of all ages. To tell if your feline pet has chin acne, look out for the following signs and symptoms.

  • Formation of multiple black spots often referred to as comedones on the chin that give it a dirty appearance.
  • Small abscesses developing from the comedones, breaking up and resulting in crusts.
  • Hair loss, draining tracts and swelling of the chin in severe cases.
  • Inflammation, itching and scratching which leads to worsening of the symptoms.
  • At times, secondary bacterial infections may develop.

Cat Acne Pictures

To help identify acne in cats, here are some pictures:

Mild Cat Acne
Mild Cat Acne
Severe Cat Acne
Severe Cat Acne


Infected chin acne
Infected chin acne

Cat Acne Treatment

While cat acne can be controlled, it never can be cured. Treatment is aimed at controlling the accompanying symptoms and avoiding the triggers. In cases of mild acne, treatment is not necessary as it is bound to go away with time. Cat acne treatment options include:

1.      Shampoos

Anti-seborrheic and follicle-flushing shampoos can be used to clear up cat acne. These usually contain benzoyl peroxide which is used to break down any excess oils. Wet a clean wash cloth with the benzyl peroxide shampoo and rub this on the cat’s chin. Allow it to rest for about five minutes before rinsing off the treated area. Repeat this twice daily.

2.      Acne Wipes

Acne wipes contain salicylic acid which helps eliminate buildup. Some cats may not like the smell of salicylic acid and they may be uncooperative so watch out for this. Wipe your cat frequently to clear up oil.

3.      Corticosteroids

Where cat acne is accompanied by severe inflammation, corticosteroids can help. These are offered on short term basis as long term use could be harmful to your cat. Corticosteroid creams can be used where shampoos and other remedies fail to work. Cats tend to respond to this treatment within a couple of weeks of consistent use. This though is not recommended unless the acne is persistent.

4.      Vitamin A

Vitamin A contains retinoids which act as antioxidants. It is available in the active form of retin A and has been used for long for acne in humans. In the same way, it allows for development of new cells allowing the cat acne to clear up. As your vet if you can use it as a topical treatment.

5.      Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is yet another easy and cheap remedy for cat acne. It kills bacteria and oxygenates the pores. This gets rid of bacteria and helps prevent acne. Use three percent hydrogen peroxide mixed with an equal amount of water to clean the chin and other affected areas.

6.      Antibiotics

Your veterinarian may prescribe oral or topical antibiotics for cat acne. They will help to treat secondary infections occurring on the affected areas. Some of the common antibiotics include Cephalexin, Clindamycin and clavulanate. The dosage is dependent on the brand and weight of the cat. Follow instructions given for the treatment to be effective.

Cat Acne Treatment at Home – Cat Acne Remedy

Before opting for the above commercial products, you could try cat acne treatment at home using natural remedies. These include:

7.      Aloe Vera

Aloe vera can help give your cat relief from any itch accompanied by the acne. Simply apply and massage fresh aloe vera gel on the cat’s chin and let it rest until dry. Where access to fresh gel is limited, purchase aloe gel from the shops. Ensure it is pure and has no additives to it.

8.      Epsom Salt

This home remedy for cat acne helps to drain the affected area. Give you cat an Epsom salt bath or just cleanse affected area using the solution. Do not rinse it after you are done for maximum effect on the skin.

9.      Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has antiseptic properties which help to eliminate bacteria. Its exfoliative properties get rid of dead skin. Additionally, apple cider vinegar helps to balance the cat skin pH and thus help clear acne.

Mix equal portions of apple cider vinegar and water and simply dub the solution on your cat twice daily until the acne clears.

Cat Acne on Chin and under Chin

Cat acne on chin is the most common of feline acne. It is a condition involving over-production of keratin on the skin’s outer layer. If the excess keratin is trapped within the hair follicle, there will be blackheads will be formed. If these get infected, pustules or pimples will form on, around and under the chin.

While most cat acne cases will clear up with proper hygiene and various home care solutions and treatments, at times the intervention of a veterinarian may be necessary. This is if the acne does not appear to be getting better, if the cat seems bothered by it and where infections become severe. In such situations, the vet may offer prescription treatment or carry out further tests to ascertain what could be causing it.

Additional Tips to Prevent Acne in Cats

  • Switch the cat bowls to glass, ceramic or stainless steel. At times, what may be perceived as cat acne may be allergic reactions to plastic food and water bowls. Also settle for a shallow dish so the cat doesn’t get their chin too deep into it.
  • Have the bowls cleaned daily
  • Learn to clean your cat regularly. Keep its chin cleaned up to avoid feline acne resulting from poor grooming habits. It is especially important to clean the cat’s chin after every meal if they have had acne flare ups in the past.
  • Clip hair on the affected area to minimize accumulation of acne causing substances.
  • To prevent the oil glands from being impacted and to break up the oil, brush your cat’s chin every day.

In most cases, feline acne will disappear without any intervention. Left alone, the skin condition will clear on its own. However, in case you feel a need for intervention, the above remedies should work within a few days.

Cases of cat acne resulting from chronic exposure to pesticides, chemicals and detergents may linger on for as long as the cat is subjected to the same. The same applies if it is caused by hormonal imbalances. Eliminate the causes for your pet to be free of acne.

Sources Feline Acne

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