It turns out teenagers aren’t the only ones who are prone to acne – cats can get it, too! If you’ve ever noticed blackheads, pimples, or even scabs on your cat’s chin – he very likely has feline acne.
It’s a medical mystery as to what actually triggers feline acne. Some cats can get it once and then it never comes back. Others can be plagued with it their entire lives. Veterinary Dermatologists think there are a few things that contribute to a cat’s acne condition:
• Stress. Adding a new pet to the family, moving, losing a family member…all of these may elevate your cat’s stress and a breakout could occur.
• Plastic bowls. The porous plastic may harbor bacteria that can contribute to feline acne.
• Genetics. A cat with feline acne may pass the trait along to kittens.
• Allergies. Is your cat allergic to certain foods or sensitive to household cleaning products? Exposure might trigger a bout of feline acne.
If your kitty has acne, here are some things you can do:
• Work with your veterinarian (and if you can, a veterinary dermatologist) to determine the best treatment. That may include OTC ointment, prescription medication, or even antibiotics.
• Use a fine-tooth comb (like a flea comb) on your cat’s chin every day to keep it free from scabs and blackheads.
• Try wiping your cat’s chin every day with a medicated acne pad to keep acne under control.
• If your cat is having a bad breakout with swelling, try using a warm compress (using Epsom salts and warm water). Hold it to kitty’s chin for 5 minutes each day to reduce swelling.
• Never, ever squeeze a pimple – it could easily become infected.