Everyone knows that teenagers are prone to acne. But did you know that this skin condition is also found in cats? It’s true. And what’s more, feline acne is much more common than you might think.
The chin and lips are the two areas where this condition will manifest. More often than not, the symptoms are so mild that they go completely unnoticed. Feline acne affects both male and female cats of all ages and breeds.
This problem typically appears when the sebaceous glands, which secrete oils (or sebum) that lubricate the skin, are blocked with black sebaceous material. This blockage in turn creates blackheads that can develop into pustules.
While the exact cause of feline acne is not known, most veterinarians believe that it may be triggered by one or more of the following:
- hyperactive sebaceous glands
- poor grooming habits
- food allergies
A cat with feline acne will have black spots (also called comedones) on his or her chin and/or lips. If the spots become infected, the cat will develop red pustules that could, if irritated, bleed.
Treatment for this condition varies and depends on how severe it is. You can usually eliminate mild cases of acne by cleaning affected areas with antibiotic soap, hydrogen peroxide, iodine or Epsom salts.
More severe cases will usually require that you cleanse your cat’s skin with an ointment or gel containing benzoyl peroxide and/or give him or her antibiotics to clear up any infection. Under no circumstances should you ever use acne treatments designed for humans on your cat.
Here are some things you can do to help prevent an acne breakout in your cat:
- use only glass, ceramic or metal food bowls – plastic ones are porous and trap bacteria, which can then find their way to your feline pal’s mouth
- clean water and food bowls daily
- wash your cat’s chin after he or she eats, especially if Kitty is prone to acne
If you suspect your cat has acne, make an appointment at either the Wells Branch or South Branch Pet and Bird Clinic. Our vets will do a full examination to determine the extent of problem and whether or not your feline pal needs medication. Keep your cat infection-free and in the pink. Contact us today!