Last Modified on Jul 28, 2014
We think of cats as being remarkably clean pets, but they too can get acne and other skin conditions that cause irritation, redness, swelling, and the resultant itching and irritation. Bacteria and pests can penetrate the skin, causing your cat irritation and even transferring infection into the skin or bloodstream. Likewise, the fur is an imperfect barrier against the same sorts of rash-causing plants that give pet owners their own cases of ugly dermatitis.
Cat acne in particular often occurs on the chin, and in most cases this cat chin acne is the result of its feeding habits. Simply switching your cat's food and water bowls to ceramic or stainless steel may resolve your cat's acne condition, as plastic bowls are more likely to harbor bacteria. Other cat skin conditions may be triggered by mite infestations (as with mange), allergies, fleas or ticks, and environmental toxins.
Cure Cat Skin Conditions with Home Remedies!
As mentioned above, cat acne can sometimes be cured with new food and water bowls (or assiduously cleaning plastic food bowls on a daily basis). In the short term, cat skin conditions (including acne) may be relieved or even cured with several home remedies for the skin and general cat health. In some cases of acne and skin irritations the cause is an allergy, and scented kitty litters as well as commercial cat foods are often at fault - though you should also make sure there are no plants in or around your house that are poisonous to pets. Application of diluted apple cider vinegar or a borax wash may kill off pathogens and soothe your cat's skin irritation.
Bald Spots on Cat
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[YEA] My cat used to have several completely bald spots all over his body. It would come and go, with no pattern that was apparent to me. The only thing I noticed at first was that he would get much better in the Summer time. One Winter a few years ago I noticed that he did not get worse. In fact, he had no baldness at all. I really thought about it...I hadn't changed food...then it dawned on me: I had changed to all-natural kitty litter and stayed with it consistently for the past few months.
His bald spots had been consistent with the times I had used clumping kitty litter.
Stay away from clumping litter!
Cat Chin Acne
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Ive just adopted a 6 year old cat from our local shelter - there foster home program. I was told that he was healthy. When I got him home and he'd let me examine him, I found that he has a "condition" under his chin - gray looking and some red patches where's he's been scratching. It could be a staph infection or just "kitty acne. " The shelter will not do the right thing (I notified them less than 24 hours later) and examine the cat and treat it. And I can't give him back - he loves his new home. Any ideas on what to try? I cannot at this point take him to a vet since I just lost my dog last month and the bills were costly.
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Replied by Ginny
Cat chin acne refers to black dots to larger black scabs on the cat's chin. This is likely due to a plastic food or water bowl that is not being washed on a daily or frequent basis. Plastic picks up bacteria and the cat acne occurs when the cat's chin touches the food bowel. I threw out the plastic food dish that I was using for dry food. I confess, I was just refilling the bowl with dry food and only washing the bowl every other week or so. I used hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball to wash my cat's chin area. Get the cotton ball really wet with 2% hydrogen peroxide before applying. This does not sting and the cat will probably not put up a fuss. My cat let me do it without complaint. I also used a healing salve on the chin. If you also use an antibiotic salve make sure it does not have a warning that says "Not for internal use. " The cat may try to lick off the salve. It took about 2 weeks washing the chin several times a day before the rather thick black scabs went away. My cat lost hair where this occurred, but the hair grew back quickly. If you see little black scab dots on the cat's chin (that you think might just be dirt), get going with the hydrogen peroxide right away and this will not develop into large black scabs. REMINDER: If you use plastic food dishes for dry food or water, wash them frequently - every day would be best. Better yet, use stainless steel bowls or ceramic bowls.
Replied by Jane
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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My cat had severe cat acne a few years ago. blackheads on his chin which the grouped together and formed large infected pimples. I tried everything the vet prescribed. Long very emotional time. I isolated the cause to a food allergy (beef) or a plastic (my husband moved his guitar amp in the house and our cat liked to rub his chin against it)
There is a simple and safe solution:
If the acne is only at the blackhead stage all you need is epson salt. 2-3 times a day take a bowl with hot water and a clean cloth. pour a generous 2-3 tablespoons salt on a fresh hot discloth and put this on your cat's chin. let the steam get in the pores and gently massage the espon salts into the chin in circular motion. Obviously make sure the cloth is not so hot as to scald the chin - just a nice hot cloth.
If you are unlucky enough to have reached the stage where your cat has blackheads AND infected pimples follow the procedure above and go to the drugstore and get the lowest volume iodine. once to twice a day pour some of the iodine on your cats chin after you do the epson routine. make sure not to get any in your cat's mouth.
That's it. the acne will be gone.
I know use this procedure for any small small cuts. It is an old remedy for cleaning infections that has been used on humans for a long time.
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Hi, can anyone tell me if I can use Borax to clean the stains from my cats coats, especially on their faces. They are longhaired Persians which I show but they get staining around their eyes and down the sides of their noses, also around their rear ends. This is worse on the white cats and the fur becomes reddy brown. If I can use it, can you tell me how to do this and also, will it harm them if they inhale it or get it into their eyes? At the moment, I use boric acid.
Obsessive Licking, Hair Pulling
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I'm hoping you can help me. I am looking for a natural remedy for my cat. She is 10 and has had a long-time problem with allergies. She has been obsessively licking for many years, but now she is pulling her hair out. She also can be grumpy and agressive with people and other animals. I tried a pill from the vet but it didn't really do anything and has bad side effects. Thank you very much, Wendy
Replied by Wendy
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[YEA] A cat's skin is much more sensitive than human skin so please consider this when using anything on them that stings.
Also, I have read in numerous places that essential oils, even on flea collars, can be lethal to cats. Putting motor oil, which is a carcinogen (as is petroleum jelly), on an animal that cleans itself with its mouth, I would think that could be dangerous. While I still wouldn't put it on a horse, they are different than cats and dogs and will not likely ingest it.
Now onto ringworm:
Both my cat and I are sick - we were both exposed to large doses of a pesticide, in an enclosed area, and now both of our immune systems are having issues. Add to that, we both caught ringworm, from a stray kitten, on a cross country trip. I have found, being that I have a compromised immune system (isn't working at all) that getting rid of ringworm has been difficult as I am having to get to the underlying causes in order to really get rid of it (in chinese medicine - dampness). Ringworm is related to all the things you hear about that start with the word tinea - such as athlete's foot, nail fungus, scalp itch, jock itch (pardon my bluntness). And as any one who has had any of these knows, it's really difficult to treat. So even when you treat the raised sore, you have often not gotten rid of it (I think it is systemic but I might be wrong). So, if you are ready to take it out completely, you will have to address not only the lesions but clothing, bedding, floors, etc. You may not show sores but you may have it (itchy scalp? White soft buildup? Crusty ears? Itching anywhere?).
So even tho it is caustic, I use bleach if I have to wash floors. And where I can't, I use plain old salt. For my kitty's ears, I took a damp washcloth soaked in a high saline solution (kosher sea salt) and just applied it directly to the ringworm. This kills it within a short period of time (10 minutes should be plenty). It stings while the fungus is alive and stops when it is dead. I have found one application to be sufficient if you treat the other areas. For humans, swimming in the ocean is a way to alleviate it on the skin, scalp, etc. What you have to be careful of is when you put your clothes back on - or your kitty goes and lays down where he usually does - he and you are probably reinfecting yourselves.
When not near the ocean, I like to take kosher sea salt baths - 1.5 lbs in bath water (this is a very heavy concentration but I like it). After I am done with the bath - I throw my clothes in the water and soak them before washing them. Unlike when I swim in the ocean which leaves a residue and dries out my hair, the kosher salt leaves my hair really wonderful. I don't use shampoo on those days and my hair has been stripped of all the impurities that build up (yeast/fungus in your hair makes it slightly gooey).
Supposedly dry cleaning kills it as well.
Now this is a lot of work. I'm pretty sick so its been hard clearing it and you might not be as susceptible, but your cat or dog who is scratching and you don't see anything, or their ears are red and sensitive might be harboring more of the fungus.
I once went to a health food store and the woman behind the counter told me that she had had it a while back and had successfully treated it. I did not have it at the time. I caught it again from her - and it was a particularly virulent strain - it took a lot to cleanse that one out. She had simply suppressed the lesions.
The other thing to do is treat yourself and animal on a nutritional basis. Good food, pure water, etc is a great help. Fungus loves sugar (see candida - it's a fungus as well), so out went all the junk.
I am being treated by a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and he is helping me on a constitutional level so I don't self prescribe - I let him do his work. But I do take the baths whenever I know i've come into contact with a fungus (I am sens to it now and know - I sometimes pick it up outdoors or on my own keyboard). My cat gets homeopathic remedies which clear it out of his system. Berberis is a great acute for ringworm. In a pinch (and not in true homeopathic prescribing, ringworm is a remedy as well as well that can be ordered from Helios, and that also knocks it out).
My kitty lets me put the damp cloth on his sensitive ears without much of a fuss and its a good holdover until the remedy kicks in (can take up to 4 weeks or so to be fully cleared and may need to be repeated every 3 months depending on how deep a level it affected the animal). You'll know. He still gets it but it is getting weaker and weaker in him.
I am also going to start him on hydrogen peroxide therapy as well after reading this wonderful site!
Sorry this isn't incredibly simple but it works! I hope this can help someone.
Replied by Martina
Vancouver, BC, Canada
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I have a cat that has lost all his hair on both sides. There is no red skin or sores. He does have a lot of burrs matted up in his fur. He is a long hair cat and he stays outdoors. Is this mange? If not, can anyone tell me what it is? Thank you, Betty
HELP Please I have a ernest hemmingway cat who is suffering from severe dry skin and dandruff I am too poor to take her to the vet but I love her very much and need to know if there are any home remidies I might use to help her.
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Today I just noticed that my cat has a swollen chin, it's bigger than normal. And possibly might be starting to bald, I don't want to go to the vet to ask wats going on to get an outragous pet bill for nothing, when theres something I could have done at home that isnt as costly, was just going to wait a few days and see if the swelling goes down, give her a bath and put a warm washrag in it. It doesn't bother her at all so I don't know what else I should do.
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