Last Modified on Sep 07, 2013
Feline acne, especially chin acne in cats, is fairly common and if uncomplicated is not a health condition for great concern. However, feline acne can become infected and sometimes is in a pustular form that will be irritated and repeatedly burst.
A cat's acne is a product of its sebaceous glands, which secrete oils as in humans. However, in cats this is related to marking of territory. In most cats, acne will just appear as blackheads around the chin and lips. In cats with immune issues, hygiene issues, or other secondary factors their feline acne can become more serious and result in sores, large pimples, and eventually in infections.
Natural Cures: Keeping your cat's food and water bowls cleaner may help--plastic bowls are typically dirtier than glass or metal bowls. Reducing stress levels can reduce the amount of acne. Antibiotic cleaning of the chin or affected area can reduce the amount of bacteria causing acne and infection.
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[YEA] The ACV mixture (50/50 with water) cured my cat's acne.
Replied by Jude
Virgil, Ontario, Canada
Approval Ratings YEA (1) 100% Posted by Robin (Spokane, Wa) on 08/05/2010
[YEA] When we took our Diva in for such an odd malady the vet said it was cat acne. Having owned pets all my live, I was floored. I never heard of it. He told us to keep her clean but she really didn't like it. Just to do something that might help, I used baby wipes. It went away quickly. I'm not sure it matters what you clean with, just that you do. It could be that Diva is just special that way.Replied by Squillions
Columbus, Oh Usa
Approval Ratings YEA (1) 100% Posted by Tiffany (Rancho Cucamonga, California) on 10/02/2011
[YEA] My vet game me a gel for her acne that not only didn't work, but burned her skin. His next step was steroids. Instead, I chose Red Desert Clay. Clean their face with mild soap first to completely clean the surface. I made the clay into a paste and rubbed it into her fur and skin around lips after her last feeding of the day. Leave it on all night to dry. It binds to bacteria and toxins. The next morning she had licked some of it off, but what was left had pulled the blackheads out of her skin and dried them out. I wiped them away and left her face alone for the day, then reapplied every night for a couple more nights and the blackheads were all gone! I now brush her teeth with the clay and she has no more tartar or bacteria build-up, clean breath and healthy looking gums. Also, switch her bowls to stainless steel and wash them after every feeding.
Approval Ratings YEA (1) 33% NAY (1) 33% BETTER BUT NOT CURED (1) 33% Posted by Emroanm (Boulder, Co) on 05/17/2010
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] I just wanted to share my experiences with feline acne. After MUCH experimentation we finally have it under control.
We have two cats. The eldest gets very bad cat acne (blackheads and deep, huge white cysts). We tried everything from homeopathics to topically applying castor oil, oregano oil, aloe gel, apple cider vinegar, colloidal silver, rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide (which both seem to work great at first but then cause terrible rebounds), switching to metal and/or ceramic bowls... and I'm sure other things I can't think of right now.
This is what seems to work. For our older cat it is a management system that requires light cleaning most days (at least checking so any breakouts can be nipped in the bud). Our younger cat has started to have the same problem- at about the same age as the other one began to have issues. But the younger cat only needs a treatment if it flares up and then he'll be fine for quite a while (months). So, I think each cat will differ in terms of frequency of treatment.
I'll start with diet, which has helped but hasn't been a cure. I add 1/3 of a can of wet food (we like the organic kinds) to about two cups of dry food (Iams). I then add a heavy dash of turmeric and two capfuls of apple cider vinegar, 1/3 dropper of oregano oil, and the same of colloidal silver. I add a little water and mix it all up really well. This lasts two cats a few days. (And they love it!)
For breakouts we have a cleaning routine. I find it easiest to sit on the floor with my knees together and bent and feet on the floor. I put the cat face up so he's cradled in my legs (head at my knees) and I can easily hold him and his head (firmly). Even the younger scaredy-cat puts up with this once I get him situated. Then I clean the skin thoroughly with a Q-tip (or multiple Q-tips) saturated with colloidal copper. For some reason this has turned out to be the best cleanser. With the younger cat any little white cysts are easily removed with just the Q-tip. The older one sometimes needs cysts and/or blackheads expressed (popped) so that he can get back to healing. I clean it until all dirty looking crumbs/residue is gone. Then, if it's an acute attack, a dab of Neosporin antibiotic ointment rubbed in well to the fur/skin. And that's it. We tried so many natural treatments, but antibiotic ointment is what really stops bad outbreaks in their tracks.
I have also found that ingesting oils or petroleum products (as in hairball goo) definitely cause breakouts. Also, adding things like vitamin powder to the food does too (it collects under the chin and they can't clean it). We also tried adding sage extract, CoQ10, and MSM to their food at intervals which did not affect outbreaks one way or the other.
If anyone ever finds a true CURE, we'd love to hear about it! Until then this management system works pretty well for us. The older cat finally has full chin of healthy hair again and no current acne!Replied by Avo
Toronto, Ontario Canada