Feline Acne (Cat Acne)

Do you know cats can get acne? No? You are not alone. A lot of people are surprised to learn this. It is assumed acne is just something teenagers get, but just like people, cats can get it too. Feline Acne (cat acne) is a problem that can happen at any time, any age, any sex and with any breed of cat. 

Issues with cat acne usually involves blackheads with possible inflammation around the chin and surrounding areas. In many cases the problem is mild and doesn’t cause too much of a problem. However, in more severe cases the cat may suffer with pus filled spots, infected glands, hair loss and scarring. 

Cat Acne – What to look for

Generally, cat acne will appear on the chin. This is because it  is the site of sebaceous glands which produce an oily secretion.  These glands are important as they are used for territorial marking. When acne starts to appear you will notice blackheads on the lips and chin of the cat. This is due to the blockages of the gland. You will need to keep an eye on these as if they become infected the spots will become worse. 

What causes Cat Acne?

It’s unknown, however, there are several possible causes:

Poor grooming



Suppressed immune system

Abnormal sebum production

Bacterial overload (from dirty bowls)

Acne can also be secondary to a fungal or viral infection

It was thought plastic bowls may have been a cause, however, it is more likely to be a build up of bacteria on the bowl which may be the problem. It’s best to use glass, metal or ceramic dishes and ensure they are regularly washed. 

If you notice blackheads or spots around the lips and chin area or any other change in skin condition its always best to get a vet to check it as it could be something other than acne.  Problems such as allergies, ringworm or a yeast infection can show similar symptoms.  In most cases the vet will be able to look at and tell what the problem is. However, there may be occasions  where they will take a skin scraping or perform a biopsy to rule out more serious issues. Once the issue has been diagnosed the correct treatment can be applied

As always, if you have any questions about this subject feel free to call us at the clinic or leave a message on our Facebook page.