|This cat's feline acne is mild. |
Photo via Sarah Korf
This is something that's pretty common, and if you've ever had a cat maybe you've noticed this with them before. Is it harmful? Painful? How do you get rid of it or prevent it from happening? I have some advice that I'm going to share with you that may help your cat's skin.
What Is Feline Acne and Should You Be Worried?
Feline acne is probably not a life threatening condition. However, it can lead to discomfort and possibly infection if not treated. So maybe you should only be worried a little - no need for a trip to the emergency room at 3 am or anything.
Cats have sebaceous glands around their chin and lips that release extra oils. These oils are thought to aid them while marking their territory. You know how cats like to rub their faces on things? Well, they are actually claiming their territory and saying "Hey! My oils have been rubbed on this, so that means it's mine!"
The pores and glands in this area of the cat's skin are more oily and therefore more likely to become clogged. That is why we see cats develop acne in this area.
How to Help Your Cat's Skin
If you suspect your cat has feline acne, there are a couple of things you can try. In most cases of feline acne, the area will need to be scrubbed with a chlorhexidine solution 2-3 times a day. This is the usual treatment for the condition. Of course, you should always talk with your veterinarian about a treatment plan.
Sometimes, the feline acne can actually cause a secondary bacterial infection which may require oral antibiotics and maybe even topical antibiotic ointment. For severe cases of feline acne, a veterinarian may actually shave away the fur from the area so that it can be kept clean easier.
You can also try to include a fish oil supplement to help with your cat's skin. Fish oil is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids which are excellent for the skin.
I've heard of a few home remedies for clearing up feline acne including cleaning the affected areas with apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, or hydrogen peroxide. I don't have any personal experience using these with feline acne, but they sound like they could be worth a try.
It's also recommended that your cat does not eat from plastic food dishes. This can cause an allergic reaction in some kitties. Keeping your cat's food dishes clean is also important.
|Stainless steel feeding bowls might help prevent breakouts.|
Photo via Mr. T in DC
Fortunately, I don't think I've ever seen an extreme case of feline acne before. It is a very common condition, however. Usually, most cases are mild and don't require intense treatment.
Has your cat ever had this problem before? Do you have any good tips or advice for dealing with feline acne?