Cat Acne is Real – The Surprising Causes and Treatments

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Cat Acne is Real - The Surprising Causes and TreatmentsCat acne seems like an urban legend or the start of a joke, but it’s actually real. Thanks to Heather Peikes, VMD, Dipl. ACVD, at All Paws Dermatology and Allergy, the surprising causes and treatments are explained.

Just an FYI not only is feline acne real, it takes an additional 4 years of schooling to enter the world veterinary dermatology. Just like pimples and breakouts for humans, cat acne comes in the form of blackheads and pustular whiteheads. The issue typically appears on the chin and lips. “Acne can affect cats of any age or breed or gender,” Heather Peikes explained.

Related: Signs and Treatments of Common Cat Skin Problems

Now that we know that just about any cat can experience feline acne, Heather reveals what we can do to prevent and treat kitty breakouts. “Clean your kitty’s food and water bowls often, and make sure they’re stainless steel or glass,” the expert shared. It’s a simple change that can help clear up your cat’s skin issue, but there are treatments for those stubborn skin blemishes. Ask your vet about pet-friendly medicated wipes to help your furry friend clear up his skin. If the problem persists, your veterinary dermatologist may prescribe more powerful antibiotics or steroids.


The causes of the breakout may be the key to preventing cat acne. In addition to poor exfoliation, stress, viruses, allergies, and poor grooming, the use of plastic bowls could be the culprit. Plastic is porous and tends to harbor a lot more bacteria versus metal or glass bowls. If you insist on plastic bowls, just make sure you wash them thoroughly and often.

Related: Should I Bathe My Cat? The Benefits You Need to Know

It’s important to keep your cat’s breakouts under control. Most pimples and blackheads are managed rather than treated with pills. Start by washing your cat’s problem areas with a mild soap. If the issue persists consult your vet who will likely help you pick the best topical treatment for your kitty. If left untreated, the issue could become worse and develop into painful and itchy infections.

Have you had an experience with cat acne? Share your stories in the comment section below.

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