Acne in Cats – Feline Acne – Pet tip 192
Although many cat owners are surprised when they hear the diagnosis, it’s true; cats can get acne and the condition is aptly called feline acne. Cat owners usually notice that something is going on when they notice small back-heads or small pimples on the faces and/or chins of their pet cats that just won’t go away. Although the acne itself isn’t as serious as other diseases or illnesses, it still needs to be treated. Feline acne that is not treated can spread or worsen. The pimples can start to fill up with pus and can cause your cat’s face to swell up.
A variety of things can cause feline acne but often it’s dirt related. What happens is that the hair follicles become obstructed with dirt and oils from the cat’s fur. These blockages form the pimples and blackheads. Often the pimples and blackheads are itchy and uncomfortable for the cat and it will start scratching the area making things worse. This scratching can lead to irritation, open wounds and allows bacteria to enter the cut, making everything worse. Scabs or crusts can appear under the chin and this is yet another sign of feline acne.
Another surprising yet common reason that cats can get feline acne has to do with their plastic food and water bowls. Cats love to mark household objects with their faces and they often mark their food bowls. Many cats have bad reactions to plastic. Even if they aren’t marking the food bowl, simple contact with plastic food bowls contributes to feline acne. Quite a few cats are allergic to the materials in plastics and develop acne as a result. If you are seeing signs of feline acne and you are using plastic water or food bowls, switch those bowls to stainless steel, ceramic, or glass ones. If your cat is prone to feline acne then your cat’s water bowl should be thoroughly washed and cleaned each day. Other reasons cats can get feline acne include poor grooming, food allergies and stress.
Treatments for feline acne involve similar treatments for human acne and benzoyl peroxide or other mild soaps are commonly prescribed. Depending on the severity, steroids might also be prescribed. If the acne has become infected due to scratching then antibiotics are also likely to be prescribed. Whatever you do, don’t go administering human acne medication to your cat. The dosages are different and only a vet can determine what’s really going on and the best way to treat it.