Acne In Cats
Acne in cats is usually associated with allergies, bacterial, mite and fungal or yeast infections, and sometimes with metabolic diseases that affect the cat’s immune system.
Acne can appear initially as blackheads, usually on the chin or around the lips. It can progress to pustules that are filled with blood and pus.
Depending on the age and health status of the cat, some diagnostics may be required. These may include a skin scraping to look for mites and yeast, a fungal culture to look for ringworm, or a blood test to look for generalized infection or immune problems. Sometimes allergy testing is needed.
Treatment depends on the severity of the acne. Sometimes the acne is so mild no treatment is needed. Other times it is so severe that aggressive treatment is needed. Treating any underlying causes such as diabetes is important.
Moderate to severe cases
- Remove plastic dishes and bowls and replace with stainless steel, glass or ceramic dishes. Some cats develop contact allergies to plastic that flare when the chin touches the plastic dish. Wash dishes in dishwasher weekly to sterilize.
- Clean chin with antiseptic hydrogen peroxide every other day to dry the area. If there is a lot of greasiness to the chin, rubbing alcohol may be substituted. Do not use rubbing alcohol if there are any open sores.
- Douxo Spot-On: Apply 3-4 drops of the Duoxo liquid to the chin twice a week. This helps improve the lipid layer of the skin and reduce seborrhea.
- Malaseb / Mal-a-ket pledgets or liquid cleaner: Clean chin twice a week or as directed.
- Antibiotic ointment applied as a thin layer twice a day until healed.
- Clindamycin gel
- Silver sulfadiazine cream
- Benzoyl peroxide ointment
- Mupirocin ointment
- Oral antibiotics if bacterial pustules are seen.
- Topical Retin A therapy applied twice a day or as directed on the affected area.
- Lyme sulfur dips if Demodex mites are found.
- Allergy testing and desensitization if needed. Steroid therapy to reduce itching and inflammation.
- Rarely, bacterial cultures and sensitivity testing or biopsies are needed to evaluate the course of the acne and initiate effective treatment.
- There are a small number of Himalayan and Persian cats that develop severe facial inflammation, itching and acne that can be unresponsive to treatment.