Cat acne? That's right cats can have acne too! It's relatively a common skin disease of the chin and lower lip, and it is seen in cats of all ages.
I initially thought that it was fleas, but when we took our cat Pita to the vet, he told us that it was not flea bites but acne! He told us that the exact cause of feline acne remains unclear, but the most common theory is a lack of cleanliness.
Acne in cats occurs when the hair follicles become plugged. Cats' skin naturally releases a semi-liquid fatty material called sebum, which coats and protects a cat's fur, giving a healthy sheen. However, if a cat doesn't pay much attention to its chin while grooming herself, she can develop acne. In other cases, a dampened front paw may not be enough to clean away dirt and accumulated oils.
In addition to lack of grooming, there are other factors that may also contribute to cat acne, such as:
You may ask, how does feline acne looks like? Well, the first signs of acne are blackheads and pimples that erupt on the chin and lower lip. Before we found out that Pita had acne, it didn't seem to bother her, there were no changes on her behavior. Although, we noticed that often she would place her chin on our hand to get petted. A few weeks later we noticed that she had some blackheads and we thought that it could be flea bites.
While this is a common skin disease, it can become something more, a secondary bacterial infection may develop. In some cases, the area can become reddened, swollen, and either itchy or painful. You may heard of the expression "fat chin," the swelling and the lip thickens due to the severe feline acne - it makes the affected cat look as if she's pouting.
If the condition doesn't bother your cat, the blackheads will not require treatment, you can simply manage the condition. However, if the areas become infected, you should seek veterinary assistance.
Often, the acne will return once treatment is stopped, and some cats will require maintenance therapy of a topical medication. If your cat has persistent acne, you should contact your veterinarian for assistance.