Identify and Treat Acne in Cats: Everything You Need to Know

Acne does not only affect us humans. Even our cat friends can actually get it.

Here you will find out how to detect acne in your cat and how to treat it.

Although most cats’ skin is covered with fur, they can actually get acne.

In most cases, the condition is so mild that it is not even noticeable.

But there are also more serious cases that are much easier to detect and that often look quite unpleasant.

These cases can also be difficult to treat.

What is cat acne?

The cat’s skin contains several different types of glands, such as sweat glands and sebaceous glands. Most of the sebaceous glands sit together with the hair follicles and produce sebum, a fatty substance that makes the coat water-repellent and keeps the skin soft.

There are accumulations of larger sebaceous glands on the cat’s lips, eyelids, chin, upper part of the tail root and scrotum and foreskin.

The secretions from these larger glands are important for the cat’s scent marking – it rubs its chin, lips, head and tail root against various objects and against its favorite people.

Acne in cats is due to overactivity in the glands on the cat’s chin, which leads to the skin and fur becoming too oily. On light cats, this may look like a yellowish, oily discoloration, sometimes with small black dots. The increased production of sebum and keratin in the hair follicles, leads to the hair follicles being clogged. Black so-called blackheads form in the skin, which can lead to an infection and inflammation of the hair follicles (folliculitis). In more severe cases, a skin infection (pyoderma) can develop, which can cause swelling, pain and discomfort for the cat.

What treatment should I give my cat?

If a veterinarian has determined that your cat has acne, there are a few different ways to treat it. The earlier the condition is detected, the better. Acne in cats is treated by removing excess sebum to counteract the formation of blackheads and secondary infections.

You do this by washing with an antibacterial soap or shampoo once or twice a day.

In mild cases, this is sufficient as a treatment, but in more severe cases, the cat may need to be treated with antibiotics or remedies for fungal infections.

Studies have shown that in some cases it can help to use ceramic or metal food bowls instead of plastic bowls.

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