CattyCorner: Do Cats Get Zits?

Greetings pawsome people and cat cohorts.

It's Forrest who comes up again with a subject that most would never consider. Do Cats Get Acne?

To answer that, let me tell you a quick story.

When I was in my nursing home, I had a friend with some serious sensitivities. She was a mixture of the Himalayas and I have learned that this breed is prone to skin problems in addition to breathing problems. But she was a great cat and I think of her a lot. Surely she makes someone laugh regularly as she had the cutest little snort when she got excited.

@ gizmo_the_grumpy / Instagram

And she got excited a lot.

Birds at the window. Snort.

Fresh food in the bowl. Snort.

Have a good nap. Snort and snore.

But she would also snort if she was worried. Like the day she discovered acne on her chin.

Cat acne increases

My Himmi friend woke me up from a nap and was pacing up and down in her dizziness when she saw dark, flaky things on her chin. When I opened my eyes she was standing there with her chin poked in my face as she asked, "Forrest, what is that black stuff on my chin?"

@ opieandsusu / Instagram

She actually had tiny black spots on her chin. It looked like she'd just rubbed her chin into a potted plant.

Before we could think much more about the black stuff, our foster mother picked up my Himmi friend and went into town to clean her chin with a warm washcloth and fancy medicated shampoo. While she was working she said: "Yes, Himmi girl, you have chin acne. No more plastic for you!"

My friend had acne on her chin, but luckily our foster mother had a keen eye and saw the blackheads before they grew into painful bumps. She also replaced all plastic food and water bowls with glass and stainless steel. Apparently, the nicks and scratches that develop in plastic over time can contain bacteria that can clog pores and cause acne.

@ pumpkin_the_rescued_cat / Instagram

Plastic trays aren't the only culprit for clogged pores and hair follicles, however. Acne in cats can also be caused by:

  • Allergies
  • Fleas or other pests
  • Overactive oil glands
  • Lack of proper care
  • Food and water bowls that are not cleaned regularly, regardless of whether they are made of plastic, glass or metal.

So, to turn the question upside down, yes, cats do get acne. But it can be solved pretty easily if caught early. If your kitten's chin is shabby and sore, make an appointment with the veterinarian. And whatever you do, don't pop your kitten's pimples. This can lead to infections.

@catofvm / Instagram

My friend's chin cleared quickly with the new shells and a few days with special towels that our foster mother kept chirping about. She was a singer, but I learned a lot from her silly songs. My favorite among their choirs was …

Don't forget to feed the cat.

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Feature Image: @ pumpkin_the_rescued_cat / Instagram & @ opieandsusu / Instagram

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