Characterized by black, itchy spots on the chin, cat acne can be uncomfortable for your furbaby. While not as rampant as the acne that humans get, cats can also suffer from acne due to a bad diet, environment, or lifestyle.
But what exactly is cat acne? And how do relieve your cat from it?
What Is Cat Acne?
Cat acne is caused by follicular keratinization disorder wherein there is an overproduction of keratin found in the outer layer of the skin. Creating a blockage on the hair follicles often manifesting in the form of blackheads. Usually, cat acne appears on the chin or lower mouth of cats.
For many mild cases, it is barely noticeable for most cat owners. However, it is much easier to spot cat acne on cats with lighter colors. Cats infected with cat acne will exhibit a change in color on the infected areas as it worsens.
What Causes Cat Acne?
While cat acne is relatively uncommon, studies have shown that all breeds and ages of cats are equally predisposed to experiencing it. Unlike humans, cat acne is seldom due to hormonal conditions and age but often due to external factors.
Some common factors that predispose a cat to chin acne include poor grooming, stress, dietary issues, reduced immune response, and environment. But how is it diagnosed?
How Is Cat Acne Diagnosed?
Many cat owners will know the black, bumpy, and sometimes bumpy appearance of cat acne when they see it. However, in severe cases, you can also expect your cat to experience swelling, hair loss, and redness.
While it may appear like cat acne, infections may also be due to a fungal infection, leprosy, or mange. To diagnose a cat with cat acne, veterinarians may either need to simply inspect your cat’s chin or go as far as to request a biopsy.
If you suspect that your cat has acne, it is still best to get your cat check by a veterinarian if you are not sure. They will be able to prescribe the appropriate treatment for your cat.
Acne Treatments for Your Cat
Cat acne is known to disappear on its own for milder cases. However, there are ways to make disappear sooner if the condition worsens. Here are a few ways to bring your cat back to normal.
Use Medicated Shampoos or Wipes
In recent times, topical treatments formulated to relieve your cat of acne are available in many pet stores or clinics. These can come in the form of medicated shampoo or wipes. You should never use anti-acne medication made for humans for your cat unless cleared by your cat’s vet.
Apply Vet-approved Herbs
Some vets may also recommend more natural methods like using herbs like dabbing Witch Hazel on the infected area to avoid the spread of acne. When using herbs to treat any illnesses topically, make sure to get the approval of your vet who can confirm its safety and appropriate frequency.
For more serious cat acne infections, your vet may perform a deep cleaning of the affected area. Veterinarians will often clip the hair around the chin of your cat, dab antiseptic medication such as ointment, and prescribe anti-bacterial rinses.
Keep Up With Their Flea Treatments
Cats can develop acne from allergic reactions to flea treatments. If you suspect that your cat is experiencing reactions from a flea treatment, don’t worry. There are several cat flea prevention and treatment methods that you can try that may have fewer negative effects on your cat.
How to Avoid Cat Acne
From prevention methods to treatments, here are a few things that you can do to keep your cat away from acne:
Change Your Cat Food
Similarly to humans, many cats experience acne as a reaction to food allergies or bad diets. If you suspect that your cat is experiencing acne due to their diet, switch their kibble or shift them towards another type of diet.
Clean Cat Bowls Daily
With a mixture of saliva and remnants of food, it is easy for bacteria to grow on your cat’s bowl. When it comes to wet food, it is necessary to wash your cat’s bowl after a meal. For dry food, many people think you don’t need to clean the bowl as often. However, experts recommend that you clean cat bowls daily. To clean a cat bowl, use unscented, mild soap and warm water.
Ditch the Plastic Bowls
Studies have shown a strong relationship between using plastic bowls and cat acne. When cats paw at their plastic bowl, they create small cuts on the surface leading it to be prone to harboring bacteria. With time, time bacteria go to the chin of your cat and cause cat acne. So while it is cheaper to get a plastic bowl, it is best to buy a good quality bowl constructed from glass or ceramic materials.
Reduce Exposure to Allergens
Humans aren’t the only ones who suffer from allergies. Feline acne can sometimes be due to environmental factors such as pollen or dust. To help manage acne due to its surroundings, keep your home clean by regularly vacuuming every room your cat frequents and investing in an air purifier.
Keep Your Cat Acne Free
Besides looking unsightly, a little bit of acne won’t really hurt your cat. However, more severe cases can get very uncomfortable and painful if left untreated. When it comes to treating your cat for acne, you should take a holistic approach that looks at diet and lifestyle.
Cats with a strong immune system in a good environment will be more likely to avoid having cat acne. By investing in different ways to prevent acne such as buying good quality food bowls, and being mindful of allergic reactions, you can keep acne away from your cat.
Alternatively, there are also several treatments that you or your vet can do in case it could not have been avoided. From topical medications to oral anti-biotics, multiple methods can relieve your cat from the discomfort of acne.
At the end of the day, our furbabies rely on us to take care of them and make sure they are always healthy and happy. Keeping them acne free is one way to do just that.
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