What is cat acne?

Thursday 14 April 2016

I just want to start this off by saying that this post was original written on my cat blog which has now been deleted as I had no time to blog on both, but the posts which I had on their I will be reposting on this blog, this post is just one of them. I had no idea cat acne actually existed, I didn't even know cats could get acne like us humans that was until Penni developed it. We noticed these tiny black marks on the bottom on her chin so we rubbed our finger along them to discover bumps, one of them had burst which has caused a nasty red mark under her chin. My parents decided we should take the vets as the red mark looked angry and they didn't want to take any chances, me and my stepdad had to basically wrestle Penni into her cat box, she hates getting inside of it and hates being took away from the house because she thinks we are going to leave her in a cattery again (no chance of that ever happening, it turned her into a nervous mess last time). Before we finally got her into the cat box Penni had peed all over me so I smelt delightful, I couldn't change as we were in a rush and catching Penni took a while.

When we got to the vets we told them our concerns and she reassured us that everything was going to be fine, as the vet was looking at Penni's chin she accidentally popped one of Penni's spots and the stuff inside went all over the vets face (gross right). She explained to us cat acne (feline acne) was a common skin disorder which can occur on the cats chin and even lips, the easy way to describe it is the cat has black heads surrounding the mouth or chin area. Cats of all ages, sex or breed can be effected. there are glands in a cat called the Sebaceous glands which secrete oils that lubricate the skin, this helps to prevent dryness and irritation, these glands are mostly found in the dorsal, eyelids, chin, surface of the base of the cats tail,lips and even their scrotum, the glands are connected to hair follicles and the glands help cats mark their territories, like when a cat rubs their face and chin on their human or furniture, the rubbing eventually leaves greasy patches. If these follicles become blocked with black heads they will most likely become irritated, swollen and infected like Penni's which resulted in hers being filled with a puss like substance. 

Stress is a big trigger for can acne so it is important to keep your cat happy and in a stress free environment, Penni gets stressed very easily especially if she is unsure of a person or thinks we are going to take her somewhere. Plastic food bowls are another trigger, we don't use them in our house, our cats eat and drink from metal bowls so we know their bowls weren't one of the causes to Penni's cat acne, Even poor grooming can be a big cause, Penni loves to be brushed so that defiantly wasn't a trigger for her acne either! How to tell if your cat has acne?

  • The chin or lips have black spots on them, which look like specs of dirt
  • A very red and inflamed looking chin/lips which possibly have cyst like spots that may or popped or are red to pop or even bleeding.

I would list the kind of treatment a vet may give your cat for this but I'm not a very myself so I wouldn't want to give you advice on something I'm not qualified too, but I can advise you to get it check out by a vet who can give your cat the best treatment possible, here are a few things that can help prevent cat acne:
  • Don't use plastic bowls, use either ceramic or metal bowls instead
  • Wash your cats food and water bowls daily.
  • If your cat is prone to cat acne and your cat gets food on their chin or you just want to be cautious in case they get any on their chin wash it with some nice warm water.

Hope you Enjoyed the post, Here is a acne free happy picture of our beautiful Bengal Penni

Elle May x


  1. Oh very useful post I'll share with my mum she has a cat. Poor vet though and I don't think I can ever let my mums cat nuzzle me again lol x

    1. Hahaha hannah you always make me laugh xx

  2. Poor Penni! I had no idea that this was a thing but will be vigilant about checking for it from now on. Hope she's feeling better soon.

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    1. Thanks lovely, we are very vigilant with her now, it hasn't come back which we are thankful for xx


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