Posted on: February 3rd, 2015 by Dr. Dale Rubenstein

Have you ever noticed bumps or scabs on your kitty’s chin, and when you asked your veterinarian about it were told your cat had Acne? Differing from the disease so common in human teenagers, feline acne is the term used to describe any inflammation of the chin of cats. The disease ranges from mild irritation to painful swelling and oozing. If the chin is itchy, the cat may rub, which can make things worse.

The exact cause is unknown, and acne can result from a variety of infectious, allergic and environmental causes. If your cat’s chin is inflamed or painful to touch, your cat should have an exam by your veterinarian to help determine the cause and best course of treatment.

Here are some things you can try at home, to prevent and to treat very mild cases of feline acne:

1. Use glass or stainless food and water bowls – no plastic and preferably, no ceramic dishes.
2. Clean and dry food dishes. I was surprised to find chin acne in one of my own cats who had glass food bowls (OK, plastic water bowls). I found that while I always washed dishes, I didn’t always thoroughly dry them. Drying the dishes controlled acne in this cat.
3. Some cats are “messy eaters”, and acne is more common in Persian and Himalayan cats. If this might be the cause in your cat, wiping your cat’s mouth with a clean cloth or towel after meals may help.
4. If there is anything new in the environment – from a new food to a new chew-toy, try removing that for a month and see if the condition resolves.
5. In mild cases, try cleaning your cat’s chin with dilute peroxide on a cotton ball. Clean gently; you don’t to worsen irritation when the chin is already inflamed.

Topical treatment can be challenging in cats, because they want to lick off whatever we put on their skin! Again, if you notice an abnormal crusting or redness of your cat’s chin, please consult your veterinarian.