Can certain cat foods cause feline acne?

Can certain cat foods cause feline acne?

Hello..We have 2 cats, one is a purebred Abyssinian and the other is a rescue – mostly Siamese with what we think may be Ragdoll.

The Abyssinian recently had a case of feline acne that we treated by cleaning his chin daily with wipes the vet recommended and is clearing up slowly. Now, our new cat – 5 month old Stella – seems to be getting it too.

We recently started feeding Stella EVO, the same food that Oliver is on. She was eating Wellness Core dry food. Prior to Oliver getting the acne we switched his food from Wellness wet food to EVO wet food after hearing that some of our vet’s patients were getting crystals from Wellness (although she was sure to point out that this was her own conclusion and not a proven fact).

We’re wondering is there a certain food that may cause feline acne?????

Help – are our cat’s noms noms making them sick???


Hi Chris… Thanks for sharing and asking. I have not heard the term “noms noms” before, which I presume means food!

I cover quite a lot of what I hope is useful ground on the subject of feline acne on this page:

Feline Acne Treatment

I make no reference to cat food being a possible cause of feline acne on that page. I do, though, mention cat bowls being a possible factor. You might look at that possibility.

I suppose it is possible to get feline acne confused with feline allergies. Feline allergies cause irritation leading to scratching which can can cause the skin to become sore and infected which may look like acne. Cat food can cause feline allergies – see hypoallergenic cat food.

Drs Carlson and Giffin in their excellent book, Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook make no mention of cat food being a possible underlying cause of feline acne.

That said, in humans, the cause of acne is unknown but it is said that possible causes include “diet”1. On that basis there is no reason to preclude the possibility that cat food can cause feline acne.

In conclusion I would:

— make sure it is feline acne.

— try a variety of high quality cat foods, wet and dry and monitor for improvements. See best dry cat food and best canned cat food (USA).

— treat your cats as per the vet’s instructions.

— try new bowls as suggested in my article linked to above.

Good luck.

Related posts:

Feline acne has returned – this covers more ground and mentions other conditions that have similar symptoms. The post concerns an Abyssinian cat.

Cat Skin Problems

Michael Avatar



Can certain cat foods cause feline acne? to Cat Health Problems

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Can certain cat foods cause feline acne?

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Aug 24, 2010 wet food /acne
by: Laurie

Hi Chris. I am starting to make the food/acne connection. (not internally-but externally)

We have started wiping our cats’ chins off after every meal & we notice a LOT of brown stuff on the cloths. They really dig their chins in & the meat really sticks in their chin hair.

We also wipe their chins nightly with witch hazel on a Qtip. I think I’ve decided that a little chin acne is worth it to give them a healthier alternative to dry food…they’ll live much longer.

Good luck to you & your kitties 🙂

Aug 17, 2010 Thanks Maggie
by: Michael

Thanks Maggie for passing on your first hand experience. There is nothing better than first hand experience.

Michael Avatar

Aug 17, 2010 Feline Acne
by: Maggie Sharp

Hi Chris,

Firstly, here’s a few pointers. Feline acne can be highly influenced by the kind of food bowls you use. Do NOT use plastic bowls, as they scratch easily and bacteria dwells within the scratches. So when your cat is eating and makes contact with the bowl, the bacteria is transferred from the bowl to your cat’s chin. Stainless steel and glass bowls are usually okay, but you can sometimes risk the same thing happening. Which is why I would recommend you only use ceramic bowls.

My Abyssinian cat, Chilli, has just begun his 3rd stage of feline acne. Out of desperation I contacted his breeder and asked for help. His breeder recommended that I scrape and comb the infected area and wash it with an anti-dandruff shampoo. If it gets extremely bad I must take Chilli to a vet for medical advice. I suggest you also follow these recommendations. Feline acne is a horrible condition and is painful and irritating for the cat, so I understand how you feel about the whole thing… It’s stressful for both cat and owner!

On a slightly different note, it sounds like you mainly feed your cats dry food. This is a bad thing to do. Cats are carnivores and dry food is made up of wheat and grains. Try to feed your cat wet food (meat) as much as possible and limit dry food to a single small meal per day.

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