Categories: acne

Home treatment for feline acne

People are searching for ways to treat feline acne at home and by and large it can be treated at home which is useful and unusual in my experience. I would normally advise people to consult a veterinarian although that may be the case in this instance depending on whether the infection is extensive and deep.

Feline acne. Photo:


I would like briefly to touch on the causes of feline acne because it informs people as to how to treat it. It develops in the sebaceous glands on the underside of the chin. Cats are predisposed to it because of a blockage of skin pores by excess sebum or keratin. Cats with oily skin are more likely to have it. It is not the same as human acne. You will see blackheads or pimple-like bumps that come to a head and drain pass. The entire chin may swell and the lower lip may also swell in severe cases. A similar condition can be caused by an allergic reaction to rubber or plastic food and water bowls.


If we are talking about the “similar condition” above then clearly changing the bowl to a stainless steel or ceramic one will clear up the condition.

A feline acne infection normally responds to cleaning it twice a day with a gel or ointment containing 2.5% to 5% benzoyl peroxide (OxyDex in America), chlorhexidin (Nolvasan in America) or povidone-iodine (Betadine). If excess sebum is a contributing factor the skin should be cleaned with medicated shampoo for cats. As mentioned above, if the infection is bad it may require antibiotics as supplied and agreed in consultation with a veterinarian.

Acne can recur after treatment has stopped because the underlying condition which causes it remains in place. Some veterinarians may advise switching from wet to dry food or in lieu of that the owner should clean their cat’s chin after every meal.

Source: Drs Eldredge DVM, Carlson DVM , Carlson DVM and Giffin MD.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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