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Feline Acne: Cats Get Zits Too

Cats have small sebaceous glands associated with hair follicles and larger sebaceous glands on the head and tail. These glands secrete oils. It is when these glands are overactive that cats can get what is known as cat acne.

Feline Acne: Cats Get Zits Too


In cases of acne the pores and hair follicles near the glands get clogged with black sebaceous material, and form what is known as comedones. In the more severe cases these pores and follicles can get infected, irritated, and swollen. Cats generally get acne on the chin and it will look like they have black dirt on their chin that won’t wash off.

Symptoms to look for:

Red swollen pores
Black clogged pores


To properly treat acne you need to remove the excess sebum. If your cat does have acne or you suspect acne consult your vet. He may prescribe an antibacterial scrub, benzoyl peroxide shampoo, corticosteroids, or antibiotics (oral or topical) to clear up the acne.

Precautionary measures:

Some cats seem to get acne in conjunction with an allergic reaction to plastic food bowls. If you suspect this you may want to switch to ceramic bowls and see if that clears the acne up.

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