Trip to the vet for…Feline Acne?

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So about a week ago we noticed that Jewel was starting to get black flecks on her chin. She had something similar once before, but she was also itchy all over at the same time. That time it which turned out to be a food allergy, which is why we switched her to Wellness Healthy Weight Adult Cat Food since it is corn, soy and grain free. This time she was not itching all over.  Yesterday we really started noticing her scratching at her chin though. She also had developed a pretty large bump on her chin. I thought maybe Jewel and Harley got into a fight and maybe he scratched her chin and it got infected.  I called the vet first thing this morning and was able to snag an appointment for this afternoon.  


I managed to get her into her carrier pretty easily – her favorite cheese and chicken flavored treats did the trick! She was being so good in the waiting room at  the vet! Everyone was  saying how good she was being which only made her roll on her side and look up at them with her version of “puppy dog eyes”.  It was pretty busy in there so we ended up in the room usually used for doggies.  Jewel came right out of her carrier which is surprising because usually I have to dump her out.  She climbed right up into the scale and laid down like she was ready for a nap.  When the vet got close Jewel lifted up her chin like she knew why she was at the vet!  The vet poked around for a while  on her chin. She was explaining how it was feline acne and the lump was basically a pimple. She was saying how they will drain the pimples just so it is not irritating to the cats if they can.  As she said that, she was trying to “pop” the pimple and Jewel went from being a sweet kitty to psycho in the blink of an eye. Luckily the vet let go and ducked quicker than Jewel could swat. After that Jewel just laid back down like nothing had happened. 


The vet said some cats can go on an antibiotic to clear it up but it would be cheaper and probably easier to just wipe her chin with an ance pad for sensitive skin like StriDex Sensitive With Aloe Pads. She said since the “pimple” and blackheads are only on the underside of her chin, she wont be able to lick it, and the kind for sensitive skin shouldn’t dry out her skin as much.  She said I can wipe her chin ever day until it starts to clear up, and then go to every other day and keep decreasing until she doesn’t need them at all. She mentioned that sometimes switching the type of bowl used can help to clear it up.  The vet said since we are using the Petmate LeBistro Automatic Pet Feeder, she doesn’t want us to have to get rid of it, so just making sure it is cleaned regularly should help too.


When we were checking out it was JAM PACKED in the waiting room.  Luckily the front desk sort of separates those waiting to check out and those checking in.  I put Jewel’s carrier down next to a kitty in another carrier and luckily no hissing occurred.  She was equally as good when two boxer looking doggies walked around and looked at her. She just laid there looking at them.  When we got home, Tony let her out of her carrier and Harley immediately ran over, sniffed her and hissed at her. He is the typical bratty little brother.  Then he ran into her carrier stole one of her treats she got in the car for being so good and ran down the hall to eat it.  I made a quick run to the store to get the StriDex pads.  When I got back home, as soon as I opened the top of the jar, both kitties came running over. They are so nosey, they think everything is a treat for them. Tony held Jewel while I wiped her chin. Luckily she didn’t got psycho or anything and let me wipe it down good. Harley, hating to be left out of anything kept putting his paws on my legs to be picked up. I picked him up and wiped his chin with the pad  too which seemed to  make him happy.  


Now I had heard of Feline Acne before, but for whatever reason, I didn’t think it was similar to Human Acne. However, after reading up on it, I found that actuallythey are very similar. Feline acne starts as small, oily black plugs in the chin, much like blackheads, which may progress to red, itchy bumps, which may become infected.

There seem to be several possible contributing factors to feline acne (which again are similar to human acne):
  • stress
  • poor grooming
  • bacterial overload (i.e. from dirty food bowls)
  • abnormal sebum (oily substance) production
  • contact sensitivity/dermatitis
  • suppressed immune system
  • concurrent infection or disease
Jewel might have been a little stressed lately since we have been stressed.  Plus there haven’t been many birds outside for her to stalk watch through the window.  Whatever the cause, I am glad we know what is is so we can treat it!  


Have any of your pets ever had acne?

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