Post Published on April 13, 2015 | Last Updated on July 15, 2021 by Jenny
Cat Zits: Feline Chin Acne
Cats can get zits just like humans (as shown above). However, cat zits start out as what looks like black dirt under the cat’s chin. Scroll down to see the videos of Caymus’ and Trigg’s zits—these are the little black specks.
If you don’t clean these off your cat’s chin, they can get infected, turning into what humans more readily recognize acne white heads (as shown above). Yes, cats get acne. Usually it is just on the chin and it isn’t all that uncommon.
Cat Chin Acne Causes
There are different theories on why cats get acne:
- Plastic Food Bowls or Plastic Pet Fountains – the plastic helps retain bacteria which helps the zits grow
- Plastic Exposure in the Home – After I eliminated our plastic and ceramic food bowls, and Trigg still had this acne, I figured out that he got his feline chin acne from resting his head/chin on the dining room table leg that’s plastic – so be sure to think of everything plastic your cat is exposed to in your home.
- Ceramic Food Bowls – the glaze on ceramic bowls can eventually crack and when it does, then tiny bacteria gets into the cracks and causes the same problem that plastic bowls do.
- Metal Food Bowls – Stainless bowls and wet food can react and cause zits
- Food Touching – Some believe it is a result of their chin touching their food (and honestly the black specks do look like food debris sometimes or flea poop)
- Hormonal Issues/Genes – 2-4 year old neutered kitties who are like teens hormone-wise seem to have feline acne more. My Trigg has a much more oily coat than Charlie. Therefore, it’s really no surprise that he gets zits from the additional oils that he produces.
- Beef Allergy – My vet recently enlightened me that some cats get cat chin acne because they’re allergic to beef.
- Wheat Allergy -My vet recently enlightened me that some cats get cat chin acne because they’re allergic to wheat.
- Lack of Omega-3 -a reader commented on one of our videos said her vet said it was a lack of Omega-3.
Cat Chin Acne Treatment – Mild Version
- Replace Plastic Food Bowls or Plastic Water Fountains – Getting rid of the cause is the acne is the first priority. By eliminating possible causes as mentioned above.
- Petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) – take a little bit of petroleum jelly and rub it in, then scratch off the black stuff with your clean fingernail. Then wash with a washcloth to remove the Petroleum jelly.
- Toothbrush – instead of pulling the black specs out with your fingernails, you can use an old toothbrush, swiping in the same direction.
- Flea Comb – Use the comb to swipe out the little black specs.
- Warm Salt Water and a Towel – Use warm salt water and use a clean towel and rub the area and repeat with a new towel.
- Another popular opinion is to wash your kitty’s chin with benzol-peroxide wash or a diluted version of dandruff shampoo might help as well. As it will help clean the skin and keep it clear of cat zits.
Cat Chin Acne Treatment – Severe Version
- Pop the Zits – Should your cat acquire the whitehead version of feline zits, then it is best to pop the zits. Yes, pop the zits. Make sure you take the right precautions before popping – clean hands, clean finger nails and a lancet to make a tiny hole before squeezing. The feline acne is a little different than human acne. The whitehead part of a cat zit becomes very hard and when popped looks more like a little grain of rice. So, if you keep up with your cat’s zits, after a month or two, they should go away. You can also take your kitty to the vet and ask the vet to take care of the problem. A quick video search on YouTube will show you that some cats’ acne gets so bad that they have to put the cat under to address the issues.
- Antibiotic – See your vet for this.
- Anti-inflammatory – See your vet for this.
- Anti allergy cream – See your vet for this.
Products that Help with Cat Acne:
- PetAlive Pet Acne Clear Homeopathic Formula 2 oz Spray
- PawNosh Glass Pet Bowls
- Stridex Medicated Pads (yes, my vet KC Cat Clinic suggested these – the ones without alcohol – but this would be a short term solution until you could figure out the problem causing it)
- Glacier Point Fountains
- Keith Davitt Thirsty Cat Fountain
- Pioneer Pet Raindrop Ceramic Drinking Fountain for Pets
- PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain for Pets
- Drinkwell Multi-Level Lotus Ceramic Drinking Fountain
This is a video of Caymus’ zits:
This is a video of Trigg’s zits:
Has your kitty had zits? What has worked for you? What has your vet recommended?