Why Do Black Flecks Appear on My Cat’s Chin?

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Originally published June 21, 2017

Cat Zits on Ragdoll Cat Chiggy - Feline Acne - Cat Acne Why do black flecks appear on my cats chin

Unfortunately, blackheads and acne are not just for teenagers—they can turn up on your cat’s chin, too, as they have on Chiggy and Caymus (see videos on this post to see what I mean). If your cat has black stuff on his chin, this is the first sign of cat acne. Fortunately, you can get rid of these black flecks before the turn into full-fledged zits.

What is Cat Chin Acne?

The first sign of cat chin acne is the blackheads, which actually aren’t attached to the skin, just to the cat’s fur. For this reason, pet owners sometimes mistake them for flea poop on a cat’s chin, but vets point to acne instead because fleas would not leave poop solely under a cat’s chin. If the blackheads are not cleared away, they can turn into whiteheads. These whiteheads are actually on the cat’s skin and they can turn into zits, which are really painful for a kitty.


One of the biggest causes of cat chin acne is plastic—plastic feeding bowls or other plastic around the house. For this reason, it’s good to either get rid of plastic feeding bowls or rotate them with other bowls like ceramic or metal. That said, it’s worth noting that cracks in ceramic bowls can lead to acne-causing bacteria, and stainless steel bowls can react with wet food and cause acne. Other causes could be hormonal, genetic, allergy related, or the result of an Omega-3 deficiency.


The first step is to remove the cause of the blackheads by replacing plastic food bowls or water fountains. Next, remove the existing blackheads from your cat’s chin. You can do this just with your fingernails (be sure to wash your hands), or with a toothbrush, comb, or warm saltwater and a towel.

For a more complete explanation of causes and treatments or cat acne, check out our post “Cat Zits: Feline Chin Acne”.

How do you treat blackheads on your cat’s chin?

Comments (5)

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  1. I just checked and Diva has none. But then she has never had a plastic dish of any kind. First she had matching ceramic dishes, but she disliked them to the point where she picked them up and dropped them off the table where she eats, shattering them. I bought her another set, and she broke one. I then said enough and bought her a metal dish, just like the dogs. Now she was happy. So her dry goes into the flat ceramic dish, and her wet food goes into the metal one.
    Their water fountain is stainless steel.

  2. VERY interesting post, Jenny! Thanks for the great info and videos, etc… We are very lucky that Miss PSB has not ever had this blackhead condition. YAY!!! She has never had any plastic bowls. Always glass or stoneware (ceramic). I will keep a close eye for cracks that might appear over time in her stoneware bowl. I have a backup in the cupboard for when I clean her stoneware bowl. 🙂

    Big hugs & lots of love!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

      1. I used to think of it that way, too, but it’s all ceramics (stoneware, pottery, bisque, porcelain…it just depends on the type of clay or slip used to create the base item b4 the glazing is applied). I’m happy Miss PSB is zit-free, too! Wish I could say the same! 57 years old and still get blackheads and whiteheads every now and then (less frequent now that I’m post-menopausal but b4 that…ugh!). 🙂 <3

  3. Fabulous re-post, Jenny! Always a great topic to learn about and review. I’m sure lots of new Floppycatters (as well as us old Floppycatters!) will appreciate your running this post now and again! YAY!! 🙂 <3

    Always such great content & education here! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love & purrs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3 <3 <3

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