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Readers Respond: What worked to clear up your cat's case of chin acne?

Responses: 29


Feline acne is a superficial dermatitis (skin infection) of cat's chins. Clinical signs range from comedomes (blackheads) to large draining pustules (pimples). Cats may be very painful, itchy, or as often seen with blackhead-only cases, not very bothered by chin acne.

Please see your vet if you suspect your cat has chin acne for diagnosis. Sometimes changing food and water dishes and washing the dishes daily is all that is needed. Other times, cleansing the chin in conjunction with veterinarian-prescribed medications are essential to clear up the condition. What worked to clear up your cat's chin acne? Share your cat acne tips

Cat acne

We tried everything, changing bowls, steroids, antibiotics, for months. The vet told us to keep the cat inside, that it could be an allergy, or a sensitivity to lawn fertilizers. We had used 'weed and feed', for the first time around the same time as the acne started. Kept her inside, and it was gone in 2 weeks!
—Guest Cindy

Cat has multiple issues

Has anyone had problems with severe comedones in the upper lip area? My cat has it all around her mouth, chin and now her upper lip is awful. It looks like she has a black moustache. The cats do drink out of a plastic fountain but I am buying a stainless steel one next month. She was diagnosed with diabetes in the last month or two and that is when the acne got much worse. Is there a connection? I have tried mupirocin, and her mouth area got bloody and raw. Stridex didn't seem to help. I think I'll try the hydrogen peroxide. She's just so pathetic looking, her eyes are always inflamed from an unknown allergen (we use neomycin got that). Now with her acne it hurts to look at her :(
—Guest Tanner

My cat's chin acne remedy

Both my cats get chin acne from cheap wet food, never from decent kibble. I use wet food very sparingly, as treat. They don't get it from people food. I never use plastic dishes.
—Guest sofiaemilia

of all things!!

All 3 of my cats had feline acne. My eldest cat had it the worst with big swollen, blood filled lumps. I tried everything and everything. Unscented sensitive baby wipes twice a day helped but.. the answer to my long battle with acne.. dishwasher detergent! I washed all my pet bowls in the dishwasher thinking the hot wash would do it good. I started rinsing all bowls in hot water after they were washed and their acne cleared up within DAYS! !
—Guest Zoe

We cured it in our cats!

We have three cats who all developed chin acne at the same seemingly out of the blue. We took the one cat who had the worst case to our vet and he gave that cat an antibiotic and he gave us advice on how to treat all three cats at home. Within two weeks the acne disappeared and has not returned, on any of our three cats. We did as we were told--we immediately replaced plastic water and food dishes with stainless steel (and now we use a stainless steel water fountain) and, very important, we gently cleaned each chin with isopropyl alcohol wipes twice a week. Voila--no more chin acne. And that was months ago.
—Guest Caliali

Apple Cider Vinegar

My cat suddenly got chin acne and I tried hydrogen peroxide, benzyl peroxide (2.5%), special feline soaps and nothing seemed to be helping. I believe he started getting it after I switched him to a half wet food diet (I dont use anything plastic). In anycase, I went out and bought apple cider vinegar as it has received rave reviews. I wash his chin and face twice a day with warm water and a bit of dawn dish soap, then using cotton balls to apply a mixture of 1/3rd ACV and 2/3 water and then wiping his face with a dry paper towel after, his chin acne is finalllly clearing up and he isnt as itchy anymore. Thank goodness.
—Guest Steph

Apple cider vinegar

I use apple cider vinegar on any acne or skin rashes of my cats. Soak a cotton ball of acv and hold it gently against the area, if its on the face dillute the acv otherwise its too strong and your cat may through up, test first very dilluted and gradually add more. All my cats skin problems go away even after a few days...
—Guest Mia

Severe Feline Acne Infection

My kitty developed severe feline acne after we brought a new dog into our home. It had comedomes and draining pustules. Another of our cats also developed the condition though not as severely. The ONLY thing that did work, after countless attempts with steroids, antibiotic pills and creams, was witch hazel soaked wipes with organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar applied twice daily. It still did take about 8 weeks for the condition to clear up entirely, but it did resolve. I am a vet tech and was quite surprised that I could not get it cleared up with western medicine options.
—Guest Patty E

Clear it up easily

I found that the disposable plastic bowls I was using caused acne in one of my cats. I have several cats and appreciate disposable bowls. I bought Chinette Natural Fiber bowls (disposable) and within about 6 days, the acne totally cleared.

Hydrogen Peroxide for chin acne

I rubbed the affect area with a Qtip soaked in hydrogen peroxide, once per day, until the condition cleared. Took about a week.
—Guest Jillian

Tried everything, THIS WORKS

We tried everything to get rid of chin acne which all 3 of our cats suffered with. Went to 2 vets and even had them on antibiotics and steriods. Must have tried 20 shampoos and topical products. Ask your vet for Chlorhexidine scrub. Wet the area first with warm water on a cotton ball then the Chlorhexidine scrub. Rinse well but leave just a tad of the product behind. Use it only once per week. It will clear within 30 days.
—Guest Drea

Witch Hazel

Cleaning the chin area and then wiping thoroughly with a cotton pad soaked in witch hazel has helped more than anything I have ever tried, including Stridex pads.
—Guest Fran

Paper Plates

The best thing that I have found for cat acne is to feed the cat on cheap paper plates. The plates need to be the super cheap uncoated style so that they soak up a little of the excess oil. Occasionally I can't find the uncoated ones and my cats always start getting acne if they have any type of waxy cover on the paper.
—Guest Beth

Clearing up your cat's acne

I took my female cat in for chin acne (I had no idea animals could get acne), but she was put on antibiotics and my vet told me to get rid of all plastic water and food bowls which I did. I replaced them all with either ceramic or stainless steel. Little's acne cleared up and never came back.
—Guest Colleen

cat acne

I use 1tsp(5ml of sea salt) dissolved in 1/4 cup of boiling water. Let this cool till body temperature and using clean paper towels soaked in the saline solution, gently wipe the infected area. Do this 3 times a day, using clean saline & new paper towels each time. Repeat until the chin is clear and then once a day for the next 3 days. This has worked in conjunction with clean bowls. But keep checking the chin for any recurrence.
—Guest sneaky grace

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