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

Responses: 19


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?

cat acne

Use a terry washcloth wet with water and ivory liquid. Wash and rub gently till the acne goes away.
—Guest Kathy

worked for me

I cleaned it with peroxide daily. It developed a big whitehead and I popped it and cleaned it. It was gone by morning.
—Guest Dixie Blue

Ceramic Bowls

My cat developed chin acne after I started using metal bowls...after I switched back to ceramic it disappeared. I also started washing her food bowl more frequently - I at least rinse it out to remove dried-on food every other day.
—Guest SonnysFirstClue

Why didn't I think of this?

My cat had started getting acne on her chin about 2 weeks ago. The vet said the best thing for cat acne is to serve their food on CLEAN, ceramic or stainless steel dishes. (I bought new flat dishes for my kitty). And to gently wipe the affected area with OXY pads for sensitive skin. Not only is it clearing up slowly, but she doesn't play with her food anymore since it's on a flat dish! Best of luck :)
—Guest Stefanie

acne on cats

One of our three cats had mild acne which got worse but not to the stage of ruptures. I had some ear wipes I had used with a different cat. I got them at a pet supply store. They are small moist wipes. They have witch hazel in them. He doesn't object to me gently cleaning his chin with a couple of these wipes. I all threw out all plastic bowls. The acne is clearing up. If I don't get complete results I am going to try apple cider vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.
—Guest Mary


My newly adopted adult cat had acne as well as lots of dirt in her ears. The vet examined her and also found small blisters inside her mouth. He said it was allergies from dry cat food that has corn as a main ingredient. We immediately switched to Hills Science Diet or Purina One Beyond, and after the change in diet, the acne and dirty ears have cleared up almost completely. It has taken about 3 months, but I'll never feed her the cheap foods again.
—Guest cat lover

How we Resolved our Cat's Chin Acne

Our 10 Y.O. cat had never had chin acne prior. Her case developed suddenly, and was as bad as the case in the photo. She went thru 3 different courses of antibiotics to no avail. We tried antiseptic chin washes concurrently w/ the antibiotics and nothing seemed to help. I had changed her water bowl to a stainless steel one that I washed on the hottest setting in the dishwasher. But I had clearly overlooked one thing! She only eats dry food (Hills R/D) due to her need for a high fiber diet. I had started frequent washings of her food bowl (yes it was plastic) in the hottest setting of the dishwasher too, thinking that would kill any bacteria. I was wrong. One day, in complete disgust at our inability to help this poor cat, I threw her plastic food bowl in the trash and replaced her food/water bowls w/ stainless steel bowls, washed daily in the dishwasher. Within a month, her chin acne was 100% gone! After 2 months, the hair has completely regrown. 100 % resolved! Hurrah!
—Guest Carol

Feline acne remove plastic bowls

Hi i two of my cats have suffered from acne and when i was told to remove plastic bowls this worked well and once healed ( using warm compresses and salt washes) severe acne never returned. My oldest cat has continued to get tiny black heads that dont appear to bother him and i just keep a check on it when i groom him especially because he is getting older and grooming himself is getting harder.
—Guest Tori

Kitty acne

I have rescued hundreds of street cats over the years and have 3 of my own. I have seen many cases of kitty acne. I feed them high quality food. I use only ceramic bowls for their food because kitties don't like the taste of metal. I didn't want to buy a water fountain because they are all made of plastic! So, I made water fountains using small glass fish aquariums with the aquarium water pump/ filter. Not only is it better because it's glass, but it's much cheaper, too! I have a couple in the house. The only thing I use topically is apple cider vinegar. I use it every day. I put a dab on a cotton ball and rub the kitty's chin with it once a day until the acne is gone. The more severe the case, the longer the treatment. Generally, results are seen within a few days. I've seen the acne completely clear up within a couple weeks using only apple cider vinegar. It's a very effective, cheap, natural solution to kitty acne. And it's good for general health, too!
—Guest Natashahousecat


The skin is an organ of elimination and so will attempt to move toxins out of the body as do kidneys, liver and intestines. Along with possibly picking up surface bacteria from bowls, take a good look at what is going into your cat's body in the form of food and water. Buy the purest ingredient food you can afford and don't give your cat tap water - full of chlorine, dissolved medications, and who knows what else? A detox program by a holistic vet would also be very worthwhile.
—Guest Guest Sue


I just changed his food to clear up his acne. Apparently the food I was useing was too oily. It took only one day.
—Guest sheridannomore

peroxide and neosporin

I use both as well. We have a plastic cat water fountain which I think is the trigger but he loves it so much, how could I take that away from him?
—Guest kimber

Neosporin ointment

Neosporin ointment rubbed onto the acne spots clears them up on my tuxedo boy.
—Guest mevina

Hydrogen Peroxide

Wiped the affected area with cotton balls saturated with peroxide. Cleared up quickly.
—Guest Moe

Feline Chin Acne - My Cats

The only one of the four I have who've had it is Sir Walter, and this was cleared up by moving to ceramic bowls and scrubbing his chin with a weak solution of over-the-counter-human acne medicine. Since then, nothing for over a year now. EDITOR'S NOTE: never use human (prescription or over-the-counter) medications on pets unless directed by your veterinarian.
—Guest Craig

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