During my teenage years I was plagued with never-ending waves of “zits” or acne on my face and chin. Though desperation, I quickly become an “acne” and skin care expert. I learned how to safely remove the most stubborn of pimples. I was the General Patton on spots.
So it was amazing to me, the first time my male cat started getting acne! I noticed that he was losing hair under his chin. Soon I saw big, yucky zits starting showing up around his face and chin, like he was going through cat puberty or something. Who would have guessed that cats can get acne too?
What is Feline Acne?
Cat acne or feline acne is usually a minor skin infection that is caused by bacteria that sets up in a blocked oil gland. Cat acne happens when a cat scratches a patch of skin too much and irritates the surrounding hair follicles. This in turn causes inflammation or swelling of the underlying oil glands, which close off and become infected.
Acne can also be caused by either irritant contact dermatitis or allergic contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis in cats happens when their skin comes in contact or is exposed to severely irritating chemicals like poison ivy or poison oak sap, roadway salts or other man-made materials.
Allergic contact dermatitis on the other hand is a rare skin problem in cats that happen when a cat’s skin overacts to certain elements in its surroundings or environments. Allergic contact dermatitis can be triggered by dyes, carpet deodorizers, certain brands of cat flea collars, metals like nickel or materials found rubber balls or wool pet bedding.
Often located on the chin, under the chin or around the mouth or face, feline acne while not normally dangerous can be painful and annoying for your pet.
Tips of for Skin Care for Cat’s with Acne
1. Clean the Area Daily
Use a mild soap or get a bar of antibacterial soap from the pet shop and wash the area at least a day. Use a washcloth soaked in medium warm but not scalding water. You can use aloe vera gel or a tiny amount of antibacterial ointment to cover the sores.
2. Add Heat
Appling heat to the infected area can bring pain relief and help open the oil glands so that they flow naturally. The best way to do this is to hold your cat on your lap, talking to them and rubbing their body while with your other hand you hold a warm, moist washcloth to the area for 5 or so minutes.
If your cat doesn’t like the wet washcloth method, you can make a “rice sock”. Take about two cups of white or brown long grain rice and pour it into an old sock. Preferably one without any holes! Now sew or tie the sock top closed. Throw the whole thing into the microwave and heat on high for 1-2 minutes, but be careful since a rice sock can get very hot! A rice sock warmer’s heat can last a good long time.
After some trial and error, you can determine the timing for the heat level you need for your pet. These warmers are wonderful way to make a portable heating pad, plus find a useful purpose for those “single socks” we all end up collecting.
3. Use Echinacea
When given in small doses, Echinacea acts a mild antibiotic in cats. Available in liquid form in most health stores or departments, you should use an eyedropper to give your cat a 1/8th of a regular human dosage. But be careful since some cats may have trouble digesting it.
4. And Things What not to do for cat acne
– Squeeze or open the pimples. This just makes it worst, just like on humans.
– Using people acne medicines on the pimple. Many human medicine are fatal to cats or can make them terribly ill.