This is Alice... or Alice Capone aka Scarface for short. (We know we are wierd)
Alice has alot of heath problems, including kitty acne...
Alice was found in a parking lot, and believe it or not followed my roommate to her car so obviously we had to take her home with us and adopt her. She's your typical stray cat, full of spunk and cant be tamed, but so mellow and cuddly. After having her for about 3 months and bathing her a couple times both Jen and I have noticed these tiny black spots under her chin that will not go away. They don't seem to hurt her when w touch them, and they only come off after picking at them. At first we wondered if she was just a sloppy eater, so we separated her from the other animals and watched her eat... nope that's definitely not it. Was she getting in the trash with Coco the dog when we were gone? After locking the trashcans in the garage for a few days we ruled this out. What the heck? Well after a quick google search (which is probably what we should have done to begin with) we discovered Alice has Kitty Acne!
First of all I had no idea there was such a thing. I honestly thought it was a joke until I saw pictures of the black spots that looked just like Alice's. I felt bad, poor Alice has Kitty Acne! No wonder all the other animals pick on her and won't share the kitty toys! I'm halving flash backs to middle school when I had childhood acne, Makes me just want to snuggle her. Okay I'm just joking, I know that's not how cats work, and I doubt she even realizes she has it. I think it more bothers Jen and I because we worry.
So what is Cat Acne? It's just that, Acne! Well it's actually where black heads form on the chin of the cat. Like human acne it can be caused by many things, skin allergies, food allergies, stress, weakened immune system, problems with the hair follicles as well as a few other things. Because of this the blackheads can form cysts creating a crust on your kitty's chin and therefore causing itching and black specs. Bad cases of Kitty Acne can create more of an infection causing swelling and puss (sad face) so it's important to take care of this problem right away if you notice it.
Now it is important to note not all Kitty Acne needs to be treated as much as others depending on the cause and your cats skin. But for mild cases that don't require vet visits what can you do to rid your little one of this?
- Make sure you are using clean metal food and water bowls, plastic is a major cause of kitty acne (keep them clean too)
- check for any stressors the cat may be responding too and try to fix it (this is your baby)
- Warm Salt water rinse, this can be done with a cotton ball
- Deluded warm apple cider vinegar can be applied twice a day to help keep the skin clean just be careful of it being drying
- Benzoyl peroxide shampoo can help, I have heard this can be irritating though to sensitive cats, but very effective
- Hibiclense, this is something I actually use myself since I'm prone to infections but it's a surgical antiseptic, and It's had some pretty good results, just DON'T let it get in the kitty's mouth.
- Stridex pads, again similar to benzoyl peroxide shampoo it can be very drying but this is most often suggested by vets
- Antibiotic cream, especially if they have problems with cysts
Thank goodness Alice only has a small patch of it, so an occasional wipe with hibiclense and keeping the food bowls clean seems like the most effective option at this point. I hope if you are dealing with kitty acne currently this helps at least a little bit. And that your day is filled with lots of kitty snuggles, they are just the cutest aren't they!