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Acne in Cats


Pustules in Cats


Some cats have a single episode of acne; many, have a life-long recurring problem. The frequency and severity of each occurrence, however, varies with each particular animal. In cats, the acne is concentrated on the chin and lower lip. Unfortunately, the cause is unknown, but sex, age, and breed are not determining factors for cat acne.


Symptoms and Types


  • Blackheads or whiteheads, mild red pimples, and watery crusts develop on the chin, and less commonly on the lips
  • The cat's chin will sometimes swell
  • In more severe cases, the cat will develop nodules, bleeding crusts, pustules, hair loss, a severe redness of the skin, and be in pain
  • Pain indicates the cat has boils



  • Poor grooming
  • Abnormalities in the skin surface, oil production, or immune-barrier function



Your veterinarian will want to rule out the following:


  • Mange
  • Fungal Infection
  • Feline leprosy
  • Tumor of the skin (sebaceous) or secretion (apocrine) glands, and other follicular (hair cells) and epidermal neoplasia (tumor of the outer layer of the skin).
  • Allergy



He or she may then use the following procedures to confirm the diagnosis:


  • Skin scraping — look for mites, fungal infected hairs
  • Fungal culture
  • A microscopic examination of the cells
  • Biopsy — rarely needed, but sometimes necessary



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