Do cats get pimples?

A pimple, a zit, a spot or a rash of acne is a very common concern of teenagers. Pimples usually pop out during the teenage years so that young adults would be in continuous search for the best treatment that would totally drive the zits away. Did you know that cats can get pimples too? Naturally, cats would not be concerned with their appearance unlike adolescents but it would still be necessary for a cat owner to deal with the pimples of the pet. Feline acne is a potentially serious condition. Severe attacks of acne can have the pet sporting swollen and oozing pimples that would be prone to infection.

Pimples typically develop when the pores are clogged by the oil produced by the sebaceous glands. The sebaceous glands are connected to the hair follicles on the eyelids, chin, lips, and scrotum and on the surface area of the base of the cat’s tail. The oil that is secreted by the sebaceous glands is what lubricates the skin to prevent dryness and skin irritations. These glands are also used by the cat to mark their territories. However, when the sebaceous glands produce too much oil, black sebaceous material clogged the follicles so that comedones or black heads are formed. Just like humans, cats would have pimples too. However, while pimples would typically erupt during the teenage years, cats would get pimples anytime. In cats, the pimples are almost exclusively found on the chin.

Pimples in cats would start as small black plugs on the chin very similar to blackheads. Cats are fastidious groomers. Because of the cat’s tendency to groom excessively, the comedones on the chin is repeatedly rubbed against other body parts. The blackheads can get irritated so that pustules are formed. Severe cases of acne would cause hair loss on the cat’s skin so that the redness and the irritated skin will be easily visible. The pimples would develop not only on the chin but also on the lips. The reddened bumps would become itchy making the cat rub the chin against the body and against objects until the pimples get irritated, bleed and become infected.

Pimples would not only mar the appearance of the cat…pimples especially when irritated will affect the quality of life of the pet. The exact reason for the sebaceous glands’ overproduction of oil is unknown but some conditions are believed to make a cat prone to pimples. Aside from the abnormal oil production of the sebaceous glands, pimples are also associated with poor grooming habits, food allergies and stress. The cat may have an allergic reaction to plastic food bowls. Cat experts recommend stainless food bowls instead of plastics where bacteria is trapped and transferred to the chin when the cat eats. Pimples can be due to the cat’s reaction to medications. The development of pimples can be secondary to fungal infection. Humans commonly associate the eruption of pimples to stress. Stress is also one of the reasons why a cat would get pimples.

Cats would not be embarrassed by the pimples but treatment would still be necessary to prevent the mild case of acne from progressing to severe form. A good cleaning with antibiotic soap and application of topical ointment would be sufficient for mild cases of feline acne. More serious cases of acne would not be easy to eradicate. A vet’s attention may be needed as drainage of the pustules would be necessary. The fur on the cat’s chin may need to be clipped so that the topical treatment can penetrate deeply into the affected area. Oral antibiotics will be given especially if the pimples are already infected.

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