Cat Acne Treatment

Acne is a frequent condition in cats of all ages. It can cause skin irritation, but there are several cat acne treatments available. It's important to detect acne and apply proper treatment to relieve your pet’s condition.

Cat Acne Symptoms

Feline acne is most frequently found on the face of the cat, in the lip and chin area. You may notice black spots or comedones. These comedones might be red or swollen, and the cat can have secondary infections accompanying acne. However, these signs are difficult to spot due to the fur which covers the skin.

Acne can cause irritation and itchiness, so you will notice that your cat is often touching or scratching his face. He might also rub his face against surfaces such as walls or furniture, leaving greasy patches that will be difficult to remove.

Diagnosing Cat Acne

Cat acne can have similar symptoms to other skin infections, so it's important to have a proper diagnosis before applying any treatment. A vet will examine your cat and get a sample of sebum for analysis, to ensure that there are no other fungi or viruses involved.


The treatment options of feline acne depend on the severity of the condition.  

In mild cases of acne, the focus should be on reducing the amount of sebum. Clean your cat’s face with a moist cloth. You can also bathe your cat using antibacterial soap, which can reduce sebum production. While bathing, use a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide or Betadine. These will disinfect the face and cool down the area, relieving any possible irritation. Supplements of vitamin A, retinoid or corticosteroid ointments will also be recommended. The ointments should be applied twice per day, until the acne is no longer visible.

If your cat’s acne is more severe and there are secondary skin infections, the cat will receive antibiotic treatment. Ointments containing benzoyl peroxide or chlorhexidine should be applied 2 to 3 times per day. Your vet might recommend the removal of the hair where the acne is present. This will speed up the healing process and make it easier to apply the ointment and monitor the cat’s progress.

Corticosteroid ointments can be prescribed if the swelling is severe. Oral steroids may also be administered.

If the acne is caused by a hormonal imbalance, the vet will prescribe some hormones to regulate the thyroid gland’s activity.

Never use at-home acne remedies before consulting your vet. Don’t give human acne treatment to your cat, as these can cause additional irritation.

Feline Acne Prevention

The causes of feline acne are not fully understood. It can be linked to stress, poor grooming or food and contact allergies. Remove any possible stress factors and groom your cat daily to reduce the amount of sebum from the face. Keep the food and water bowls clean.

Watch your cat’s diet and ensure he does not eat garbage or other foods that can cause irritation.