As we’re expecting a new kitten eventually, we’ve done some prepping ahead of time, including buying some spare food bowls. The only ones we could find to fit the cat bowl-stand things we already have were plastic ones. A few weeks later, Mako had these big blackheads forming on his chin. The bowls gave him cat acne.
Apparently, feline acne is a fairly common thing but also pretty harmless, like human acne. However, your cat my begin scratching at it which is akin to picking at zits—Probably shouldn’t do it.
Now, there can be different causes for feline acne, including cats with oily chins and cats who are messy eaters, but there seems to be a consensus that plastic food bowls are usually the biggest cause. Plastic bowls can cling to bacteria, sometimes even after washing, especially if the surface has been scratched. Metal and ceramic bowls are far better and easier to keep clean and it’s recommended that you clean them daily. We switched Mako back to some metal bowls after altering the bowl stands and about two weeks later, his chin is all cleared up.
If your cat is already using a metal or ceramic bowl and is still developing cat acne, you may want to consult your vet during your cat’s next check up. If your cat gets infections often or is scratching until he/she bleeds, you may want to schedule an appointment much sooner. The vet may advise you to use wipes, sels, or pet shampoos to help with the acne, but NEVER use anything meant for humans without your veterinarian’s express permission. It is also possible that there’s another underlying cause to your cat’s acne such as parasites or even an allergy. Again, your vet is going to be the best person to ask since they can assess your cat on a one-on-one basis.
So that was a fun little adventure with our sensitive Mako. Ignore the little brown spots around his mouth in the picture; he does also fall under the sloppy eater category. The area circled in red is where you can barely see some of his acne poking through. We managed to catch it before it got too bad—There are a lot of terrible pictures of cat acne on the internet.
Info: Texas A&M University, Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences: https://vetmed.tamu.edu/news/pet-talk/managing-feline-acne/