Cat acne won't go away

Albus

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Adopted a 3-year-old cat some months ago, and when I took him to the vet for some tummy issues, the vet said he was likely allergic to some foods, owing to the fact that he stopped eating, had diarrhea, and had feline acne on his chin. We've switched to a limited-protein diet, and by the process of elimination it seems that he's allergic to seafood. He seems to be all right with his current diet, which has limited and hyrdrolyzed proteins only—he's eating healthily, no more tummy issues, etc. However, the acne hasn't gone away, even after switching his food bowls to stainless steel. Also have tried using medicated shampoo, which has helped a little but hasn't cleared it up.

The cat doesn't seem bothered by the acne, and I've done all that the vet has recommended. Any of you have any experience with stubborn feline acne? Anything I can ask the vet to check for?
 

verna davies

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One of mine had a small amount of chin acne that wouldnt go away but after trying various things I used coconut oil that worked for her. Gently wash the area with warm water and dab coconut oil on it twice a day.
 

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Cookie stopped getting feline acne after I switched her food.

When I was in high school, one of my cats would have acne that wouldn't go away. He would also dig in the kitchen garbage even though he never ate out of it. The acne stopped after we stopped him from getting to the garbage.
 
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Albus

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One of mine had a small amount of chin acne that wouldnt go away but after trying various things I used coconut oil that worked for her. Gently wash the area with warm water and dab coconut oil on it twice a day.
I've heard this recommended elsewhere too. Might give this a try next! Thank you.
 
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Albus

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Cookie stopped getting feline acne after I switched her food.

When I was in high school, one of my cats would have acne that wouldn't go away. He would also dig in the kitchen garbage even though he never ate out of it. The acne stopped after we stopped him from getting to the garbage.

I originally thought it was a hygiene issue, but it doesn't seem to be it. He doesn't go into the garbage, he's an indoor cat, and I've started wiping his chin after meals. We're stumped.
 

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Does he scratch his chin a bit too much? One of the street cats I know scratch his chin when he's having a dental problem and that usually leads to acne or some hair loss there.
 
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Albus

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Does he scratch his chin a bit too much? One of the street cats I know scratch his chin when he's having a dental problem and that usually leads to acne or some hair loss there.
Not his chin, no. Been watching for that too.
 

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One of the causes of feline acne is stuff clogging pores as the cat rubs their chin on things (like food bowls) that have residue or bacteria on them. Thus i really would be wary of putting coconut oil on a cat’s acne considering coconut oil is comedogenic (aka it clogs pores).

You may have already tried this, but my vet recommended a combination of a chemical exfoliant (basically helps the dead skin slough off instead of building up) and gentle physical exfoliation/brushing with a soft toothbrush that worked well for my cats. I’d ask the vet about cat-safe acne exfoliants to use as you want to make sure it’s not bad for them (salicylic acid is a no- you’ll want benzoyl peroxide as the active ingredient). The brushing helps loosen any little bits that are stuck in the fur and prevents them from becoming ingrown.
 
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Albus

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One of the causes of feline acne is stuff clogging pores as the cat rubs their chin on things (like food bowls) that have residue or bacteria on them. Thus i really would be wary of putting coconut oil on a cat’s acne considering coconut oil is comedogenic (aka it clogs pores).

You may have already tried this, but my vet recommended a combination of a chemical exfoliant (basically helps the dead skin slough off instead of building up) and gentle physical exfoliation/brushing with a soft toothbrush that worked well for my cats. I’d ask the vet about cat-safe acne exfoliants to use as you want to make sure it’s not bad for them (salicylic acid is a no- you’ll want benzoyl peroxide as the active ingredient). The brushing helps loosen any little bits that are stuck in the fur and prevents them from becoming ingrown.
Been on the lookout for cat-friendly skin products, but can't find any! The benzoyl peroxide products seem to be all out of stock everywhere I look, including Amazon. Do you have any recommendations for specific products and brands? Thanks for the reminder on the brushing—I'll continue to do this along with the wipes.
 

kittenmittens84

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Been on the lookout for cat-friendly skin products, but can't find any! The benzoyl peroxide products seem to be all out of stock everywhere I look, including Amazon. Do you have any recommendations for specific products and brands? Thanks for the reminder on the brushing—I'll continue to do this along with the wipes.
So our vet recommended an acne wash like this Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Dog & Cat Shampoo (Free Shipping) | Chewy (I think there are a few others on Chewy too), but I had a very generic tube of 2.5% benzoyl peroxide cream from the human pharmacy and the vet was ok with that too as long as my cat didn’t immediately try to lick it off (which he didn’t luckily). With the wash/shampoo obviously you don’t have to do the whole cat, just his chin/neck so that might be worth a try since it’s pretty cheap
 
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Albus

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So our vet recommended an acne wash like this Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Dog & Cat Shampoo (Free Shipping) | Chewy (I think there are a few others on Chewy too), but I had a very generic tube of 2.5% benzoyl peroxide cream from the human pharmacy and the vet was ok with that too as long as my cat didn’t immediately try to lick it off (which he didn’t luckily). With the wash/shampoo obviously you don’t have to do the whole cat, just his chin/neck so that might be worth a try since it’s pretty cheap

Oh thank you for this! I've only been able to find 5% benzoyl peroxide in the (human) pharmacies, so I'll try this one. Chewy doesn't ship outside the US, but I'll try and find a service that does. Thank you!
 

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Our FIV+ kitty with some food allergies/sensitivities is prone to chronic chin acne that tends to get infected easily. In his case, it was finally determined that he just isn't able to keep his chin clean enough on his own. So we started cleaning his chin at least once a day with a drop or two of Dawn dishwashing liquid, a bit of water, and a toddler toothbrush.

But because his immune system is kinda wonky, sometimes his chin acne flares up again, despite our best efforts, as well as many of the earlier remedies that our vet recommended, e.g., antibacterial/antifungal wipes and shampoos, chlorhexidine rinses, etc.

For some weird reason, Betadine (or a generic equivalent) works for Buddy when nothing else does. We add just enough drops of Betadine to a bowl of water until it's the color of a very weak iced tea. Then we dip a washcloth or gauze pad into the mixture, wring it out a little so it's not quite so drippy, hold it against his chin for a couple of minutes, then rinse really well.

But that's just us. Hope you find something that works wonders for your fur baby. :)
 
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Albus

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Our FIV+ kitty with some food allergies/sensitivities is prone to chronic chin acne that tends to get infected easily. In his case, it was finally determined that he just isn't able to keep his chin clean enough on his own. So we started cleaning his chin at least once a day with a drop or two of Dawn dishwashing liquid, a bit of water, and a toddler toothbrush.

But because his immune system is kinda wonky, sometimes his chin acne flares up again, despite our best efforts, as well as many of the earlier remedies that our vet recommended, e.g., antibacterial/antifungal wipes and shampoos, chlorhexidine rinses, etc.

For some weird reason, Betadine (or a generic equivalent) works for Buddy when nothing else does. We add just enough drops of Betadine to a bowl of water until it's the color of a very weak iced tea. Then we dip a washcloth or gauze pad into the mixture, wring it out a little so it's not quite so drippy, hold it against his chin for a couple of minutes, then rinse really well.

But that's just us. Hope you find something that works wonders for your fur baby. :)

Thank you for this! I actually started with the Betadine wipes last week, and I think I'm seeing a bit of improvement.
 
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