Caring for your Kitten’s Skin

Relax! Your kitten doesn’t need a dermatologist…just a little extra kitten care! Yes, believe it or not, cats can develop acne and other skin-related issues.  Who knew!?! Most of the time, you can treat your cat’s skin ailment at home with over-the-counter products.  However, if the problem is severe or persists for several days, it would probably be a good idea to consult with your veterinarian and get a professional opinion.

Cat Acne

So your cat has acne and he isn’t even a teenager yet! Don’t worry; cat acne is common and easy to treat. Cat and kitten acne results from contact with bacteria. Most of the time, the bacteria that causes acne comes from the dish from which they eat (usually a plastic, un-clean food dish).  Plastic dishes tend to scratch easily. Little scratches can easily harbor bacteria that even the best dishwasher can’t clean! When your kitten or cat eats, his face rubs against the bowl, eventually getting the bacteria on his skin. Before you (or your cat) know it…he has acne and is too embarrassed to leave the house!  Acne can also develop if your cat is unable to clean himself properly or has other allergy issues.

Those Aren’t Fleas!

Cats and kittens that have acne look like they have fleas living on their chin…when in reality, what you are looking at, are little blackheads. Yes, I know, gross! In severe acne cases, your cat may actually develop reddened pimples, hair loss, and other crusty-looking bumps. If this is the case, you should make an appointment with your vet. Most veterinarians will prescribe an acne shampoo that will do the trick (good luck bathing your kitty…but that is another post, for another day!). Most of the time, if you simply throw away your cat’s plastic food dishes, your cat’s acne problem will eventually disappear.

Another way to soothe your kitten is to gently press a warm cloth against his chin. This will help to open his pores. Once you have done this, wipe a small amount of hydrogen peroxide on the affected area. Never pick or squeeze the area…this can be painful and lead to infection. If an infection does occur, you will need to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian so that he can prescribe some antibiotics. One final note about kitten acne…NEVER use human products on your pet’s skin. Though Clearasil and Neutrogena may help human skin conditions, they can be poisonous to your cat!

So there you have it…all the information you ever wanted about cat and kitten acne! When it comes to kitten acne, the best thing you can do is throw away all plastic food and water dishes. By doing so, you will eliminate one of the main reasons that cats develop this yucky skin problem. Educating yourself and knowing how to properly care for your kitten is half the battle and can help to prevent problems in the future. Until next time my furry friends…….